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How To Watch British TV Programmes Online

Are you a fan of the British TV shows? If so, this article is for you. You are going to find the best ways to watch your favorite shows online from UK, US or anywhere in the World.

All the major British channels (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Demand 5) have an important online presence, and they allow people to watch their programmes online. It is the so-called “catch-up service,” and it is free for Internet users in the UK.

For US Internet users, Hulu has a British section that makes available a lot of the BBC shows like South Riding, Scott & Bailey, Small Island, The 39 Steps, London Hospital and many more.

There are also solutions for those located in other parts of the World. Read on!

What you need

To be able to watch TV shows online the most important thing that you need is a broadband Internet connection. Some TV channels have the option to download the shows, but if you want to see them streamed online, then the watching experience is directly proportional to the speed of your Internet connection. Further, you need one of the followings:

  • A computer (Mac/PC) or laptop to play the programmes on your favorite browser.
  • A mobile device on iOS or Android.
  • A gaming device like PlayStation (PS3, PS4) or XBox.
  • A streaming player device: Roku or Google Chromecast.

List of British channels

If you have a solid Internet connection and a streaming device you may start searching for the preferred TV channel and show. The list below presents the most popular British TV channels that make their shows available online and also the devices you may use to watch them.

Channel Availability Devices
BBC iPlayer Free in the UK PC/Mac, iOSAndroidRokuGoogle Chromecast, Now TV, PS3PS4XBox
ITV Player Free in the UK PC/Mac, iOSAndroidNOW TVPS3
Channel 4 Free in the UK PC/Mac, iOSAndroidRokuNow TV, PS3, PS4XBox
Demand 5 Free in the UK PC/Mac, iOSAndroidRoku, Now TV, PS4XBox
Hulu (British) Free in the US PC/Mac, AndroidRokuPS3PS4XBox

Popular British TV shows

Do you have a hard time choosing a TV show to watch? I am going to offer you some help and list several great programmes (maybe not the most popular, but some that we like):

TV Show Channel
Uncle BBC iPlayer
The Bridge BBC iPlayer
Vicious ITV Player
Benidorm ITV Player
Black Mirror Channel 4
Dates Channel 4
Educating Yorkshire Channel 4
Secrets of the Living Dolls Channel 4
Blackout Channel 4

Feel free to share your favorite in the comments.

Programme Downloads from BBC iPlayer

Are you planning to travel and want to get your favorite show with you? You may download programmes from BBC iPlayer and store them on your laptop.

Here is how:

Step 1. Install BBC iPlayer Downloads (available for both Windows and MacOS).

Step 2. Next, go to BBC iPlayer and search the show you want to download.

Step 3. Click on the Download link:

Step 4. Choose the quality of the video (SD or HD):

Step 5. Go to BBC iPlayer Downloads app and start watching the show.

Thus, you will be able to take the episodes that you want to watch on your holiday without needing an Internet connection.

Are you an expat, are you traveling or you are simply a fan of British programmes? You may still access them online.

As you probably noticed already, the sites that stream British TV shows online are restricted to UK Internet users, or in case of Hulu, to US users. The good news is that there is a simple workaround that allows everyone, from anywhere in the World, to access these site.

Two technical solutions are available at this time:

  • Hide your IP address and show a public IP address of a UK or US server. This can be achieved either using a proxy server or a VPN service. Recommended service: HideMyAss.
  • Use DNS servers that tricks the streaming sites to believe that you are located in UK/US. There are several good DNS services (aka SmartDNS) that offer this solution. Recommended service: ibDNS.


There are a ton of great British TV that deserves watching, and the beauty is that most of them are available online. Either you choose BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4 or Demand 5 you will enjoy many hours of good time. Even if you are located outside the UK you may still get access to British shows by using VPN or DNS-based solution. Enjoy!

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