Daniel Radcliffe and Imelda Staunton fight to keep BBC3 on the air

It’s hard to imagine Harry Potter and Dolores Umbridge working together on, well, anything. However, the BBC Trust’s recent decision to take BBC3 off the air and move it into an online-only environment has caused the two actors who portray them to do exactly that.

Daniel Radcliffe and Imelda Staunton, along with over 750 of British television’s biggest stars, have signed an open letter asking the BBC Trust to reverse this decision.

The letter, which is set to be delivered Tuesday, describes BBC3 as being the channel where

Some of the most successful and influential names currently working in British television were given their first chance.

The letter also argues that taking BBC3 off the air would

remove at a stroke a vitally important outlet for new talent and innovative ideas.

Moving the channel into an online-only environment would allow the channel to keep functioning despite having their license fee frozen since 2010, but the channel also claims to be making this decision with their viewers in mind. According to a BBC spokesperson, this move could ultimately be a more convenient option for their viewers.

Young people want great content that’s relevant to them at a time of their choosing irrespective of which screen it’s on – and that’s why rather than simply closing BBC3 we’re proposing reinventing it online.

Other options to save the channel that have been put forward in the letter include leaving the BBC3 in public ownership but funding it with revenue from advertising instead of the license fee or by joining forces with private-sector partners.

According to the signatories of the letter, this decision is a “tipping point” for the network, and they conclude that

Either the BBC can continue to cater for an increasingly elderly audience, or it can take the lead and safeguard its position as a beloved and relevant public broadcaster by investing in the talent and the audiences who are the building blocks of the future. Safeguarding the future of BBC3 as it currently exists is the key to this.

Do you agree with the BBC Trust that moving into an online-only environment is better for viewers? Or do you, like Radcliffe and Staunton, feel that this will remove a critical stage for British entertainers?

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