The Easter weekend is coming up, and with it the promise of lazy bank holidays and excellent telly.
With a long weekend and afterwards the end of lockdown within our reach, it’s the perfect moment to tick off some must-see boxsets on BBC iPlayer.
The BBC’s Line of Duty has returned to our screens once more, providing the nation with weekly, virtual water cooler moments. If you’ve not caught up yet, what are you waiting for?
And if the weekend weather isn’t what you were hoping for, there are some great telly offerings available, with shows like The Terror and US comedy Shrill to catch up on.
BBC iPlayer boasts a range of comedies, dramas and documentaries to keep us going, with the platform evolving from a simple catch-up service to a strong competitor in the on-demand market.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen gripping dramas join iPlayer, from Northern Irish thriller Bloodlands and Hulu’s A Teacher, to previous UKTV title Traces, starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston.
If it’s a classic comedy you’re after, you can also find the likes of Gavin & Stacey, Pulling and The Vicar of Dibley on the platform, while newer shows like Shrill and Out of Her Mind are available to stream as well.
With too much to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of the best shows to watch right now on BBC iPlayer so you can start streaming straight away!
Last updated: 26th March 2021
Line of Duty
With a brand new series of Line of Duty airing weekly, there’s never been a better time to get caught up on this critically acclaimed crime drama from writer Jed Mercurio, which follows a team investigating corruption in the police force.
The series has quickly established itself as one of the BBC’s most popular dramas and quite possibly one of the best shows they’ve ever produced. Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar and Martin Compston impress in the leads, alongside a formidable guest cast that includes Lennie James (Save Me), Keeley Hawes (Spooks) and Thandie Newton (Westworld).
The latest season stars Kelly Macdonald in her anticipated debut as DCI Jo Davidson, who begins an investigation into the unsolved murder of journalist Gail Vella.
The Horror anthology series The Terror has arrived on BBC iPlayer, and the first, standalone season features a slate of high-profile, homegrown actors. Jared Harris (Chernobyl) leads the cast as real-life historical figure Captain Francis Crozier, the captain of the HMS Terror. The ship was part of Captain Sir John Franklin’s doomed Royal Navy expedition to the Arctic in 1845.
In the series, the stranded captains and their respective crews must battle not only with freezing temperatures, scurvy, and starvation, but also an unknown monster, known as the “Tuunbaq”.
James Nesbitt stars in this BBC One detective drama as DCI Tom Brannick, a Northern Irish detective who discovers that a recent kidnapping case could be linked to a legendary assassin, suspected of killing four people 20 years prior, including Brannick’s wife.
Executive produced by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio, Bloodlands is a compelling thriller with political themes, police corruption and enough twists and turns to keep you firmly perched on the edge of your sofa. With the likes of Charlene McKenna, Lorcan Cranitch, Ian McElhinney, Lisa Dawn and Michael Smiley bulking out of the cast, this four-parter is a Belfast-based crime drama you can’t miss.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Arguably one of the biggest highlights of lockdown has been the return of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK – BBC Three’s search for Britain’s next drag superstar.
Hosted by drag legend RuPaul, joined on the judging panel by regular judges Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton, the competition welcomes 12 contestants into the workroom and puts them through their paces with various acting, singing, dancing, comedy, design and presenting challenges. Packed full of drama, gag-worthy outfits and side-splitting scenes, season two has been one of the best series in Drag Race history and is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
Katie Price: Harvey and Me
This hour-long documentary follows TV personality Katie Price as she tries to make care and education arrangements for her disabled son Harvey as he turns 18. Born with septic optic dysplasia, a rare disorder affecting hormones, vision and brain function, Harvey’s future is unpredictable, making Katie’s search for suitable living arrangements for the young adult even harder.
Katie Price: Harvey and Me is an intimate and candid look into Price’s life as a mother fighting for her special needs son, raising awareness of the difficulties faced by those caring for children with autism and learning difficulties.
Dave sitcom Zapped has arrived on BBC iPlayer, with the streamer now home to all three series of the fantasy comedy.
Starring The Inbetweeners’ James Buckley, Zapped follows West London office temp Brian as tries to escape from Munty, a medieval world he’s transported to after opening a mysterious package.
