After eight series, Russell Howard’s Good News is moving to BBC Two.
The show, in which comedian Russell Howard comments on the weeks news with a mix of stand-up, sketches and special guests, has been aired on BBC Three since 2009. But now we will see the show move to BBC Two after BBC Three faces an uncertain future.
The channel has been earmarked for a wholesale move online in the autumn of next year under plans put forward by the BBC director-general Tony Hall.
Hall’s strategy is yet to be approved by the BBC Trust but would slash BBC3’s budget by around £50m a year to a £30m annual spend on the online proposition, with all BBC Three content promised a BBC Two or BBC Three showing at some stage.
The show will not be the first to move from BBC Three to other BBC channels, but other shows have tended to move earlier in their lives.
Gavin and Stacey moved to BBC One after two series, while Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ sketch show Little Britain was transferred to BBC One after two series on BBC3. Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, meanwhile, aired for one season on BBC Three before moving to BBC Two for series two and then BBC One for two further runs.
However a BBC source insisted that the decision to make Russell Howard’s Good News a BBC Two show came before the decision, announced in March, to move BBC Three online. “It was more a feeling that he’s graduated to a terrestrial channel really,” added the source. “It’s a big popular show going to a channel with bigger audience potential.”
Mark Linsey, BBC controller of entertainment commissioning, said of the move of Russell Howard’s Good News: “Five years ago, BBC3 spotted Russell’s great talent, commissioned this brilliantly funny show, nurtured and cherished it and is now passing it on to BBC2 as a fully fledged hit.”
The new series will air on BBC Two later in the year.