Best Christmas TV: Gavin & Stacey: The Christmas Special

BBC boxsets: the top 5 nostalgic shows to binge during lockdown

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From The Vicar of Dibley to Life on Mars, these are the best BBC shows we grew up with. 

Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime and NOW TV are our best friends right now. Whether you’re looking to be totally distracted by the scariest horror movies or want to find comfort in the best cookery shows, streaming services are here to help get us through lockdown. And there is quite literally something to suit every mood on this emotional rollercoaster.

If you’re missing your family and in need of a bit of nostalgia, a good old BBC boxset might just do the trick. Many of us have happy memories of watching weekly episodes with our families while growing up. So now might just be the perfect time to get comfy on the sofa and revisit them.

Here are the top five classic BBC series to watch right now.

The Vicar of Dibley

Dawn French is at her absolute best as Geraldine Granger, the female vicar who is assigned to a sleepy Oxfordshire parish. Richard Curtis wrote and co-created The Vicar of Dibley for French and we can’t imagine anyone else in the role. The late, great Emma Chambers also plays the iconic role of Geraldine’s “eccentric” best friend, Alice Tinker.

Watch The Vicar of Dibley on Netflix.

Watch Life on Mars on Netflix.
Watch Life on Mars on Netflix.

Life on Mars

Is he mad, in a coma… or has detective Sam Tyler really travelled back in time? John Simm plays Sam, who is hit by a car after this girlfriend goes missing, then wakes up in 1973. The gritty police drama, which ran for two series, is set in Manchester and also stars Philip Glenister as the grumpy-but-great DCI Gene Hunt. 

Watch Life on Mars on BBC iPlayer.

Absolutely Fabulous

Darrrling, you probably need no introduction to TV’s most fabulous duo. Edi and Patsy, played by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley respectively, are the intolerable twosome working on the 90s London fashion scene. Julia Sawalha also stars as Edi’s long-suffering daughter Saffy.

Watch Absolutely Fabulous on iPlayer. 

Best Christmas TV: Gavin & Stacey: The Christmas Special
Gavin and Stacey is available to watch on Netflix.

Gavin & Stacey

If you haven’t seen Gavin & Stacey - is there anybody out there that hasn’t? - the show was created by the brilliant Ruth Jones and James Corden. It’s about Gavin (Matt Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page) who embark on a long-distance relationship between Barry and Billericay. Quite simply: it is one of the nation’s most beloved series.

Watch Gavin & Stacey on BBC iPlayer.

Pride and Prejudice

Perhaps the best ever TV adaptation of a Jane Austen classic, the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice perfectly cast Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. Alison Steadman is also wonderful as Elizabeth’s social climbing mother.

Watch Pride and Prejudice on Netflix.

Images: BBC

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…