The BBC's decision to close its sole youth-focused TV channel, BBC Three, is both depressing and divisive. Depressing because it represents yet another attack on a generation that is already facing the sharp end of austerity policies with high youth unemployment, welfare cuts, the prospect of huge debts for those who choose to go to university and the lack of affordable housing which will now prevent millions of young people from leaving the family home.
I have spent the majority of my year across three continents where I have been filming a new series for BBC Three focusing on the new frontlines of the global war on drugs. My journey starts in Peru, which has now become the new cocaine capital of the world, overtaking Colombia. Peru sends most of the cocaine to Europe and so a lot of it will end up in the UK.
I heard on the radio yesterday a young policeman describing some rioters who had attached Stanley knives to sticks to use as weapons. This is gutting and the new statistics are stomach-churning. One of the things that I remember most from those evenings last year is the fear. That crippling feeling of the unknown. How close to our homes were they going to get? Why?
Any show pitched as "the new" something is bound to be a disappointment. Only the most successful shows are followed by their very own "the new"s, so the comparisons between BBC Three's new sitcom Pramface and two leading forebears, Gavin and Stacey and The Inbetweeners, may have raised expectations to an unsustainable level.