New-look iPlayer and rolls out exclusive content.

by | Mar 11, 2014 | All, TV News

The BBC have launched an upgraded Iplayer.

Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC, commented: “This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better. You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world.”

Redesigned from the ground up, the new version of BBC iPlayer brings together a new look and feel with core functionality that is built for the future. It makes finding content simpler, discovering new content easier and allows more options for the curation of content. Playback is richer and the viewing experience is tailored to the device being used by the viewer.

Rolling out from today as an opt-in preview on computer, tablet and mobile browsers – and a range of connected TVs, new BBC iPlayer has:

  • a consistent, optimised, responsive design
  • more advanced recommendations – helping the 42% of BBC iPlayer users who come to iPlayer with nothing in mind to watch
  • smarter search – if you want Top Gear, type ‘To’ and BBC iPlayer will predict your search and offer options – making it easier to find what you want
  • collections – groups of programmes curated around events, themes or moments in time that allows you to find more of the content that matters to you
  • improved access to channels and categories, with both given more prominence – all branded with channel colours and logos
  • image-led navigation
  • the best ever playback experience. We dim the lights and get out of the way
  • a new-look favourites section that updates with the latest episodes available to watch. Recently watched and searched options that allow easy access to programmes you’ve recently viewed and searched for, and resume play that allows you to pick up an episode where you left off

In the coming months, the BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new look and feel – providing audiences with a consistent iPlayer experience across even more devices.

he BBC also announced today a raft of new iPlayer commissions that introduce audiences to new talent, and give established favourites the chance to do something different and innovative.

These include:

  • Original Drama Shorts – Flea, Tag and My Jihad – original films from new young writers and emerging talent. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
  • Original Comedy Shorts – seven original comedies from the likes of Frankie Boyle, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Morgana Robinson, Micky Flanagan, Matt Berry and Stewart Lee. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
  • Acclaimed journalist and storyteller Adam Curtis will bring iPlayer a radical vision of contemporary Britain, exploring the themes of hypocrisy, deception and corruption with his iPlayer trilogy: Out There, At The Mountains Of Madness and Dream Baby Dream. Available on BBC iPlayer from July 2014.
  • A guided tour of Matisse The Cut-Outs Exhibition at Tate Modern by musician and artist Goldie. Available on BBC iPlayer from April 2014
  • The new series premiere of People Just Do Nothing, a show born on BBC iPlayer through the first batch of BBC Three ‘Comedy Feeds’. Available on BBC iPlayer from May 2014
  • BBC Four: Great War Interviews Collection – 13 previously unseen full-length interviews with war veterans and civilians, curated by Sir Max Hastings. Available on BBC iPlayer from today
  • An exclusive BBC iPlayer film ‘My God, It’s Full Of Fans’ to accompany the BBC Two series on the history of science fiction My God, It’s Full Of Stars. Coming soon to BBC iPlayer
  • A Chelsea Flower Show collection – a collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society that takes viewers on an exclusive in-depth tour of the show gardens. Available on BBC iPlayer in May.

Original Drama Shorts is a brand-new, two-year commission for Drama Production and is the first time that we have made authored original content for online not connected to an existing brand.

People Just Do Nothing (May 2014)

A mockumentary about pirate radio station Kurupt FM and its crew.

The writers/performers/creators are a group of friends who had never done anything on television. They filmed themselves doing some five-minute comedy webisodes and put them on YouTube.  After the BBC saw these, they were commissioned to write a full half-hour pilot as part of the very first batch of iPlayer pilots for BBC Three (called ‘Comedy Feeds’). The pilot was the most shared programme on iPlayer during the month of July 2012. It has now been commissioned as a 4×30-minute series for BBC Three.

Comedy Shorts (May 2014)

Seven original comedy shorts starring the finest British Comedians. Each comedian was invited to create a piece exclusively for BBC iPlayer, something they’ve always wanted to write or perform. With no fixed durations, the comedies are as long, as they are funny – these range from an Austro-German medical caper set in the 1940s, to a demented interactive cookery show.

Micky Flanagan’s Foxageddon

Frankie Boyle and Bob Mortimer’s Cookery Show

Reece Shearsmith ‘The Case Of The High Foot’

Channel Morgana

Matt Berry: The Lone Wolf

Stewart Lee: Boom Boom Out Go The Lights

Meera Syal’s Bollywood Fights

My God, It’s Full Of Fans (working title)

Coming soon to BBC iPlayer

This iPlayer film takes us into the world of sci-fi fandom. We’re guided through the fans’ stories by Barry Nugent (The Nuge) and David Monteith (Monts) aka the co-founders of The Geek Syndicate website and podcasts. Science Fiction fans are as important as the creators in making the genre possible. With internet discussion groups, a lively fan fiction scene, and a growing number of conventions and previews, the fans are playing a role in the genre as never before.

This iPlayer film will accompany the BBC Two series on the history of science fiction ‘My God, It’s Full Of Stars’

Adam Curtis Trilogy

Available on BBC iPlayer from July 2014

Adam Curtis will be creating a trilogy of projects specifically for BBC iPlayer. His aim is to explore the new possibilities for storytelling that iPlayer has opened up.

“BBC iPlayer is far more than just a way of repeating programmes,” he says, “I don’t think we have fully understood what the new opportunities it offers are. But it frees one from the constraints of scheduling and format on the traditional TV channels – and I think that may allow stories to become far more emotionally involving and complicated.”

Curtis’s three projects will be very different in the stories they tell – and how they tell them. But taken together they will be an investigation into how power really works in today’s world.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


All the latest TV news and TV listings from the staff of the site.


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