CBBC and BBC Four closing as linear channels

CBBC and BBC Four TV channels will be closing, it’s been confirmed.

Director General Tim Davie made three announcement today, explaining younger audiences are turning to streaming channels such as Netflix and Disney Plus.  

Davie stressed it is likely to happen within the next three years.

Speaking to BBC staff on Thursday, Davie said: ‘This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC.

Something genuinely new, a Reithian organisation for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world.

‘Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organisation which has never been seen before.’

Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our licence fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond. They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.’

CBBC will no longer be on TV (Picture: Getty)

To do that we need to evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.’

He added: ‘I believe in a public service BBC for all, properly funded, relevant for everyone, universally available, and growing in the on-demand age. This plan sets us on that journey.’

The move means programmes such as Blue Peter and Newsround will continue as digital first brands for the first time.

CBBC has delighted children since its inception in 1985 as a free-to-air TV channel.

It was launched to provide a wealth of content for children and young people aged six to 17, and covers a range of programming including drama, entertainment, comedy, animation, news and factual.

CBBC’s most popular shows over the years include Tracy Beaker, Blue Peter, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Horrible Histories and Newsround.

Newsround will be moving to digital first brand for the first time (Picture: BBC)

BBC World News and the BBC News channel will also merge to create a single 24-hour TV news channel serving both UK and international audiences.

The channel, which will be called BBC News, will ‘offer greater amounts of shared content’, according to the broadcaster, but with the ability to offer separate broadcasts depending on what is happening in the UK and abroad.

Critics of the changes called the announcement ‘very sad news’.

‘Oh my god ??? This is heartbreaking,’ someone absolutely gutted by the news wrote on Twitter, which was echoed by many more.

Davie also announced around 1,000 jobs will be cut across the BBC.

The announcement comes just two months after the revival of BBC Three, which was relaunched on linear television for the first time in six years.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

For more stories like this, check our entertainment page.

Follow Metro.co.uk Entertainment on Twitter and Facebook for the latest celeb and entertainment updates. You can now also get Metro.co.uk articles sent straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push alerts here.