BBC sets Scumbag College on iTunes

The BBC is exploring its back catalogue, looking for shows to sell through iTunes, and began offering the first series of cult comedy The Young Ones through the Apple service this week.

First broadcast in 1982, The Young Ones featured Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson and Nigel Planer. The second and final series will also be made available in the coming weeks.

The Young Ones captures the essence of student life in Thatcherite Britain in the early 80’s, following four students studying at the aptly named Scumbag College.

It’s a slight change in strategy for the BBC’s use of Apple’s service, when it first made content available through the service if focused on current and contemporary shows. ITV took a different path in which it made older, classic series – including The Prisoner – available, and seemed to achieve sales as a result.

BBC Worldwide said it chose to release The Young Ones after clips of the show proved a hit on its YouTube and MySpace video channels.

“A clip of Edmondson’s punk character Vyvyan losing his head when he looks out of a moving train has attracted 20,455 views on MySpace,” said Broadcast Now.

BBC Worldwide digital media director Simon Danker said: “The Young Ones was a massive cult hit when it aired first time round and its continuing fan base marks it out as a truly classic show.┬áMaking the series available on iTunes will bring it to a whole new audience, while existing fans can relive their 80’s memories with a show that literally blasted its way on to the screens.

Whether you want to watch the Atom Bomb Episode or the final Summer Holiday show, the whole twisted, violently slapstick history of The Young Ones will be available online.”

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