Daniel Radcliffe, Andy Samberg Among Stars Urging BBC to Save Youth Network

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

'Broadchurch' star Olivia Colman, Steve Coogan and 'Game of Thrones' star Lena Headey are also signatories of a letter criticizing the planned change to an online-only service.

Daniel Radcliffe, Broadchurch star Olivia Colman, Steve Coogan, Game of Thrones star Lena Headey and Andy Samberg are among more than 750 celebrities and TV industry figures who have signed an open letter urging the BBC not to shutter youth TV network BBC Three and make it an online-only service as planned.

The letter says that the move would "remove at a stroke a vitally important outlet for new talent and innovative ideas," according to The Guardian. It also calls BBC Three "a place where "some of the most successful and influential names currently working in British television were given their first chance."

The paper said the letter would be delivered on Tuesday to BBC director general Tony Hall and Rona Fairhead, the chair of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the U.K. public broadcaster.

The planned closure has caused much debate in Britain. Radcliffe's fellow Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis has also criticized the proposed shutdown of the linear network. And two independent television producers previously proposed to acquire the linear channel, a suggestion that drew the support of Coogan.

Samberg's Cuckoo, his first post-Saturday Night Live TV project, was for BBC Three.

"BBC Three has cost the license fee payer over £1 billion ($1.53 billion) over the last 10 years," the letter says, according to the Guardian. "Closure will write off this investment, which would be unthinkable in a commercial environment."

A BBC Trust spokesman said th egoverning body would publish a provisional decision on management's proposal to shutter the network in the coming weeks.

A BBC representative said: "We’re pleased so many people feel strongly about the BBC’s services, but the reality of having the license fee frozen since 2010 means tough decisions have to be made." The rep added that "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 BBC Three we’re proposing reinventing it online."

Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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