With the likes of Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary), Steve Coogan, Kathryn Drysdale (Bridgerton), Tim Key (This Time with Alan Partridge), Sally Phillips (Miranda), Rufus Hound (Dancing on Ice) and Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum) in the supporting cast, Zapped is a fun, quirky comedy full of ridiculous plot lines.
With series three on the way, there couldn’t be a better time to get into Shrill – Aidy Bryant’s comedy-drama based on Lindy West’s book of the same name.
The Hulu show follows Annie (Bryant), an overweight young woman who, after dealing with thoughtless boyfriends, a diet-obsessed mother and a perfectionist boss, decides she wants to change her life – but not her body.
With a cast full of rising stars like the brilliant Lolly Adefope (Ghosts) and comedian Patti Harrison (Search Party) and executive produced by SNL’s Lorne Michaels, Shrill is a warm, witty series with a lot of heart.
If you’ve ever wanted to see what a combination of The Great British Bake Off, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Crufts would look like, then you’re in luck: BBC One’s reality competition Pooch Perfect is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Hosted by star of stage and screen Sheridan Smith, Pooch Perfect sees 16 professional dog groomers make-over Britain’s hairiest hounds in a bid to be crowned the UK’s best canine stylist.
Starring Cheat’s Molly Windsor, Traces is a murder mystery with a focus on forensics – as 23-year-old Emma Hedges takes up a job as a lab assistant in Dundee to find out the truth about her mother’s death over a decade prior.
Originally a UKTV Alibi series, Traces aired on BBC One this month and follows three women within the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science (SIFA) – Emma, Professor Sarah Gordon (Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser) and Professor Kathy Torrance (Continuum’s Jennifer Spence) – as they dig deeper into an unsolved murder, with Line of Duty’s Martin Compston starring as Emma’s love interest.
If you’re a fan of all things Sharon Horgan, the comedy star behind Catastrophe and Motherland, then it’s time to check out Pulling – the comedian’s first sitcom which aired in the early Noughties.
The BBC Three series stars Horgan as Donna, a 29-year-old who suddenly breaks off her engagement to long-time fiancé Karl (Cavan Clerkin) and moves in with her two single friends – wild school teacher Karen (Tanya Franks) and hopeless waitress Louise (Rebekah Staton). Raunchy and absolutely hilarious, Pulling is the perfect binge for those who’re missing Peep Show – look out for cameos from the likes of Tom Ellis, Paul Kaye and Paul Ready.
Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Nick Robinson star in this dark American tale of abuse, as a young female teacher arrives at Westerbrook High School, Texas, and lures a popular 17-year-old student, Eric, into a damaging sexual relationship.
The series has already garnered good reviews across the pond, and stands up as an important lesson on the misconceptions that surround sexual abuse perpetrated by women.
This three-part adaptation of Rumer Godden’s classic novel of the same name aired over Christmas, with Gemma Arteton (Quantum of Solace) starring as a 1930’s nun tasked with establishing a mission in the Himalayan palace of Mopu.
However, as Mopu’s dark history begins to haunt Sister Clodagh (Arterton), she’s forced to face the devastating event from her own past that drove her to the nunnery in the first place.
With the late Diana Rigg, Jim Broadbent, Aisling Franciosi and Gina McKee delivering stand-out performances, this chilling adaptation of Black Narcissus is well worth checking out in the New Year.
Death in Paradise
The BBC’s long-running detective drama Death in Paradise is finally back with series 10, starring Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker – Saint Marie’s newest detective.
Set in the sunny Caribbean, Death is Paradise follows Parker and his police colleagues as they solve various crimes across the fictional island, with the likes of Don Warrington, Joséphine Jobert and Tahj Myles also starring.
With 73 episodes available on iPlayer to get through, Death in Paradise is the tropical murder mystery you’ve been missing.
The Night Manager
Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman lead the cast of this intense thriller from director Susanne Bier. Based on a novel by the late John le Carré, the series follows hotel manager Jonathan Pine as he is recruited by the UK government to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer.
The series earned critical acclaim and numerous awards, with particular praise being heaped upon the stellar performances and suspenseful atmosphere throughout. If you’re looking for a juicy drama to sink your teeth into, The Night Manager is among the best that BBC iPlayer has to offer. Watch The Night Manager on BBC iPlayer
Gavin & Stacey
In just a decade or so, Gavin & Stacey has established itself as one of the UK’s most beloved sitcoms, telling a charming long-distance love story between a man from Essex and a woman from Barry Island. Over the course of three hilarious series, we watch their relationship evolve as they tackle some difficult issues, but the show never strays too far from being ultimate comfort viewing.
