Steve Coogan 'backs bid to buy BBC3'

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by sarah
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Steve Coogan is reportedly throwing his hat in the ring as part of the group wanting to take on BBC3.

The Media Guardian this morning reports that the comedian, together with his Media City based independent TV production company Baby Cow, have backed a previous bid to buy BBC3.

It says Coogan’s support will be one of the central planks of a letter to be sent to Danny Cohen, the BBC’s director of television, from independent producers Jimmy Mulville and Jon Thoday.

According to the report, Thoday and Mulville will say later today:

“We are pleased to report that Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, whose company Baby Cow produced Gavin and Stacey and The Mighty Boosh – two of BBC3’s biggest hits – have agreed to support the project.”

The pair's previous request to buy the channel has already been turned down by Cohen.

In an open letter to them last week he said: “The BBC will not sell the BBC3 brand name. We are not willing to privatise a UK public service BBC-branded channel – a fully commercialised and independently run BBC-branded channel is incompatible with our obligations under the charter agreement. Nor would the BBC be willing to allow a third-party company to decide the editorial direction of a BBC branded channel in the UK.”

Update at 2pm: The full letter mentioning coogan has now been published and includes this statement:

" We are pleased to report that Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, whose company Baby Cow, produced Gavin and Stacey and The Mighty Boosh, two of BBC3’s biggest hits, have agreed to support the project. With regard to contracting in-house BBC content we would have thought that as the in-house producer base is about to be transformed into a commercial studio, it would be highly beneficial for them to have this outlet maintained and grown."

Read it in full at the Media Guardian here.