Brits Abroad – What They Love to Watch on TV

Brits Abroad – What They Love to Watch on TV

In years gone by, many expats, and those travelling the globe, pined for superior British TV shows. While many living abroad enjoy an outdoorsy lifestyle in sunnier climes, there are still times they crave snuggling up in front of the TV to watch a classic British programme. Foreign TV stations are OK for 20 minutes in a hotel room, but for long-term viewing most foreign channels just don’t cut it. Good old UK TV is a British institution missed all over the world.


How to Watch UK TV Abroad

Since the dawn of the internet, streaming websites have allowed expats in certain countries the luxury of watching their preferred TV shows. Free access has depended upon geographical location as almost every single UK TV service is blocked outside of the UK. Even catch-up services have in the past been impossible or hard to watch for British citizen who are living, working or retiring overseas. There are, however, a number of ways expats can get to view their British favourites.

In more recent times, Virtual Private Network (VPN) services have allowed Brits abroad to bypass geographical restrictions and visit streaming sites through local VPN endpoints. While technically, there’s an issue of rights between viewer and broadcaster, the access is legal in most countries (apart from Belarus, China, Iraq, Oman, Turkey UAE) and allows people to watch tv from anywhere in the world.

VPNs essentially protect your privacy and can be used to relocate your computer or mobile device by offering access to an IP address at a different location. For example you can set your computer, tablet or phone to think it is still in the UK. It’s a sneaky work around that’s enabling Brits all over the world to keep abreast of their favourite TV shows. On online guides you can view more information about VPN's and how to use them to view television content worldwide.

YouTube is also becoming more popular with old/current content being uploaded on a daily basis. For example, programmes like Match of the Day can be viewed usually a fe whours or a day after it has been broadcoast like on the BBC. Users are able to upload content legally by complying with copyright legislation, for example you will see some YouTube videos in smaller viewing format.


Most Watched British TV Shows Abroad

As well as popular sports such as rugby and football, with big games largely streamed on SKY and other pay-per-view channels, there are a whole collection of favourite UK TV shows watched all over the world. Most people travelling or living abroad will tell you a few things they miss about home, and the list usually includes fish and chips, a cup of British tea, and a favourite TV programme.

These days, living or travelling abroad doesn’t mean you have to miss out on British TV favourites. For a bit of fun, we’ve looked at some of the most exported British TV programmes and the most popular shows on streaming sites. British TV is loved across the world.

Here are some of the most popular tv shows for Brits abroad:


1. Soaps

We’ve lumped these together, but we guarantee many Brits outside of the UK will have continued to keep up with their favourite soap. Whether EastEnders, Coronation Street or Emmerdale Farm, a regular peek at British life in soap form brings a little bit of England to homes abroad.


2. X Factor

Loved or hated it’s a worldwide singing success. Everyone has tuned in at some point or another to Simon Cowell’s competition to find the next singing superstar. It’s just finished its 13th season so whether you love it or not, you can’t argue against its success.


3. Strictly Come Dancing

British reality TV at its best. The ballroom and Latin dance competition featuring celebrities paired with professional dancers is a rip-roaring success. The format has been exported to over 40 other countries already.


4. Downton Abbey

Set in the early 20th-century, this truly British, award-winning drama follows the life of the Crawley family and its servants. It’s a much loved British drama.


5. Homes Under the Hammer

Really! Following the UK property auction trade, it’s a reminder to folks afar why they moved abroad in the first place.


6. Midsomer Murders

Based on the crime novels by Caroline Graham, you can’t get more quintessentially British than a Midsomer Murder. In this drama series, crimes are committed (and solved) in the wealthy and isolated rural county of Midsomer. It’s a wonder there’s anyone left!


7. Planet Earth

In fact, all of David Attenborough’s natural history documentaries are immensely popular. It’s hardly surprising since they are masterpieces, each and every one of them.


8. Top Gear

It’s the most popular factual entertainment show in the UK, and it’s loved by petrol heads all over the world.


9. The Great British Bake Off

Yet another British institution, the baking competition, historically hosted by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, takes British baking to a whole new level. Moving from the BBC to Channel 4 for the next series, it’s yet to be seen how much the format will be changed. Mary, Sue and Mel won’t be jumping ship.


10. Sherlock

A brilliant and contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories in 21st century London. It’s thrilling and surprisingly funny.


11. Doctor Who

Doctor Who is another premium drama with high production values. It’s not surprising that it’s loved from afar. A classic science-fiction with a cult following it follows the adventures of a time-travelling scientist who moves through time zones in a Police Box named the Tardis.


12. Keeping Up Appearances

Making a mockery of Middle England’s snobbery, this is a peculiar British comedy about the social standing of Hyacinth Bucket. It’s been sold to overseas broadcasters more than any other show. It’s one not just Brits love to watch.


13. Christmas Specials

From Mrs Brown’s Boys to Wallace and Gromit and The Vicar of Dibley, Christmas TV shows are an inevitable part of the Christmas routine. Flopping in front of the TV after a huge Turkey feast followed by a Christmas Day walk is as much a ritual as the Turkey itself. And Jools’ Annual Hootenanny is a New Year’s Eve institution (even if it gets seen on iPlayer the next day). It’s a time the whole world (at least anyone with a British connection) wants to tune in.



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