What’s new to watch on BBC iPlayer? May 20th, 2023

BBC iPlayer

From 20-26 May on iPlayer we’re travelling across the UK and beyond.

We’re headed up to Leeds with Sara Pascoe for the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee, making the trip to Norway for new comedy drama Afterglow, and investigating the history of The Troubles in the revealing documentary boxset Once Upon A Time in Northern Ireland.

We’re also headed up to Scotland, going to Glasgow for crime drama Annika, and Dundee for Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Finally we’re in west London for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

What’s coming new to BBC iPlayer this week?

The Great British Sewing Bee

Sara Pascoe welcomes 12 sewers to the Sewing Bee in Leeds. Judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young want to see how the newbies deal with ‘Classics with a Twist’. For their first Pattern Challenge, the sewers make a top with a twist at its centre, which is a straightforward construction with a tricky brain-teaser.

For the 90-minute Transformation Challenge, they take the office uniform – a pencil skirt and blouse – and give it their own personal twist to reflect their style.

Finally, in the Made to Measure round, the sewers meet their models for the first time and attempt to perfectly fit a dress that has cut-out details. Who will impress the judges and win Garment of the Week, and whose hopes of staying in the competition won’t last beyond week one?


Norwegian comedy drama. Ester Sand, the one person you think will live forever, finds out she has cervical cancer on her 40th birthday. After the initial shock wears off, Ester comforts the people in her life, and she has no intention of leaving the world just yet. A story of love and life and all of the glorious and silly things we do before we die.

Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

25 years on from a peace agreement being reached, Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland shares intimate, unheard testimonies from all sides of the conflict. From the makers of the award-winning series Once Upon a Time in Iraq.

Featuring personal accounts from people who lived through The Troubles, sharing intimate stories from all sides of the conflict. The powerful new five-part documentary series combines personal accounts with archive footage to tell the story of the people and communities who had to live with violence on an everyday basis and are still dealing with its legacies today.


Witty, enigmatic DI Annika Strandhed heads up the marine homicide unit, tasked with solving murders in and around Scotland’s waters. Starring Nicola Walker, and based on the BBC Radio 4 drama Annika Stranded. Having recently transferred to Glasgow along with her teenage daughter, Annika and her new team are called in to solve the murder of a man found in the Clyde, a harpoon piercing his head.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend

Kicking off the festival season with a bang, the biggest names and hottest new artists perform exclusively for Radio 1 and thousands of fans in an incredible weekend of live music. Featuring a headline performance on Friday from Jamie XX.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Beautiful blooms, dazzling designs and prize-winning plants as gardeners go for gold at the world’s most famous flower show from the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Coverage begins with Nicki Chapman and Angellica Bell having exclusive access to the glitz and glamour of the opening day of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. They are joined by a team of gardening experts, including Rachel de Thame, who travels the world without even leaving the showground, and Toby Buckland, who shows us how to upgrade our gardens the Chelsea way.

Carol Klein is searching out the hidden treasures we are all going to want in our gardens, while James Wong uncovers the secrets to our lawns. And, as the show hosts its very first wedding, Nicki gets a lesson in creating floral garlands worthy of any celebration.

What’s new to watch on BBC iPlayer now?

I Kissed A Boy

Get ready for the UK’s first ever gay dating show, where the path to love is never straight. It’s loud, it’s proud… and it all starts with a kiss.

The wait is over. In the spotlight, just boys who like boys. Fly in pop icon Dannii Minogue to play cupid, and it’s the party you don’t want to miss.

Ten single guys are matched up, and meet for the first time… with a kiss. No small talk. No messages. Just one kiss to test out their chemistry straight away. Will it be a polite peck? Or a passionate snog? And ultimately, will that first kiss lead to love?

Dannii Minogue has welcomed ten single guys to Italy to stay in a beautiful country house called the Masseria. Before the summer of love starts, the boys are matched up based on what they’re looking for in a partner. After meeting their match for the first time with a kiss, the boys are encouraged to get to know them and give their new relationship a good shot.

But ultimately, they have to do what’s right for them. Because in this show, EVERYONE is a possibility. And as the new couples settle into the masseria, they’ll discover there’s always room for one more at this party…

Steeltown Murders

A true crime drama in two time periods. Set in both 1973 and the early 2000s, Steeltown Murders centres on the hunt to catch the killer of three young women in the Port Talbot area and the remarkable story of how – in the first case of its kind – the mystery was solved almost 30 years later using pioneering DNA evidence.

