BBC takes on Netflix and Amazon with box set offer

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Peaky Blinders
Image caption Cillian Murphy plays gangster Tommy Shelby in Birmingham-based drama, Peaky Blinders

The BBC iPlayer is upping its game in the battle to take on Netflix and Amazon – by dropping a raft of box sets on the service in time for Christmas.

Releases will include the hit series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, the first three series of Peaky Blinders and Golden Globe-winning drama, Wolf Hall.

Every regeneration episode of Doctor Who since 2005 will also be on offer.

The box sets will be available from 16 December with most series made available for 30 days.

It is the first time the BBC has put so many complete series on the iPlayer in one go.

What’s occurring?

Every series of both Line of Duty and Happy Valley and series three and four of Sherlock will also be up for grabs.

Classic Christmas EastEnders’ episodes including Den and Angie’s divorce papers (1986) and Max and Stacey’s affair (2007) are going to be available too.

Image caption Gavin & Stacey – the show that made Welsh town Barry famous

The full original series of 2001’s The Blue Planet, 2006’s Planet Earth, last year’s Planet Earth II and 2011’s Frozen Planet are also included.

Comedy offerings include Miranda and Inside Number 9, Fleabag, Gavin & Stacey and Bad Education.

BBC director general Tony Hall has previously said he wants to boost the iPlayer’s profile.

“We need it to make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right,” he said.

Image caption Sarah Lancashire stars in Happy Valley

Charlotte Moore, director of content at the BBC, said: “There is no need to go anywhere else this Christmas because we have an even richer offer across the BBC than ever before.

“We are always home to the very best British programmes during the festive season but with so much content to fit in, it’s fantastic to give audiences a special gift on iPlayer to complement our schedule.”

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