Aidan Turner: BBC3 has been the foundation of really great TV – it would be a shame if we lost that

The Poldark star says his turn in BBC3's Being Human probably wouldn't have led to a role in The Hobbit if the youth channel had been online at the time

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Before Aidan Turner was Poldark the tin miner, and before he played the upwardly mobile dwarf Kili in The Hobbit, he was the vampire John Mitchell in Being Human. The BBC3 supernatural drama was many viewer’s first sight of the star, and Turner credits the channel with giving him his break.

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“We were very lucky with Being Human. BBC3 were always very kind to us, very supportive, and I have very fond memories,” he told RadioTimes.com. “[Then BBC3 controller] Danny Cohen was very good to us. We were brought in to do this little show and we had no idea it was going to be as successful as it was.”

As one of its breakout stars, Turner is cautiously optimistic about plans to make the channel online only. “I guess I trust the guys, if they feel they want to move it online. It’s hard to argue if they have a decent way of doing it,” he reasoned, while noting that “the channel has been the foundation of a lot of really great home-grown British TV and it would be a shame if we ever lost that.”

That said, surely an online only channel offers less exposure to emerging talent? If BBC3 had been online at the time Being Human was shown, does he think he would have subsequently been cast in The Hobbit and Poldark?

“That’s a good question. It’s really hard to predict these things. It could have been an online sensation. It could have just disappeared. Who knows? But the answer is probably not.”

“Being Human was a big gig for me and it got me the Hobbit. I know Peter Jackson was aware of the show, and if that hadn’t happened then maybe other things wouldn’t have happened afterwards. Work begets work.”

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Plans to move the channel online were recently pushed back to next year, with a public consultation not reporting until June 2016.