Along with Gavin and Stacey themselves, the likes of Nessa, Smithy, Pam, Mick, Bryn and Doris have all become icons of British telly, with excellent writing and performances across the board. Every episode is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer, including last year’s Christmas special, which reunited the cast after years apart to record viewership. What better way to get in the festive spirit? Watch Gavin & Stacey on BBC iPlayer
The Royle Family
All three series of this ’90s sitcom from Gogglebox narrators Craig Crash and the late Caroline Aherne have arrived on BBC iPlayer with fans to revisit and new viewers to become obsessed with.
Set within the Royles’ living room, the series stars the likes of Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Ralf Little, Liz Smith, Jessica Hynes and Sheridan Smith as the Manchester family and their TV-centric lives.
If you’re a big Brooklyn Nine-Nine fan, you’re bound to love Cuckoo – the BBC Three comedy starring Andy Samberg as the titular free-spirited hippie who surprises Lichfield couple Ken (Greg Davies) and Lorna (Helen Baxendale) when their daughter Rachel (Tamla Kari) returns from her gap year with him as her husband.
While the show undergoes various cast changes in the second series – with Twilight’s Taylor Lautner introduced as Cuckoo’s secret son and Uncle’s Esther Smith taking over the role of Rachel – this laugh-out-loud sitcom, which became BBC Three’s most-watched comedy launch in 2012, is well worth the watch.
The Vicar of Dibley
With Geraldine Grainger returning this year for a series of The Vicar of Dibley Christmas specials, it’s time to head back to Dibley – Richard Curtis’ BBC sitcom starring Dawn French as the first female vicar assigned to a small Oxfordshire village.
Having racked up several BAFTA nominations and International Emmys during its four year run in the 90’s, the series followed Geraldine’s series of Dibley-based misadventures, blunder-filled sermons and failing love life with guest stars such as Richard Armitage, Peter Capaldi, Keeley Hawes, Peter Capaldi, Clive Mantle, Hugh Bonneville, Mel Giedroyc, Miranda Hart and Jeremy Paxman.
Back on iPlayer in time for Christmas is Dickensian – BBC One’s 2015 series in which characters from across Charles Dickens’ novels all live together in one Victorian London neighbourhood.
Starring the likes of Peter Firth, Joseph Quinn, Sophie Rundle, Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Moen, Omid Djalili and Anton Lesser, this 20-part series follows Inspector Bucket (Stephen Rea) as he investigates the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge’s partner Jacob Marley (Firth).
We Are Who We Are
From Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino comes this coming-of-age drama starring It’s Jack Dylan Grazer and Jordan Kristine Seamón as two American teenagers living on a US military base in Italy.
We Are Who We Are explores friendship, first-love and identity through the “messy exhilaration and anguish of being a teenager” in this poetic, yet slow-burning eight-part series.
Featuring a stellar cast, including the likes of Chloë Sevigny (American Psycho), Alice Braga (Predators), Spence Moore II (13 Reasons Why), rapper Kid Cudi, Faith Alabi (Cold Feet) and Francesca Scorsese, this aesthetic snapshot of adolescence isn’t one to miss if you’re a fan of Guadagnino’s other work.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by the life of an investment banker, this BBC Two drama gives a frank and unrelenting look at the lives of graduates, ruthlessly battling for a permanent place at a fictional London firm.
With its first episode directed by Girls’ Lena Dunham, Industry follows Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold), a working-class woman who arrives from the US to join the prestigious banking firm Pierpoint & Co’s graduate training scheme. Competing with arrogant Oxbridge types, working ridiculously long hours and taking part in her colleagues’ Class A drug-taking culture, the series follows Harper as she tries to figure out who she is whilst holding down a highly competitive job.
Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) is behind this series of films that tells stories from London’s West Indian community from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Ahead of their debut on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, several of the feature-length dramas have been played at film festivals around the world, where they have earned glowing reviews.
Each one tells an individual self-contained story, which shines a light on an important moment in Black British history or culture, with a stellar cast that includes Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and John Boyega (Star Wars).
The first instalment in the series, Mangrove, is available to stream now, depicting the fallout from a peaceful protest against racial discrimination held in Notting Hill in 1970.
