How to Watch Some Classic BBC iPlayer Comedy Episodes Again

Last Updated on December 18, 2023

BBC iPlayer Comedy Series – BBC Adds Some Classic Episodes

One of the problems with the BBC iPlayer is that it simply can’t cover all the great BBC shows from the past. It’s great for live TV and keeping loads of box sets available for up to two years sometimes. Yet all those classic shows are quite hard to get unless you’ve invested in BritBox, even then it’s not available in most of the world.

So it’s great news that the BBC has started putting some more of it’s classic comedies back on the platform so we can watch them again for free.

The latest shows are all from the 1990s and are definitely classics – Dinnerladies, Keeping up Appearances and This Life are all being added shortly.  There’s no guarantee any of these shows will stay permanently but they’re always rotated regularly so you’ll always find some wonderful comedy shows.


The first series of dinnerladies aired from 12th November to 17th December 1998, and the second series ran from 25th November 1999 to 27 January 2000. Both seasons appeared on BBC One.

dinnerladies on bbc iplayer

The dinnerladies are the staff who work in a canteen within a company called HWD Components. The series main characters all work in this room, which has been filmed in front of a live studio audience. In fact there was only one set for the entire series.


The Dinner Ladies – Stage Show

The dinner ladies were based on the second series of BBC One’s comedy show “The Dinner Ladies” which aired in 2008. The first episode was published over a year before the television show premiered, and it is still available online today. It has been written by Simon Nye who also wrote for other British comedies such as “Little Britain”.

This stage play premiered at London’s Soho Theatre in April 2009 with all new cast members playing their original roles from the TV sitcom.  A great experience for lovers of the show or fans of British TV.

Keeping up Appearances – BBC

The next show which will shortly be released on BBC iPlayer is the entire series of the 1990s comedy – Keeping Up Appearances. This will bring back to our screens one of the most memorable comedy characters of all time Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet !).

Keeping up Appearances from USA iPlayer

We will be able to enjoy all five series of the British classic, Keeping Up Appearances starting Tuesday, November 16. The show stars Clive Swift and Patricia Routledge.

This Life – BBC

The final part of this initial release – This Life will come to our screens at the end of November (November 31st).

This Life - BBC iPlayer

The cult drama charts the careers and personal lives of five friends who share a house together as lawyers. There’s lots of actors you may recognize – Amita Dhiri, The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln, Daniela Nardini, Jack Davenport and Jason Hughes.

More BBC Classic Comedies to Come to BBC iPlayer

This seems to be a new strategy to bring back some of the BBC vast archive of comedy classic back to the screen.  You’ll find the   best comedies on iPlayer with a lot more to come over the next few months.

There’s already some wonderful older comedies from the 1990s available. At this very moment you can login and enjoy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, One Foot in the Grave, The Thin Blue Line, Absolutely Fabulous and The Vicar of Dibley. Every one comedy gold and is surprisingly pretty ageless with the exception of some of the fashion.

BBC Classic Comedy Abroad

If you’re on the go or just based outside the UK. You can still watch some classic BBC comedy, all you need is a VPN. A VPN will let you get around digital barriers and watch your favourite TV show from anywhere in the world. This lets you watch on whichever device that suits your needs, stream the BBC from the USA or anywhere!

It’s easy to use and also has a great selection of programmes for people of all ages so it’s great for families too.

Here’s our favourite NordVPN – check their latest deals out and watch BBC iPlayer whenever you like.

Remember it also unlocks all the other British TV channels too including ITV Hub and Channel 4.  Yes you can even watch Coronation Street in the US ! Plus if you switch to an Irish server (all included in subscription) you can catch some Irish shows on RTE too.

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