7 BBC iPlayer Shows To Watch Right Now, Because OMG The Options Are Surprisingly Good


Earlier this year, the BBC admitted that 16-to 24-year-olds spend more time watching Netflix than all the BBC services combined. Those services even include the BBC iPlayer, just to reiterate how much the Beeb pails in comparison to Netflix in the streaming service stakes. In response, reports soon emerged that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 may launch a joint streaming service to combat the likes of Amazon and Netflix. But actually, if you're wondering what to watch on BBC iPlayer, turns out there are more than a few good options.

Talks between the three traditionally terrestrial competitors are said to be in early stages, according to reports in the Guardian, with NBC Universal — the US TV and film group that owns the maker of Downton Abbey — also involved. However, with Netflix and Amazon Prime averaging 8.2 million and 4.3 million UK subscribers respectively (via the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), getting back in the streaming service race is sure to be no easy task. So, what can the humble BBC iPlayer bring to the table?

Quite a lot, actually. Indeed — just like Netflix — there are several banging television shows you can marathon in their entirety on the BBC iPlayer. So, in response to the 16-to 24-year-old naysayers who think the BBC iPlayer is past it, we present these seven brilliant TV shows to watch right now, including comedy, drama, crime, and fantasy.

1. 'Fleabag'

You may know Fleabag as being the series that launched Phoebe Waller-Bridge to Star Wars-level stardom, but it's also so much more than that. The six-part comedy drama follows a troubled and sex-obsessed café owner trying to move on from a tumultuous life event and survive her evil stepmother (played by the ultra fab Olivia Colman). Understandably, the series has won over a legion of celebrity admirers and the best part is that it's easily marathoned in one evening. What are you waiting for?

Watch it on iPlayer here

2. 'Our Girl'

This military drama originated as a one-off TV movie in 2013, but it's now in its fourth series and still going strong. Our Girl follows the adventures of female army medics — first Lacey Turner's Molly Dawes and currently Michelle Keegan's Georgie Lane  — and the first three series are available to watch on iPlayer. Once you've streamed your way through Series 1 - 3, you'll have to be patient and watch Series 4 in real time, as it only started up again last week.

Watch it on iPlayer here

3. 'The Bridge'

For fans of The Tunnel and True Detective, The Bridge is the obvious next choice of thrilling detective shows to marathon. The crime series sees the Swedish and Danish police join forces to investigate crimes around the Oresund Bridge, and all of the series are available to watch on BBC iPlayer, so you can watch it from the very beginning. It should sustain you a few evenings but we make no promises you won't marathon the whole lot one hungover Sunday.

Watch it on iPlayer here

4. 'A Very English Scandal'

If you missed this political biopic when it aired on BBC One last month, now is the perfect time to catch up. A Very English Scandal sees Hugh Grant return to screens for the first time since his star turn in Paddington 2 as politician Jeremy Thorpe, who begins a whirlwind affair with a young stable hand, Norman Scott (played by his Paddington co-star Ben Whishaw). It's also only three episodes long, so you can watch the whole thing and get an early night. Woohoo!

Watch it on iPlayer here

5. 'Being Human'

The series made waves and was one of BBC Three's most watched shows when it premiered in 2011. Launched during the peak of Twilight fan hysteria, Being Human follows the adventures of three twenty-somethings share a house and try to live a normal life despite being a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire. It also launched the careers of Poldark actor Aidan Turner, and with five series to watch, there are worse ways to spend a few weeks then getting lost in this fresh fantasy epic.

Watch it on iPlayer here

6. 'The Split'

With an official second series now in the works, it's high time you caught up on this suave family drama about a divorce lawyer who throws all her relationships into turmoil when she decides to up and leave the family firm. The Split stars crime drama veteran Nicola Walker (Unforgotten, Collateral) and also Stephen Mangan. And, with just six episodes making up its first run, you easily marathon your way through the dramz before Series 2 hits screens.

Watch it on iPlayer here

7. Gavin & Stacey: Full Boxset

To round off this listicle, I refer you directly to Ruth Jones and James Corden's classic comedy series. Even if you have probably seen Gavin & Stacey before, I'm sure you'll have no qualms loading up the iPlayer and watching the love story between Essex lad Gavin and his Welsh sweetheart Stacey all over again in full.

Watch it on iPlayer here

So if you ever find yourself scrolling through Netflix and a bit overwhelmed by the volume of choice, iPlayer's tightly curated rota of hits might have something else to keep you entertained.