Acclaimed filmmaker Alex Garland, known for sci-fi hits Annihilation and Ex Machina, is behind this suspenseful drama series which debuted on BBC Two earlier this year. The show follows software developer Lily, whose boyfriend dies on his first day working for a mysterious computing company.
Her search for answers takes her on an unpredictable journey that tackles heady themes and puts Silicon Valley firmly under the microscope. Be warned, Devs is quite a slow-paced affair so patience is required, but most fans are agreed that the show rewards those who stay for the ride.
The Trump Show
If you’ve been glued to all the coverage of the hotly-contested US Presidential Election, make sure to check out The Trump Show – BBC Two’s revealing docuseries on Donald Trump’s presidency.
Featuring interviews with the incumbent’s former aides, including Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Omarosa Manigault Newman and Anthony Scaramucci, the three-part series explores Trump’s time in office, from his unexpected win in 2016 and the Stormy Daniels scandal, to Robert Mueller’s inquiry into claims of Russian interference in Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The Rap Game UK
The Rap Game UK is back for a second series, with another six artists competing for the chance to sign a single record deal.
This six-part reality series will see various up-and-coming artists try to impress judges Krept, Konan and DJ Target while demonstrating why they should be the UK’s next rap star.
With special guests Young T, Bugsey, Rapman, D Double E and JME appearing to mentor the show’s contestants, The Rap Game UK is a must-watch for those who’ve always fancied themselves as an MC.
Hugh Laurie stars in this David Hare drama as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative government minister who, on the back of a win in a newspaper libel case, is reluctantly promoted to high office by prime minister Dawn Ellison (Quiz’s Helen McCrory).
However, just as Peter begins rising up through the political ranks, his personal life begins falling apart as his enemies attempt to force career-ruining skeletons out of Peter’s overcrowded closet.
Starring the likes of Ophelia Lovibond, Iain De Caestecker, Saskia Reeves, Patricia Hodge and Sidse Babett Knudsen, this four-part political thriller may not feature particularly biting political commentary in this day and age, but it’s the worth the watch for Hugh Laurie’s excellent performance as an unrepentant, ambitious politician. Watch Roadkill on BBC iPlayer.
Out of Her Mind
Sara Pascoe has finally been given her own BBC sitcom, and it’s just as surreal as you’d expect it to be.
Out of Her Mind teleports viewers into the mind of the comedian, as she battles with heartbreak and news of her sister’s engagement and whilst coming to terms with her best friend’s pregnancy.
Starring Juliet Stevenson (Riviera), Fiona Button (The Split), Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show), Adrian Edmondson (The Young Ones), Navin Chowdhry (Doctor Foster) and Jack Gleeson (Game of Thrones), this BBC Two comedy subverts the traditional sitcom format through the use of animation, scientific explanation and a handful of colourful characters. Watch Out of Her Mind on BBC iPlayer.
This HBO anthology show follows a different character every series, from their very first love to their lasting romance – with season one starring Anna Kendrick as Darby.
Featuring Zoë Chao (Downhill), Peter Back (Someone Great) and Sasha Compere (Miracle Workers), this 10-part romantic comedy takes viewers along on Darby’s dating journey, as she cringes through the bad dates and bonds with best friends over the good ones. Watch Love Life on BBC iPlayer.
This phantom-filled BBC comedy, from the cast of Horrible Histories, follows young married couple, Alison (Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Richie) and Mike (Stath Lets Flats’ Kiell Smith-Bynoe), who after inheriting a dilapidated mansion soon discover that it’s haunted by the previous inhabitants that died on its grounds.
Starring the likes of Martha Howe-Douglas (Yonderland), Mathew Baynton (Gavin and Stacey), Simon Farnaby (Mindhorn), Lolly Adefope (Shrill), Katy Wix (Not Going Out) and Jim Howick (Sex Education), this six-part chuckle-fest is well worth the watch, especially with season two now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
Me, My Brother and Our Balls
This one-off documentary follows Love Island star Chris Hughes and his brother Ben as they embark on a journey to learn more about fertility after Ben was diagnosed with testicular cancer a few years ago and discovering that he wasn’t producing any sperm.