Contrasting the policing methods of the 1970s with the forensic breakthroughs of the early Noughties, Steeltown Murders is a portrait of a town dealing with the repercussions of an unsolved case three decades on, and asks if justice can ever truly be found.

Ten Pound Poms

In dreary post-war Manchester, Annie Roberts is at her wits’ end when husband Terry spends all his wages down the pub. Desperate for a better life for her children, Annie responds to an emigration advert that promises Brits a prosperous new life in Australia for a tenner.

Expecting whitewashed houses and sun-soaked adventures, the Roberts family arrive in Sydney to find life down under isn’t quite what they’ve been sold.

Waterloo Road

A new term gets underway back at Waterloo Road, returning for series 12.

When the old collides with the new, a perfect storm strikes the school. A community football match gets underway, and as Dwayne clashes with a new pupil whose arrival causes fireworks, he continues to rebel – finding himself trapped in a dangerous situation. Faced with the realities of fatherhood, Joe and Mike begin to question their future.

Elsewhere, Kai struggles with his feelings for Preston, and Danny makes a bold move as his future hangs in the balance. Kim has an uphill battle on her hands, and as she tries to introduce a new initiative to the school, she’s rocked by a blast from the past.


The charming Australian comedy drama returns for a third series.

Jacinda’s first day of kindergarten promises a new start for Oly and Santi until unexpected news spins Oly off her axis.

  • Watch Bump series three in full from Friday 19 May on BBC iPlayer

Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction

Musician, actor and dad of three, Matt Willis, may seem to have it all. He’s part of the hugely successful noughties pop band, Busted, has a flourishing acting career and is happily married to TV presenter Emma Willis, with whom he has three kids. But behind the success, there is one thing that often dominates his thoughts – his addictions.

In this raw and honest documentary, Matt opens up about his past and takes an extensive look into his battle with drugs and alcohol, how it has pushed him to the edge, and his daily struggle to keep himself clean and sober, talking about how he constantly lives with the fear of relapse and the pressure that puts on himself and his family.

11 Minutes: America’s Deadliest Mass Shooting

22,000 fans are in Las Vegas for a celebration of country music. Headliner Jason Aldean launches into his first set – then the gunfire starts.

Amid the confusion, groups of friends and families try to flee but get separated. An off-duty firefighter rescues the wounded as instinct takes over. Running left or running right could mean life or death.

Through emotional first-hand accounts and never-before-seen archival footage, this series recounts the largest mass shooting in US history, the 2017 Las Vegas Harvest music festival.

Get Set Galactic

This science-based gameshow sees two teams of young scientists visit S.T.A.R.S (Space Technology & Research Station) to take on a meteoric mission of fun challenges and win out-of-this world prizes.

First, they must work out if an object is heavier or lighter than another before placing it on a giant set of scales. Then the young scientists have to complete a huge fossil by digging for dinosaur parts in ball pits. Finally, the teams must make their way across a giant inflatable version of the solar system.

Can they get from Neptune to Mercury by stepping on every planet in the right order without getting knocked by the swinging stars?

Therapy: Tough Talking

Rapper, actor, and writer Kema Kay is struggling with his mental health. A difficult and tragic childhood have contributed to his doctor’s prognosis that he could be suffering from depression in his adult life. Having been advised to try therapy, Kema bravely allows cameras inside his therapy sessions to follow his progress.

The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show

Chris and Rosie Ramsey return for a second series. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, the always up-for-a-laugh, always startlingly honest husband and wife presenting duo will be joined by another celebrity couple to poke fun at life, relationships, annoyances, parenting and absolutely everything in between, as well as sharing their relationship highs and, let’s face it, most importantly, their ‘beefs’.

Other popular elements include Please Keep Me Anonymous, where a well-known face reads out some terrifying audience confessions, and It Goes Or I Go, where audience members compete to rid themselves of something their loved one just refuses to remove from the house.

Blue Bag Life

A Storyville documentary. Filmed entirely on her mobile phone, the UK artist and filmmaker, Lisa Selby turns the camera on herself as she tries to understand her relationship with her late mother and her partner who is in prison — both heroin addicts. It leads to an exploration of her own feelings about becoming a mother. Won the audience award at the 2022 London International Film Festival.

Turkey: Empire of Erdogan

A documentary from BBC News tells the inside story of Erdogan’s astonishing rise to power. With first-hand testimony from former president Abdullah Gul, former prime ministers, deputy PMs, party chiefs, opposition figures, analysts and journalists, this two-part series is a gripping and detailed account of the many battles Erdogan has had to fight along the way.

