The best shows that are leaving BBC iPlayer soon


The usual lifespan for a programme on BBC iPlayer, in the UK, is just a month. After that, it disappears until there’s a rerun, meaning you could end up missing out on some great shows purely by accident. So know you’re familiar with the stakes, we present to you some of the highlights currently on iPlayer, but which are due to leave before too long. 

This list is updated weekly so you can always keep track of what BBC iPlayer shows to watch before they leave.

Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70 - Expires 8 December

Featuring interviews from the Royal family, including the Prince of Wales himself, this documentary covers a year in the life of the heir to the British throne. It follows his official duties as he gradually takes over from the Queen, the social and environmental causes he feels passionately about, and his trips abroad to meet the other members of the Commonwealth.

Horizon: Dippy and the Whale - Expires 14 December

In this 2017 edition of the BBC science series, Sir David Attenborough narrates the complex operation to swap Dippy - the diplodocus skeleton cast that hangs over the main hall of the London Natural History Museum, with the skeleton from a real blue whale. The documentary follows the enormous (in several ways) undertaking, and explores why the change was made in the first place.

Surgeons: At the Edge of Life - First episode expires 9 December

A three part series covering surgery between being given the anaesthetic to coming round post-op. These operations are not run-of-the mill procedures either, but newly developed techniques being performed by some of the country’s brightest surgeons with the help of a dedicated team and some clever computer assistance.

The Little Drummer Girl

Based on John Le Carré’s acclaimed novel of the same name, this short series follows Israeli spy Kurtz, his Palestinian terrorist nemesis Khalil, and Charlie, the English actress Kurtz recruits as a double agent to help him. It’s full of twists and thrills like any good spy story, but  the 1970s setting makes it somewhat unique compared to others.

Blackadder Goes Forth - watch until 24 December

Broadcast again to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War, the 1989 comedy series shows life in the British trenches with Captain Edmund Blackadder, apparently the only sane man on the battlefield. It has a silly sense of humour, but it doesn’t ignore the misery of the conflict it depicts.

Not Going Out - watch until 17 December

The ninth series of Lee Mack’s sitcom is the second of the refreshed format, with Lee (the character) and his wife Lucy living in Surrey with their three children. The comedy style, mainly made of fast pun-filled dialogue and visual humour, remains much as it always has.

Need other great shows to watch on iPlayer? Then these BBC iPlayer shows are for you.