Alternative World Cup viewing on Freeview

12 Dec • 7 min read

Still upset that your nation is already out of the World Cup? Or are you just not a fan of the whole thing altogether? That’s fine. For one reason or another, it might feel like all anyone’s talking about at the moment is the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that’s the only thing on offer right now.

Despite the tournament coverage still dominating BBC and ITV for the next week or so, there are a host of new series to get stuck into, as well as a few classics to keep you occupied as we enter the festive period. These are a few of our favourites:

The English

Set in 19th century America, The English is a thrilling six-part series starring Emily Blunt in a rare small screen role for the star. Blunt’s character, Cornelia Locke, goes on a relentless pursuit after the man she believes is responsible for her son's death. But revenge isn’t the only theme on the cards for the show that sees Amazon Prime collaborating with the BBC for the project, which means all episodes are available both live and on BBC iPlayer.

Alongside the star of the show, there’s a host of other top acting talent on display. From the legendary Timothy Spall, to Twilight star, Chaske Spencer - viewers will be blessed with some incredibly nuanced performances from a truly magnificent cast.

Inside Man

Here’s another show from a subscription platform that the BBC has managed to get their hands on too. If you thought The English had a star studded cast, then you’ll be blown away by this one. For Dr Who and Time Lord fans, David Tennant is one of the most recognisable stars of the show, however it’s the supporting cast that really make this thriller what it is.

The BBC iPlayer four-parter, which also includes It’s A Sin’s Lydia West alongside the legendary Stanley Tucci, is dark yet gripping in equal measure. At points, you might find yourselves barely able to watch due to the palpable tension, but the excitement at the twists and turns of the plot keeps you wanting more.

Kavanagh QC

We’ve gone for a throwback here. This ITV classic starring John Thaw delves into the life of barrister James Kavanagh who is equal parts brilliant and complicated. There’s a real Best of British feel to the cast too, with the likes of Oliver Ford Davies and Cliff Parisi starring alongside the legendary Thaw himself.

Even if you managed to catch the action from Kavanagh QC during the show’s original run, we can guarantee it’s just as compelling the second time around. Whether it’s the complexities of murder cases involving the victims’ own family members, or Kavanagh’s personal life intervening with his work, each episode finds a new way to leave you hooked. And best of all, you can watch every episode of series 1 and 2 on ITVX.

Angela Black

In case you somehow missed this ITV thriller from last year, we’re here to remind you what a psychological classic this was. Starring Joanne Froggat, the all-action six-parter is full to the brim with tension from the offset. Our only complaint when this first aired was that we had to wait a week for each episode to air. So our serial bingers out there will be pleased to know that all episodes are available to watch on ITVX.

There aren’t any plans for a second series yet, but we’d love to see just how the chaos unfolds. We’ll have to wait and see if Harry and Jack Williams’ much acclaimed debut series returns for another instalment but if it does, there’s no doubt it’ll be just as gripping as the first!

SAS Rogue Heroes

When we found out Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight was the mastermind behind this adrenaline-fuelled, WWII drama - we knew it wasn’t going to disappoint. Set SAS Rogue Heroes in Cairo in 1941, this BBC adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s best-seller is packed full of undercover operations, explosions, not to mention the odd love story along the way.

There’s a top cast, too. Sex Education’s Connor Swindells, Game of Throne’s Alfie Allen, The Mummy’s Sofia Boutella and The Crown’s Dominic West are all amongst them. Like what you hear? Then head over to BBC iPlayer and immerse yourself in this period masterpiece, you won’t regret it!

So that’s our list of some of the best World Cup alternatives to watch on Freeview. What do you think? As always you can reach us via email, Twitter or Facebook.