Throughout Me, My Brother and Our Balls, Chris and Ben learn more about their fertility prospects and how their sperm-counts have changed over the years through chats with their mates down the pub and meetings with the UK’s leading fertility experts. Watch Me, My Brother and Our Balls on BBC iPlayer.
From Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett comes Life – a new drama set in the same universe as the Suranne Jones-led series.
Starring Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey), Peter Davison (Doctor Who), Adrian Lester (Hustle), Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle), Melissa Johns (I Hate Suzie) and Victoria Hamilton as her Doctor Foster character Anna, this six-part series follows the inhabitants of a house in Manchester that’s divided into four flats and their interweaving stories of love, parenthood, loss and self-discovery. Watch Life on BBC iPlayer.
Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens
Comedian and actress Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8, The Farewell) stars in her very own sitcom as Nora, a millennial trying to navigate young adulthood whilst living with her dad (Jurassic Park’s BD Wong) and her grandma (Orange is the New Black’s Lori Tann Chinn). The 10-part series follows Nora as she tries to hold down a job as an estate agent, pursues a DJing career, undergoes several makeovers and fights with her cousin Edmund (Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang) for her grandmother’s affections. Watch Nora From Queens on BBC iPlayer
This new four-part drama boasts a stellar cast including Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves, and is based on the book of the same name by David Nicholls. It follows a family as they embark on the holiday of a lifetime across six countries in just three weeks.
But drama sets in when Connie (Reeves) asks her husband Douglas (Hollander) for a divorce during the holiday, while insisting that they continue with the holiday for the sake of their son, leading to all sorts of cringe-worthy moments and tense arguments. Watch Us on iPlayer.
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing
At once hilarious and life-affirming, this show follows the two beloved comedians and old friends as they spend time fishing together on the country’s riverbanks, searching for a different fish each episode.
Whitehouse is the expert, patiently teaching the art to Mortimer, who is charged with finding the pair places to stay and cooking them up some heart-healthy food, with both of them having recently been diagnosed with heart problems.
Although ostensibly about fishing, the series is as much about friendship and companionship, and is an endlessly heartwarming watch. Following the end of the third series in September 2020, a fourth run was commissioned almost instantly – a testament to the success of the show. Watch Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing on iPlayer
Responsible Child is a blistering drama based on a real-life case, helmed by BAFTA-winning documentary maker Nick Holt and written by Skins’ Sean Buckley.
The drama features a starry cast, including Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley and Strike actor Tom Burke, but the real focus of the story is 12-year-old child actor Billy Barratt (Blinded By The Light, The White Princess) who plays the central role, Ray: an apparently sweet-tempered schoolboy who is a carer for his younger half-siblings, but is later tried for murder. Watch Responsible Child on BBC iPlayer.
Starring Lee Mack, Semi-Detached is a real-time sitcom which follows hapless father and wedding DJ Stuart (Mack) as he struggles to look after a newborn and tries to salvage his relationship with much younger girlfriend April (Ellie White) whilst dealing with his moody teenage daughter, inappropriate Dad and fraudulent brother.
Featuring a cast of seasoned comedy stars, including Neil Fitzmaurice (Peep Show), Clive Russell (Game of Thrones), Samantha Spiro (Sex Education), Sarah Hoare (Chewing Gum) and Patrick Baladi (The Office), each episode of Semi-Detached is a slapstick farce, filled with stressful yet crudely funny moments. Watch Semi-Detached on BBC iPlayer.
With season four – Strike: Lethal White – debuting this Sunday, now is the perfect time to catch up on the previous three series on BBC iPlayer.
Starring Tom Burke, detective drama Strike follows war veteran-turned-private-detective Cormoran Strike (Burke) as he runs around London solving cases the police couldn’t with his partner Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger). Based on JK Rowling’s novels of the same name, this BBC One drama is an entertaining look at crime-solving with a revelatory performance by Burke. Watch Strike on BBC iPlayer.
This cutting sketch show, starring the best of Black British talent, has just begun its third outing on BBC Three, lampooning concepts such as the Nigerian prince that no one emails back whilst broaching serious topics such as postcode wars through silly comedy.
Starring rising comedy stars such as Akemnji Ndifornyen (The Javone Prince Show), Samson Kayo (Timewasters), Vivienne Acheampong (Turn Up Charlie), John MacMillan (Chewing Gum), Tom Moutchi (Pls Like), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Sex Education), Akemnji Ndifornyen (Mandy), Danielle Vitalis (Horrible Histories) and Roxy Sternberg (Chewing Gum), this skit-filled series is worth a watch if you’re in need of a chuckle. Watch Famalam on BBC iPlayer.
