BBC3 is to showcase what Corporation insiders are touting as a British answer to the celebrated podcast Serial.

The Boy Who Disappeared sees journalists Alys Harte and Bronagh Munro investigate the real-life disappearance of a teenager twenty years ago after a night out with friends. Local community rumours suggest that he was murdered, but nearly two decades later no trace of a body has been found and, despite several arrests, no one has been charged.

The team piece together clues, knock on doors and speak to the boy's loved ones.

As with Serial, a new episode is published each week allowing audiences to follow the twists and turns of the investigation.

The programme is one of a host of new commissions for the BBC3 service which switches from a linear broadcast channel to an online destination on February 16.

The online BBC3 will showcase two new platforms. The first is The Best Of - which will bring together original long form programmes and a range of new content, including short-form films. The second strand is The Daily Drop which will be home to BBC3's new stream of daily content including short-form videos, blogs, social media, image galleries, trending stories and daily new and sport updates.

Switchover night on Tuesday 16 February will see episode one of the new series of Cuckoo (pictured, below) starring Greg Davies, the first film from the new series of Life And Death Row, and comedy showcase Live From The BBC.


Other promised programmes on the new service includes new contemporary drama Clique from writer Jess Brittain centred around two friends whose lives becoming increasingly complicated after starting university in Edinburgh.

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The service will also be the home of Class, Patrick Ness' new Doctor Who spin-off.

The new line-up was announced tonight by the BBC, with director general Tony Hall saying comparing the launch of the "mischievous" and "magic" channel to a "start-up".

The BBC also unveiled a collaboration between BBC Drama and Idris Elba’s production company, Green Door Pictures, to deliver a series of short films from new writers and featuring new on-screen talent working alongside more established names.

“I’m looking forward to working with BBC3 and giving new writers and actors a chance to show what they can do," said Elba.

Accompanying this evening's launch was this promotional video explaining the channel's move and hosted by Chabuddy G from BBC3 comedy People Just Do Nothing.