The TV streaming revolution has, so far, been dominated by US giants. Netflix, Amazon and Apple have deep, dollar-stuffed pockets and their influence is global. Now the UK has entered the market with Britbox. Compared to the heavily hyped Apple TV+ which launched last week, its arrival felt modest. So can this plucky new challenger be a serious contender, beating the flashy Americans at their own game?
BritBox was founded as a joint venture between ITV and the BBC as a way to cash in on their bulging back catalogues and get a toehold in the paid streaming market. Channel 5 later came on-board. When Channel 4 finally joined this week, it meant that content from all the main UK broadcasters would be available through a single platform for the first time.
Certainly, scrolling through the content, there is plenty to like and lots to flat-out love: period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice, Brideshead Revisited and not one but three adaptations of Jane Eyre (reader, I binged them); classic crime series such as Morse, Marple, Poirot, Prime Suspect and Cracker; sitcom favourites including Fawlty Towers, Only Fools & Horses and The Vicar of Dibley.
In the mood for a nostalgic David Attenborough or Michael Palin series? How about Jewel In The Crown, Boys From The Blackstuff or the original House Of Cards? Fancy snuggling up in front of classic British films, from Hitchcock to Carry On? Simply fire up BritBox and enjoy.