US series Good Trouble, starring Maia Mitchell and Cierra Ramirez has joined the BBC’s growing ranks of international imports this week.
The drama, which is a spin-off of Freeform show The Fosters, follows adopted sisters Callie (Mitchell) and Mariana (Ramirez) as they relocate to Los Angeles to begin the next phase of their lives.
With The Producers’ Roger Bart also appearing in the series as a conservative judge for whom Callie works as a clerk, Good Trouble is a hidden gem for those who love fun, coming-of-age dramas. Watch Good Trouble on BBC iPlayer.
Fans of edgier period dramas are in for a treat with Harlots – the latest Hulu series to arrive on BBC iPlayer. Starring Samantha Morton as 18th century brothel madam Margaret Wells, the series centres around a rival between two bordellos in London, the women running them and their upper-class clients.
With a star-studded cast including Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay, Vera Drake’s Leslie Manville, Fleabag’s Hugh Skinner, Lord of the Ring’s Liv Tyler and Green Wing’s Julian Rhind-Tutt, Harlots is a complex drama full of tight corsets, family tension and titillating scenes. Watch Harlots on BBC iPlayer
Mandy, starring Philomena Cunk’s Diane Morgan, is the latest comedy series to land on BBC iPlayer. Originating from an online comedy short, the sitcom follows the titular Mandy, a chain-smoking woman with a dream of breeding Doberman Pinchers, as she attempts to sort out her life, make some money and get a job.
With the likes of Michelle Greenidge (After Life), Maxine Peake (Peterloo), Tom Basden (Plebs), David Bradley (Game of Thrones), Natalie Cassidy (EastEnders) and Michael Spicer (The Mash Report) in its cast, Mandy is an absurdly funny comedy and a perfect 30-minute escape from the world. Watch Mandy on BBC iPlayer
Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads
Alan Bennet’s original Talking Heads monologues from the ’80s and ’90s are so revered that they have found their way onto the school syllabus – and they were given a 2020 refresh as one of the first dramas filmed under lockdown. A star-studded cast including the likes of Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton all provided updated versions of some of the classics, while there were even a couple of brand new monologues thrown in into the bargain. All 12 episodes are well worth a watch – with Bennet’s scripts remaining as razor sharp – and as darkly comic – as they always were. Watch Alan Bennet’s Talking Heads t on BBC iPlayer
American drama Fort Salem is a new addition to iPlayer, focusing on three witches – played by Taylor Hickson, Jessica Sutton and Ashley Nicole Williams – who are enlisted in the US army in an alternative version of present day USA in which persecution of witches ended 300 years ago. As the three train up in combat magic they fight a dangerous foe in the Spree, a group who are opposed to the military conscription of witches. Watch Fort Salem on BBC iPlayer
This classic superhero drama recently arrived on BBC iPlayer for new viewers to become obsessed with, and fans to revisit, 10 years after the series ended.
Heroes, which aired on NBC from 2006 until 2010, follows a group of ordinary people who discover they possess superhuman abilities and subsequently team up to prevent catastrophic events from occurring in the future.
Starring the likes of Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka, Christopher Eccleston, Kristen Bell and Zachary Quinto, this award-winning drama is well worth the watch.
The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty
This revealing three-part documentary looks back on how media mogul Rupert Murdoch built his press empire, the close relationship he and Rebecca Brooks had with Tony Blair government and his fall from grace following the New of the World hacking scandal in 2005.
Featuring interviews like the likes of Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage, Hugh Grant and Steve Bannon, The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty is an absorbing, and sometimes shocking, insight into News Corps history.
US teen drama Katy Keene recently arrived on BBC iPlayer, starring Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale as the titular character – an aspiring fashion designer chasing her dreams in New York City.
This Riverdale spin-off, which only ran for one season, also features Ashleigh Murray, who reprises her role as singer-songwriter Josie McCoy, Julia Chan (Pepper Smith) and Jonny Beauchamp (Jorge/Ginger Lopez) – all of whom play wannabe musicians, trying to make it big in the Big Apple. Watch Katy Keene on BBC iPlayer
The Secrets She Keeps
If you’re looking for a tense miniseries to get hooked on, The Secrets She Keeps is for you. This Australian thriller stars Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael as Agatha, an outsider who becomes obsessed with middle-class mummy blogger Meghan (Jessica de Gouw) and the child she’s expecting.
