The BBC has announced that BBC Three will return to being a broadcast channel from next January, following the breakout success of series such as Normal People and Fleabag.

Since 2016, BBC Three has been online only, with its commissioned programmes like Normal People and Fleabag making the jump to BBC One and BBC Two. 

The broadcaster has said its plan for 2020/21 published last year "outlined research which confirmed there remains an available audience on broadcast television for BBC Three".

The announcement of BBC Three's return as a broadcast channel was made by Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore on Tuesday. The BBC intends to double its investment on BBC Three commissions for its target 16-34 age group over the next two years.

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"BBC Three is a BBC success story, backing creativity, new talent and brave ideas has resulted in hit after hit, from Fleabag and Man Like Mobeen, Ru Paul's Drag Race UK and Jesy Nelson's Odd One Out, to Normal People and This Country," said Moore.

"The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible, wherever they live in the UK. So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again. It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value."

Normal People and Fleabag are available on the RTÉ Player.

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