BBC Rolls Out French & Saunders Box Set for Benefit of Besieged Nation

By Gary Cutlack on at

The BBC is walking a fine line between helping and blatant self-promotion today, as it's using the new voluntary house arrest status of many UK citizens to promote the arrival of a slew of classic content on iPlayer.

The revived programmes  – which we shall sadly henceforth be stuck referring to as "box sets" whether we like it or not – include the slightly baffling decision to release the BBC's entire archive of French & Saunders episodes, including even the specials, presumably because there was a poll somewhere that we missed and that's what won because it went viral on mum Facebook.

The content dump includes some other randoms too, with all episodes of SpooksWaking the Dead, Baptiste, The Missing and Wallander arriving over the next couple of weeks, and all 86 Spooks adventures are up there today. Not bad, but it's not Blake's 7, or all the episodes of Top of the Pops that BBC Four skipped because of offensive sex pest presenters. Maybe these big guns are being saved for when it gets really bad.

iPlayer head Dan McGolpin said slightly questionably: "BBC iPlayer is playing a vital role in these unprecedented times, not only allowing people to catch up on the latest news but also giving them a place to escape into a great series of their choice."