Black Ops

This six-part comedy thriller is set in East London and tells the story of Dom and Kay, two Police Community Support Officers who join the Met Police in the hope of cleaning up their community. But when they go undercover to thwart a violent criminal gang, they soon discover they are in way over their heads.

Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make Up Star

Get ready to witness the ultimate make-up showdown in the fifth series of Glow Up, welcoming brand new host – supermodel Leomie Anderson. Ten new make-up artists compete to impress on set at Bridgerton and produce revealing make-up transformations at Glow Up Studios. Only one MUA can emerge victorious, while the other must say goodbye and leave the competition for good. Who will triumph in this epic battle of beauty?

Clive Myrie’s Italian Road Trip

Clive Myrie is on an epic journey across his beloved Italy to explore iconic cities, discover hidden gems and experience the rich local culture in his search for la dolce vita. He begins in Puglia, in the heart of southern Italy, where the sun shines brightest but foreign tourists are relatively few. Driving his red Fiat down the same roads as Daniel Craig’s Aston Martin, Clive discovers how the James Bond franchise helped turn an abandoned town into a world heritage site, finds out why Puglia is the gay holiday capital of Italy, and learns to play in a traditional pizzica band.

Sing for the King: The Search for the Coronation Choir

Across the four corners of Britain, on stages and behind closed doors, hundreds of communities, friends, neighbours and colleagues are getting together to experience the power, joy and togetherness singing in a choir brings.

As the nation prepares for the coronation of King Charles III, a very special choir is given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to sing their hearts out for the King and Queen Consort and the millions watching around the world at the coronation concert in Windsor Castle. Ready to roll up their sleeves and put the choirs through their paces are celebrity mentors Gareth Malone, Motsi Mabuse, Amanda Holden and Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Amol Rajan Interviews

Amol Rajan returns for a second series, in which he interviews the global, era-defining pioneers, leaders and maverick thinkers who are shaping a rapidly changing 21st-century world. The second series begins with Amol joining Sir Richard Branson on one of his cruise ships in Miami to discuss his life, loves, passions and challenges.

In a sometimes uncomfortable interview with rarely seen archive footage, Rajan delves into Branson’s background to discover how he went from 60s hippy to global business icon, re-shaping multiple industries and ending up in space.


Award-winning thriller, Guilt, returns for its third, and final outing as brothers Max and Jake find themselves back in Scotland where the welcome isn’t as warm as they’d hoped for.

Max is running a pub in Chicago with Jake but the business is floundering. After their money worries take an unexpected turn, the brothers are deported back to Edinburgh where enemies old and new cause them to seek ever more desperate solutions to their problems.

Inside No. 9

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith return alongside a host of stars for more darkly twisted comic tales, in their award-winning anthology series.

The eighth series begins with Mother’s Ruin, a story about East End villains Harry and Annie Blackwood – a pair who were rotten to the core and did some truly horrible things when they were alive. What secrets did they take to their grave? Their sons plan to find out.

The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld

A look at the fashion icon that was Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most flamboyant and recognisable figures in fashion – and one of the most mysterious. His influence was immeasurable, from the Chanel catwalk to the high street – but how many people ever really knew the real Karl Lagerfeld?

Weaving investigations in the present with Lagerfeld’s biography – illustrated by illuminating and much unseen archive footage – this film shows his profound and lasting effect on those around him, including his beloved cat Choupette.

Little Richard: King and Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll 

Little Richard can stake a claim on having invented rock ‘n’ roll. A black artist who grew up in the segregated south of the United States, Richard Penniman broke down barriers and took 1950s America by storm. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones supported him and drew inspiration from his musicianship and stagecraft. He went on to influence artists as diverse as David Bowie, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Prince.

Yet Little Richard spent years feeling his contribution to music had been overlooked in favour of white rock ‘n’ roll stars like Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. On top of that, the inner conflict between his religious beliefs and the music style he pioneered – as well as his battles with his own sexuality – led him to quit rock ‘n’ roll not just once, but twice.

Featuring interviewees including Ringo Starr, Keith Richards, Nile Rodgers and Big Freedia, alongside intimate contributions from friends, bandmates and the never-before-broadcast words of Little Richard himself, this is the story of a rollercoaster life, with musical highs and knuckle-biting lows, that makes the case for Richard being crowned king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Nelly and Nadine: Ravensbrück, 1944

Storyville documentary about a remarkable love story of two women who fell in love with each other in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. One of Nelly’s granddaughters opens up the family archive and discovers the true nature of her grandmother’s sexuality and why it was hidden by the family.

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