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What to watch on BBC iPlayer in January


A list of things you could watch on catch up TV

Start the new year off right by discovering the newest shows and films BBC iPlayer currently has to offer.


Les Misérables

If you’ve always wondered why there’s so much hype around Les Misérables but you’re not a fan of musicals, the BBC has got you covered. This six-part miniseries is based entirely on the original novel by Victor Hugo, often nicknamed “the brick” due to how chunky it is.

Adapted by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Shankland, it stars Dominic West as Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo as Javert, with a supporting cast of stars such as Lily Collins, Olivia Colman and Adeel Akhtar. Though there are no songs involved, the costuming and sets are very similar to the 2012 Tom Hooper film.


The ABC Murders

Having premiered over the Christmas period, The ABC Murders is a television serial based on Agatha Christie's Poirot novel of the same name. Adapted by Sarah Phelps and directed by Alex Gabassi, the cast is led by John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot, offering a different portrayal of the detective than you might be used to.

Set in the 1930s, a time when Britain was dangerously divided and suspicion and hatred were on the rise, the story sees Poirot face a serial killer known only as A.B.C. As the body count rises, the only clue is a copy of The ABC Railway Guide at each crime scene.

Poirot's investigations are continuously thwarted by an enemy determined to outsmart him. If the detective is to match his nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his past and his identity.


Cuckoo BBC Comedy Cuckoo is back for a fifth season this year, with core cast members Greg Davies, Helen Baxendale and Taylor Lautner returning to the screen alongside new face Andie MacDowell.

When the last series finished, Lorna’s new baby had started nursery, Ken lost his job, and Dale was still as naive and entertaining as ever, so whatever the new episodes bring, they’re bound to be a good watch.


Back in Time for School

The popular Back in Time... series format has returned, this time detailing the ins and outs of the last 100 years of education.

Fifteen pupils and three teachers take the challenge in this series, alongside Sara Cox and Polly Russell. There are a lot of historical landmarks to be learned from this show, like the fact that free dinners were originally introduced into the school system way back in 1906 when the Liberal party came into power.



The 2016 live-action Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous 1982 novel is available on iPlayer at the minute, so if you’re looking for something for the whole family to sit down and enjoy, this might be the film for you.

Starring big names such as Mark Rylance, Jemaine Clement and Rafe Spall, the story follows an orphan girl who befriends a benevolent behemoth, dubbed the "Big Friendly Giant", who takes her to Giant Country. Here, they attempt to stop the man-eating monsters that are hell-bent on invading the human world.

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