With many TV-lovers turning to streaming sites for all their entertainment needs during lockdown, ITV and the BBC have teamed up to create BritBox – their on-demand service which boasts a vast collection of the broadcasters’ best series, as well as much-loved titles from Channel 4 and Channel 5.
While subscriptions begin at £5.99/month, the platform is now home to some of the biggest British boxsets, from the likes of Downton Abbey and Gavin & Stacey, to the Vicar of Dibley and Midsomer Murders.
The streamer has also ventured into producing exclusive content, with a brand new series of Spitting Image now available to watch for BritBox users.
Read on for the best BritBox television picks from the RadioTimes.com staff, from Love Island to Miss Marple.
Satirical series Spitting Image is back after 24 years off the air to lampoon the politicians and celebrities of the 21st century, exclusively for BritBox subscribers.
The puppet-based show, which originally aired on ITV from 1984 until 1996, has returned to take a pop at the biggest names on the planet, from Donald Trump and Kanye West, to Adele and Greta Thunberg. With 100 new cartoonish puppets making their Spitting Image debut on BritBox, there’s plenty of fresh material for fans of the long-running series as well as viewers who’ve never seen the original.
The Vicar of Dibley
This sinfully funny sitcom was one of our top Lockdown Binges earlier in the year, and with good reason – Dawn French answers all our prayers as Geraldine Granger, a left-leaning vicar and bonne vivante who rocks up to the sleepy village of Dibley and turns it upside down.
The series first aired back in the mid-90s when female vicars were still a novelty, but new viewers will find that the show still provides laughs aplenty, alongside sneaking in some still-prescient messages about sexism and body positivity.
The sitcom also features a cast of memorable and eccentric characters.
The film adaptation of this hugely popular period drama from Julian Fellowes recently dominated the box office both at home and overseas. Now, you can catch-up with everything that preceded it, with all episodes of the television series available to stream now on BritBox.
Set in 1912, the series begins by introducing you to the Crawley family and their servants who inhabit the Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey. Over the course of the series, famous events from history will shake them to their core.
The first series stars Hugh Bonneville (Paddington), Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) and Dan Stevens (Beauty & The Beast).
This crime drama starring Academy Award winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) received critical acclaim when it first aired on ITV back in 2013.
Series 1 begins with the murder of an 11-year-old boy in the small coastal town of Broadchurch, with DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Colman) called in to investigate. All three series are available to stream.
Only Fools and Horses
One of the most iconic sitcoms the BBC has ever made, Only Fools and Horses remains a firm favourite decades after it originally aired. The series stars David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Delboy and Rodney Trotter, market traders chasing the dream of one day becoming millionaires.
Remembered for both its hilarious jokes and occasionally emotional moments, seven series of the show are available to stream on BritBox at launch.
Gavin & Stacey
Soon to be returning to screens for a much-anticipated Christmas special, Gavin & Stacey tells the charming story of a boy from Essex (Matthew Horne) and a girl from Barry Island (Joanna Page) who fall in love, following the highs and lows of their sometimes challenging relationship.
The series was created by James Corden and Ruth Jones, who also co-star as the unlikely pairing Smithy and Nessa, alongside a superb supporting cast that includes Larry Lamb, Alison Steadman and Rob Brydon.
Ricky Gervais followed up his breakout hit The Office with a series that rivals it in terms of sheer laughs, cringe and heart. The series follows Andy Millman (Gervais), a wannabe actor who is stuck being a silent extra in the background of major productions.
With gormless friend Maggie (Ashley Jensen) and useless agent Darren (Stephen Merchant) in tow, Extras holds a treasure trove of hilariously awkward scenes but can also pack an emotional punch exactly when it needs to.
Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Poirot
Murder-mystery fans are well catered for on BritBox, with Agatha Christie adaptations Miss Marple and Poirot available to stream on the new service.
Both Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie have played Marple in ITV’s adaptations, an elderly lady with a penchant for solving murders in her spare time.
Meanwhile, French detective Poirot belonged solely to actor David Suchet across 13 popular series that saw every single one of the character’s stories adapted.
Love it or loathe it, there’s no getting away from it. ITV2’s Love Island is a hugely popular show for the broadcaster and now fans can catch up with every previous series on BritBox.
The reality competition brings a selection of young singles to a luxury villa in Mallorca, where they must couple up or risk elimination. The winning pair receives £50,000 of prize money.
Lambs Of God
BritBox is the exclusive UK home to Lambs of God, an Australian miniseries starring Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Jessica Barden (The End of the ****ing World).
The gothic drama tells the story of three nuns in an isolated coastal convent, whose lives are changed by the arrival of an unwelcome guest.
The long-running murder-mystery series is a genuine British institution, so it’s quite appropriate that it has a prime position on this quintessentially British streaming service.
All 20 series of the show are available to stream on BritBox, including two never-before-seen episodes that are making their world premiere on the service.
Martin Freeman stars in this drama which tells the true story of DS Stephen Fulcher, who breaches police protocol and puts his reputation on the line while investigating the case of missing 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan.
The series also stars Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey) and Charlie Cooper (This Country).
This adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novels tells a fictionalised story about the real-life Tudor figure Thomas Cromwell. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) takes the lead role, among a formidable cast that includes Damian Lewis (Homeland), Claire Foy (The Crown), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Far From Home).
The series aired on BBC Two in 2015 to critical acclaim and can now be streamed in its entirety.
Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan play themselves in this unusual sitcom, which sees the two actors take a restaurant tour of Northern England.
While not brimming with belly laughs in the manner of the pair’s other comedy works, it’s hard not to be drawn in by their natural charisma and playful banter, as well as the overarching story that connects every episode.