Freeview shows we can’t seem to live without

27 Feb • 7 min read

With Lent already underway, the Manhattan TV team got thinking about which TV shows we couldn’t bear to give up. Do you have a programme you tune into so religiously it’s simply become a part of your daily routine? Or, do you find yourself searching for a particular show when looking for a good comfort watch?

Some of these beloved shows have been on our screens for decades and are still going strong. Others - despite being cancelled - are still available to watch on demand thanks to our wonderful archive of some of the best British shows of all time.

Still going strong

Despite an influx of new shows being announced on a seemingly daily basis (which isn’t a bad thing), the number of classic shows still available to watch is testament to the fact that some shows are just too good to get rid of.

That’s exactly how we feel about our daily dose of Countdown on Channel 4. From Monday-Friday at 2.10pm, there really is only one place to be. Despite a plethora of hosts over the years from the legendary Richard Whiteley, to our current host Colin Murray - one thing remains the same. Fans can’t get enough of a bit of ‘letters and numbers’ to test the grey matter, which is why it’s been on our screens for over 40 years!

So what’s the secret to Countdown’s success? We think it comes down to the show remaining true to its core values and familiar format whilst still evolving certain aspects such as its hosts or introducing a celebrity version. This blend has helped the nation’s favourite quiz show feel fresh and traditional in equal measure. Long may it continue, we say.

Sticking with quiz shows, there’s no way we could miss out Pointless. We might have bid farewell to the much-loved Richard Osman recently, however the show still continues to go from strength to strength in our opinion. Not everyone is in agreement though but that’s okay. Our T3-R customers can still relive every moment of the Osman/Armstrong era on iPlayer to their heart's content. Either way, we can all agree that not much beats the rush of getting an obscure pointless answer!

Drama unfolds

No one quite does drama like us Brits. From Freeview favourites to shows that have gone onto dominate the biggest streaming platforms while ‘breaking America’ - the UK’s back catalogue of gripping dramas is endless.

We’re on the edge of our seats with excitement about Unforgotten's imminent return to our screens after a two-year absence. Our sources tell us that we’re only a couple of weeks away from Series 5 getting underway, so we’ve been bingeing away on the first four instalments to get us into the mood on ITV Player. Unsurprisingly, they still more than hold up today, while every twist and turn is just as captivating the second (or third) time around!

That’s not the only cop drama to have the nation in a vice-grip in recent times either, remember that little show called Line of Duty? Six seasons and thirty-six episodes of wall-to-wall tension from the AC-12 team that will leave you shell-shocked and blown away in equal measure. We might know who the elusive ‘H’ is now - but that doesn’t mean we still don’t have a load of questions for the high-anticipated 7th series. C’mon Jed, give us what we want!

A laugh and a joke

It goes without saying that we’re living in pretty turbulent times. Which is why in some ways comedy has never been more important. That’s the beauty of our Manhattan TV boxes - there’s always something to bring you a little bit of light relief, and our current go-to has been The Mighty Boosh. T3-R customers can go back and enjoy every clever gag on Freeview Play via All 4 on their boxes. We have a page dedicated to Freeview Play, have a read to see what it brings to our boxes.

Despite first airing on our screens in 2004, the classic comedy is as much of a hit today as it was all those years ago. From the ludicrous boxing match in the first episode, all the way through the following three seasons of debaucherous nonsense, The Mighty Boosh remains a national treasure.

Speaking of national treasures - did you know that all six seasons of Absolutely Fabulous are back on ITV Player? Comedy double acts don’t get much more entertaining than Patsy and Edna so it goes without saying that we’re over the moon to be able to enjoy every episode back on our screens.

So there we have it. Our definitive choice of shows we just couldn’t do without. As always, we’d love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter about which shows you couldn’t bear to give up.

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