BBC iPlayer adds some festive sparkle

Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programmes.Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer
Date: 14.12.2015     Last updated: 14.12.2015 at 12.00
Category: BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer adds some festive sparkle with its launch on the all-new Apple TV, update to mobile apps and exclusive programming.

Christmas has come early for BBC iPlayer fans, with the launch on new Apple TV from today, just in time for the BBC’s bumper line-up of Christmas programming.

And, following the launch of BBC Store in November, people who use BBC iPlayer’s native mobile and tablet apps and sign-in will now be able to stream their BBC Store purchases directly from the app, as well as receive programme recommendations personalised to their tastes and preferences.

This festive season also brings a range of exclusive programmes to iPlayer only, from some of our viewers’ favourite BBC shows to give them something extra to get excited about:

Luther: The Journey So Far
This BBC iPlayer exclusive is a fast-paced, high-octane journey through Luther series 1-3. Whether you’re a super fan, occasional viewer or completely new to Luther, it’s a thrilling rollercoaster that will set you up perfectly for the new two-part special coming soon to BBC One. Luther: The Journey So Far is available exclusively on BBC iPlayer now.

Star Wars at the BBC
Peter Serafinowicz digs into the BBC’s archive to find the biggest Star Wars actors and characters from the Seventies appearing on shows like Blue Peter, Pebble Mill and Ask Aspel. The footage, most of which hasn’t been seen since its original broadcast, gives a fascinating and hilarious insight into how the UK reacted to the original films. And we finally get to find out whether Mark Hamill appeared in Coronation Street. Star Wars at the BBC will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 16 December at midday.

EastEnders: Back To Ours, Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright
Previous episodes of the Back To Ours series have clocked up over 3.8 million views on BBC iPlayer, and the ever-popular exclusive, Back To Ours, is back for a New Year’s Day special. Join Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright as they relive their greatest EastEnders moments as Mick and Linda. Back To Ours gives EastEnders fans the chance to see their favourite cast members talking about their most infamous moments. Watch Danny and Kellie upstairs in The Queen Vic and hear personal funny stories, their unique insights into production and just the odd bit of cockney rhyming slang. EastEnders: Back To Ours, Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 7.30pm.

The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches
Get to know our superstar coaches Paloma Faith, Boy George, Ricky Wilson and will.i.am, and get an exclusive first look at the brand new series in The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches. Snuggle up with the fab four on The Voice UK sofa, and get to know them as they get to know each other and reveal their innermost secrets, fears, fashion faux pas, favourite songs, food items and of course, their love for their teams and each other. The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 6am.

Matt Berry Does… Happy New You
Enter 2016 with renewed vigour, as Matt Berry invites you to celebrate your post-Christmas over-indulgence in this New Year episode of his comic documentary series Matt Berry Does… exclusively for BBC iPlayer. Matt Berry Does… Happy New You will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 9pm.

Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer, says: “Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programmes. With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we've been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC programmes. And, the updates to our mobile and tablet apps mean we can now deliver more personalised recommendations of BBC programmes to viewers, as well as the ability to stream BBC Store purchases directly from the iPlayer app.”

These updates add to the features launched on BBC iPlayer earlier this year, making it a more personalised for viewers. These include:

  • My Programmes – where you can find the shows you’ve favourited, programmes you’ve started watching but not finished, as well as programmes purchased on BBC Store
  • Live Restart on Connected TVs – allowing you to skip back to the start of a programme if you’ve missed the beginning
  • Cross-device pause and resume – letting you start watching programmes on one device and continue from where you’ve left off on another
  • Recommendations of BBC programmes personalised to you – helping you find more of what you like on the BBC

BBC iPlayer is available on over 10,000 devices in the UK for free, from computers and smartphones to tablets and Connected TVs. 2014 was a record-breaking year for BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio, which saw 3.5bn TV and radio programme requests across all devices and the catch-up window extend from seven to 30 days.

MA/IW