The new 3Cat digital platform which began just a few weeks ago is, from this Saturday, December 2nd, incorporating a package of classic comedy series broadcast by Catalonia’s TV3 in the 80s and 90s whose names will also ring bells with audiences far beyond the Ebro and the Pyrenees: Blackadder; ‘Allo, ‘Allo; The Young Ones; Yes, Minister; and Yes, Prime Minister. In addition, the iconic Mr Bean will be available from December 6th. This was announced on Friday in the Catalan Parliament, no less: the president of the CCMA, the Catalan broadcasting corporation, Rosa Romà, was speaking during the public broadcasting body’s control session, where she appeared with the director of TV3, Sígfrid Gras, and that of Catalunya Ràdio, Jordi Borda.
The series that are included in the new CCMA platform from this Saturday are of course, British comedy classics. But they are also much loved in Catalonia, where they were broadcast for many years on Catalan public television’s original terrestrial channel, TV3. Blackadder – known to Catalans as L’escurçó negre – ran for four seasons, from 1983 to 1989. It starred Rowan Atkinson as the anti-hero Edmund Blackadder with Tony Robinson as his legendary sidekick, Baldrick. The first series was set in 15th century England, and is based on an alternative history, with king Richard III accidentally killed and succeeded by Richard IV, one of the Princes of the Tower, and into this world steps Atkinson as Richard’s clumsy second son, Edmund, who goes by the name of Blackadder, forever attempting to improve his position at the court. But that’s only the first season. The second series, Blackadder II, jumps forward to the reign of Elizabeth I. Blackadder the Third was set during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the reign of George III, and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) brings the series to a close in the war to end all wars, in 1917 in the trenches of Flanders.
Another of those Brit comedy classics which had Catalans falling off their sofas was The Young Ones – Els Joves. What it has in common with Blackadder is one of the writers – Ben Elton. The Young Ones was set in the quintessential squalid student flat of its era (the 70s-80s), shared by Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Christopher Ryan. Alexei Sayle plays their landlord.
Back to Rowan Atkinson and Mr Bean is indeed one of the classics that has accompanied several generations of Catalans. A show which didn’t give the translators and dubbing artists any work, because Atkinson, with the soul and clumsiness of a child, does not speak, usually expresses himself with mime, and is characterized by the innocence and idiocy which sees him stumble into all sorts of hilarious situations, from which he, naturally, extracts himself with a good dose of irony and egotism.
The director of TV3, Sígrid Gras, also announced this Friday that 3Cat will offer the UEFA Women’s Champions League live, thanks to an agreement with DAZN, for the transmission of a maximum of 10 matches featuring, of course, Futbol Club Barcelona. The first broadcast will take place on December 13th with Rosengard – FC Barcelona in the hands of commentators Danae Boronat, Mireia Vera and Laura Brugués.
As Gras explained, the matches can be seen live on TV3 and its distribution channels. “But this is one of the clearest commitments we have to make,” he explained, because the agreement with DAZN includes exclusive broadcasting rights of all the competition matches for the whole world. On TV3, viewers will be able to see three group stage matches, two quarter-final matches, the four semi-final matches and the grand final if the Barça women’s team gets to it. The TV3 broadcasts are in addition to those already broadcast by Catalunya Ràdio.
During the first month of launch of the new 3Cat platform, it has registered 20 million visits, 2.5 million unique devices, 16 million video and audio plays, 780,000 plays per day and at least 600,000 registered users. Romà noted the “good reception from the public” and underlined the commitment of the Catalan-language channel to reach new audiences.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
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