iPlayer’s rubbish? Use your imagination

Not everyone who's used the BBC's iPlayer has liked it. And of course, not everyone can use it, given all the restrictions. Andrew comes up with some alternatives...


The BBC’s download service hasn’t exactly been a roaring success. No rights to sports, news, most foreign or independent production has left it rather short of stuff worth downloading.

Or has it? After all, the BBC is there to inspire us. So use your imagination, and of course there’s plenty of exciting programming to watch…

Helicopter HeroesWhat the BBC claim it’s about: Richard Hammond looks at the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which last year helped save his life. A trucker has a miraculous escape after a crash on the M25.

What it’s actually about: Richard Hammond looks at the work of the Yorkshire Air Assassination Squad, which have been continually thwarted in their attempts to kill the gnomeish, faux-nice pixie bastard. A trucker has a miraculous escape after the Squad accidentally think he’s ‘Hammond’.

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Stormont LiveThe BBC claim: Live coverage from Stormont on developments in the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.Actually: Jack Bauer has 24 hours to save the world from a series of increasingly preposterous terrorist threats. But with his own government after him, can he do it? Includes Agricultural Minister’s Question Time.

Britain’s Tallest MenThe BBC claim: Documentary about what it’s like living in Britain when you’re over 7ft tall.Actually:Documentary about what it’s like living in Britain when you’re over 7ft tall, and sworn to protect your tiny compatriots from alien hordes. They hover just over six and a half foot off the ground, see, and the normals can’t see them. Tall people: better than the short ones.

Flog ItThe BBC claim: Paul Martin presents from Nottingham, where experts Adam Partridge and Philip Serell are busy valuing the locals’ antiques and collectables.

Actually: Guns! Bitches! Bling! All of them are found in Nottingham, along with the Headquarters of East Midlands Today and Gavin out of Gavin and Stacey! Watch experts Adam Partridge and Philip Serell consistently miss them appearing behind them with pantomime-esque timing, as they are too busy concentrating all their efforts on some fine Wedgwood pottery uncovered in an elderly couple’s attic.  

Ten Minute Rule BillThe BBC claim: Recorded coverage of the introduction of a Ten Minute Bill in the House of Commons.

Actually: Speaker of the House Michael Martin has ten minutes to introduce a ‘Bill’ to all 646 members of Parliament. This week, Bill Roache from popular television soap Coronation Street gets stuck in a 42-second conversation with fellow Bill, the Conservative member for Leominster Bill Wiggin, on all the jokes they’ve heard over the years about how ‘Bill Stickers will be prosecuted’, and consequently almost doesn’t meet everyone on the Lib Dem benches. Shizzle!World Business ReportThe BBC claim: Presenting not just the headlines, but the explanations behind the headlines, and an examination of the trends in technology and the world of business.Actually: nope. No way you can improve on that. That sounds awesome.

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