Bodyguard snags the top spot on BBC iPlayer

Bodyguard snags the top spot on BBC iPlayer

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Friday, 1st February 2019
David Budd (Richard Madden) (Credit: BBC/BBC Studios)
David Budd (Richard Madden) (Credit: BBC/BBC Studios)

BBC iPlayer has revealed the most requested shows on the platform in 2018.

In 2018, BBC iPlayer received requests for 3.6 billion programmes throughout the year.

Among the top ten requested shows per series included Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Keeping Faith, The Cry, Dynasties, Our Girl, Bing and MOTD Live.

“In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it,” said Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC.

“The challenge for 2019 is how to ensure that audiences can enjoy the full range and breadth of BBC programmes on iPlayer.”

The top five programmes in 2018 were:


5. Keeping Faith

Following the sudden disappearance of her husband and business partner, Faith Howells (Eve Myles) fights to protect her family from the dark truths surfacing about her partner (Bradley Freegard).

With police knocking at her door, Faith’s quest for answers leads her to not only question her husband’s innocence, but also her sanity.

The BBC Wales drama broke records in 2018 with around nine million downloads on BBC iPlayer, with the first episode reaching 3,927,000 requests on the platform.

Keeping Faith will return for a second series on BBC Wales.


4. Doctor Who

Ryan (Tosin Cole), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yaz (Mandip Gill)  (Credit: BBC/BBC Studios)

One of our picks to watch in 2018, Jodie Whittaker stars as The Doctor, a time-travelling alien who travels across the universe to lend a friendly hand to those in need.

The Doctor goes face to face with a new range of baddies including the treacherous Tzim-Sha “Tim Shaw”, accompanied by her companions Yaz (Mandip Gill), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole).

Whittaker’s debut episode as the time-traveller received 3,965,000 requests on iPlayer and a 12th series has been announced for 2020.

All 11 series of Doctor Who are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.


3. McMafia

An adaptation of Misha Glenny's novel of the same name, McMafia is an eight-part drama that aired back in early 2018.

The series centres on Alex Godman (James Norton), a legitimate business owner and son of exiled Russian crime gangster Dimitri Godman (Aleksei Serebryakov).

Alex’s life is thrown into turmoil when his father’s past draws him into a criminal underworld where he fights to survive and protect his family.

Grabbing bronze with over four and a half million requests, the underworld thriller attracted an audience average of 7.1 million viewers on BBC One.

It has been confirmed that McMafia will return for a second series but the air date is yet to be confirmed.


2. Killing Eve

Written by RTS award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the eight-part drama follows a game of cat-and-mouse between M15 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).

As the series progresses, the duo’s game starts to unveil the presence of greater forces, leaving Villanelle with an increasing hit list.

The spy drama racked up over nine million requests on iPlayer, with the second series in production.  

You can watch the first series of Killing Eve on BBC iPlayer.


1. Bodyguard

A six-part conspiracy drama created by Line of Duty showrunner Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard has been crowned as the most popular series of 2018.

Richard Madden stars as police sergeant David Budd, a troubled veteran who earns a major promotion after a heroic act.

Now in charge of Home Secretary Julia Montague MP’s (Keeley Hawes) security detail, David becomes the unsuspecting target of a much larger conspiracy.  

The first episode of Bodyguard became BBC iPlayer’s largest ever episode with the number of requests reaching 10.8 million over the year.

All six episodes of Bodyguard are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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BBC iPlayer has revealed the most requested shows on the platform in 2018.