No less a man than Tom Hanks recently lavished praise on the BBC’s Springwatch programme commenting during an interview on the One Show that, “That is just something else… You’re not going to get that live every night in the United States.”
He’s not wrong. No one does wildlife TV quite as well as the BBC, and while many programmes go global, there is something quintessentially British about Springwatch, which highlights the myriad of wonderful nature we have available right on our doorsteps here in the UK.
The latest edition of Springwatch is now going out, and not least thanks to Tom Hanks’ enthusiastic praise, interest in watching it has reached an all-time high.
But it is a BBC show and, as such, only available here in the UK. So, what can Brits abroad or ex-pats do if they want their fix of UK nature?
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know to enjoy Springwatch no matter where in the world you are.
Where is Springwatch being shown?
Springwatch is broadcast live on BBC 2 in the UK. It is also available live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer if you prefer to stream it.
However, the BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK, so if you are overseas, you will need something else to help you access it and watch Springwatch where you are.
How can I watch Springwatch where I am?
If you want to enjoy Springwatch outside the UK, you will need to use a VPN to do it.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it is most commonly talked about as an online privacy and security tool.
Don’t let that put you off though. VPNs are simple to use, and with a few clicks, you can use a VPN to unblock the BBC iPlayer outside the UK and enjoy shows like Springwatch from any country around the world.
Where to get a VPN?
If you Google, you will find there are hundreds of different ones to choose from. Not all will be able to unblock the BBC iPlayer though, so it is important to choose one that will.
Our recommendation is ExpressVPN. As the name suggests, it is a super-fast VPN that will allow uninterrupted streaming of iPlayer content.
It has a huge range of apps, meaning you can use it on any device you like to watch TV on, from laptops and tablets to Smart TVs. It offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out before committing any money.
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How to stream Springwatch outside the UK
Once you have chosen your VPN, you can get things set up to watch in just a few simple steps:
- Visit the ExpressVPN website and sign up for your preferred subscription package. We recommend the 12-month deal that comes with an extra three months free. Don’t forget; there is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.
- Download the ExpressVPN app onto your preferred streaming device. Our advice is to always do this from either the ExpressVPN website or your official app store.
- Open the ExpressVPN app and log in to your account with the details you created in the first step.
- Now choose Selected Location and then the United Kingdom.
- Click Connect and wait for a few seconds while ExpressVPN hooks you up. It will go green when it has.
- Visit the BBC iPlayer website or open the iPlayer app if you have it.
- You will need an account to use the iPlayer. Don’t worry, these are free, and all you will need is an email account and a UK postcode.
- Now seek out Springwatch from the many available shows and enjoy.
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What is Springwatch all about?
If you haven’t enjoyed Springwatch before, you have missed out on a real treat.
It is an annual BBC show that follows the fortunes of the wildlife and natural habitats in a range of locations across the United Kingdom.
It has a little bit of everything, from segments charting the lives of migratory birds, mammals, and insects, to reports on the impact of farming and humans on ecosystems and tips on how you can enjoy wildlife in your own back garden.
It is hosted by experts located around the country and features a mix of live broadcasts and pre-recorded reports. There are also a range of online features such as live webcams from their chosen locations that you can enjoy on the BBC website too.
Who stars in Springwatch?
Springwatch has a range of presenters dotted around the UK, as well as various guests and interviewees who pop up.
The anchors are Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, two long-standing BBC wildlife presenters that viewers of a certain age will remember from as far back as the Really Wild Show on kids TV in the 1990s.
They are joined by other hosts, including Megan McCubbin, Packham’s stepdaughter who stepped in for Michaela during lockdown and has retained a key role in the show since.
Welsh bird expert Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke complete the current line-up, with previous presenters having included the legendary Bill Oddie, Kate Humble, and Simon King.
But as great as the presenters are, they would agree that the real stars of the show are the diverse array of creatures that feature in every episode and the spectacular British scenery in which the show is shot.
Springwatch has rapidly become a British institution, and with the recent endorsement of Hollywood royalty, it is more popular than ever.
If you are not in the UK, you can still enjoy Springwatch on the BBC iPlayer if you use a VPN. ExpressVPN is my recommendation. Just sign up, download the app, log in, connect to a UK-based server, and you are away.
Some people have classed Springwatch as slow TV. Perhaps that is right, but it is slow and spellbinding, and you won’t want to miss a single moment.
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