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Producers want to stop channel going online only

Mulville and Thoday plot £100m bid for BBC3

Russell HowardBBC3 may become first licensed BBC public service channel to be sold as two producers consider making a £100m bid to prevent it going online.

Jon Thoday, joint managing director of comedian Russell Howard’s (pictured) Good News producer Avalon, is said to have teamed up with Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Hat Trick, the company behind Have I Got News For You and Outnumbered.

They are opposing director general Tony Hall’s plan to turn it into an online channel and part of cutbacks that include reducing its commissioning budget by £50 million a year.

Hall announced last March that the corporation intends to close BBC3 this autumn amid an outcry from independent producers who felt it would severely impact on their operations.

According to The Guardian the joint approach from Thoday and Mulville also marks an unusual level of co-operation between two competing independent production companies.

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