Based on Michael Robotham’s novel of the same name, this six-part psychological drama is full of tragic twists and shocking revelations that will have you checking over your shoulder regularly.
The Young Offenders
Irish comedy The Young Offenders is back for a third season of slapstick scheming and heartwarming moments.
Starring Alex Murphy and Chris Walley as inseparable petty criminals Conor and Jock, season three explores fatherhood, heists and hilarious hijinks.
The Salisbury Poisonings
This three-part drama, based on the 2018 Novichok poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, looks at the crisis from the views of Public Health officer Tracy Daszkiewicz (Anne-Marie Duff) and police officer Nick Bailey (Rafe Spall).
The fact-based series, which recently aired on BBC One over three consecutive nights, shows the public’s panic after Sergei and Yulia were found poisoned, the great lengths endured by the public authorities to ensure the citizens of Salisbury’s safety and the innocent lives for ever affected by the incident. Watch The Salisbury Poisonings on BBC iPlayer
This nine-part drama looks at the rise of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s America and the outspoken conservative activist Phyllis Schlafy (Cate Blanchett) who was determined to take them and the Equal Rights Amendment down.
With its star-studded cast – Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Tracey Ullman, Elizabeth Banks, Margot Martindale – and true story, Mrs America is a compelling watch, featuring a complexly stunning performance from Blanchett as the pastel-clad anti-heroine. Watch Mrs America on BBC iPlayer
Looking for Alaska
Adapted from John Green’s 2005 novel of the same name, Looking for Alaska follows Culver Creek Academy students Miles (Charlie Plummer), Takumi (Jay Lee), Chip (Denny Love), Lara (Sofia Vassilieva) and Sara (Landry Bender) who, after the death of their friend Alaska (Kristine Froseth), look back on the events that led to it in a search for answers.
This teen drama miniseries, created by The OC’s Josh Schwartz, doesn’t strictly stick to its source material but as a result, develops into a bittersweet look at adolescence with lots of heart. Watch Looking for Alaska on BBC iPlayer
I May Destroy You
This fearlessly raw comedy-drama from Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel explores sexual consent, modern dating and gratification through the lens of a twenty-something woman in London.
The 12-part series follows Arabella (Coel), a novelist who rose to fame through social media and quickly labelled as “the voice of her generation”, as she reassesses her career, friendships and family after being drugged and sexually assaulted in a nightclub.
Also starring Press’ Paapa Essiedu and Inside No. 9’s Weuche Opia as Arabella’s best friends, I May Destroy You is gripping, unmissable drama which makes for important viewing. Watch I May Destroy You on BBC iPlayer
Canada’s Drag Race
We’ve had RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag Race UK, but now it’s time to visit our Canadian cousins. Canada’s Drag Race, which arrived on iPlayer on Friday 3rd July, sees Canada’s finest queens compete for the Drag Race crown over the course of ten episodes (released weekly).
Presented by US Drag Race runner-up and self-proclaimed Queen of the North, Brooke Lynn Hytes, the series challenges the queens to impress judges Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Unreal) and Stacey McKenzie (Canada’s Next Top Model) with their performing, acting, dancing, sewing and comedy skills.
With guest judges Michelle Visage, Tom Green and Elisha Cuthbert due to appear, this export of Canadian drag is not one to miss. Watch Canada’s Drag Race on BBC iPlayer
One of the latest series produced during lockdown, Staged stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant as exaggerated versions of themselves, attempting to rehearse a play over Zoom amid the coronavirus chaos. The six episodes are only 15-to-20 minutes long, but they’re packed full of witty banter and the actors’ insights into life stuck indoors. Watch Staged on BBC iPlayer
This explosive drama from playright Mike Bartlett stars national treasure Suranne Jones as a GP Gemma Foster who begins to suspect her husband of 14 years is having an affair. With two seasons of suspicion and betrayal to binge through, Doctor Foster is the perfect edge-of-your-seat watch, as viewers witness Gemma’s gradual descent into adultery-based paranoia. Also starring Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer and Bertie Carvel. Watch Doctor Foster on BBC iPlayer