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Drag Race ‘World Cup’ leads BBC Three’s first commissions in 2022 return to linear

BBC Three in the UK has unveiled its first original commissions ahead of its return as a linear channel in 2022, which includes spin-off RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus the World.

Fiona Campbell

BBC Three controversially reverted to an online-only channel in 2016 but the UK pubcaster announced it was bringing it back to linear in March and received Ofcom approval for the move in November.

The opening night for the channel’s return in February will feature RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus the World. With the UK as the host nation, for the first time in Drag Race Herstory, nine international members of RuPaul’s Drag Race Royal alumni will compete to become the ultimate Drag Race Superstar.

US prodco World of Wonder, which created the Drag Race franchise, will produce.

Also coming to BBC Three next year is Santa Claus the Serial Killer (w/t), a six-part series from journalist Mobeen Azhar.

In the true-crime exploration the follows Hometown: A Killing, Mobeen heads to Toronto, Canada, to explore the case of serial killer Bruce McArthur, a shopping mall Santa Claus who committed a series of murders in Toronto’s gay village for eight years, with the authorities facing criticism for the length of time the spree was allowed to continue.

The series is produced by Forest, the environmentally focused indie set up by Azhar and former 7Wonder exec Jez Lee.

Also billed is Flight Club (w/t) – a 10×30’ series from Mentorn Scotland commissioned with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland. The access-all-areas observations series follows the young staff and crew of Loganair.

The series is the result of a scheme that invited local Scottish independent production companies to pitch innovative, factual entertainment format ideas that reflect the life experiences of 16- to 24-year-olds with the promise of a guaranteed series commission.

Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, said: “As we gear up for launch, we’re excited to start talking about what will be on the new channel. As a destination for young audiences on the BBC, BBC Three will provide a true multi-genre offering with these commissions serving up some world class entertainment with RuPaul Versus, award-winning true-crime with Mobeen and sky-high ambition with Flight Club.”


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