Skip to main contentSkip to footer

21 TV shows to watch if you don't have a Netflix subscription

There's plenty to choose from on these platforms

tv without subscription
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
Share this:

With the prospect of staying in becoming increasingly likely, it seems many of us are turning to the comfort of our televisions, and why fight it? Especially with such great programmes out there. Even if you don't subscribe to a streaming service, your options are still overflowing. With trusted and failsafe channels such as BBC iPlayer, the ITV hub and Channel Four's All4 offering plenty of fantastic shows, old and new, that you can watch simply by having an internet connection, you'll never run out of ideas of what to put on the box. However, if you need some inspiration to get you started, here's a few of our recommendations…

WATCH: ITV's Belgravia - official trailer

Best on BBC iPlayer

Noughts and Crosses – This new gripping series is based on the novel of the same name by Malorie Blackman of a young couple that fall in love despite the world wanting to keep them apart.

The Split – Nicola Walker stars in this legal drama as family lawyer Hannah Stern split between her husband and lover.

Undercover – This drama was first shown on BBC back in 2016 and stars Adrian Lester as Nick, a former undercover officer that has one or two secrets to hide.

MORE: 11 uplifting comedies that you can stream right now

trigonometry bbc© Photo: BBC

Trigonometry available on BBC

Fleabag – Phoebe Waller Bride wrote and starred in this alternative comedy that's gone on to gain multiple awards and huge success. If you haven't watched it, you're missing out.

Trigonometry – This BBC Two drama is all about Kieran and Gemma, a young couple struggling in London, who then begin a polyamorous relationship with their lodger, Ray. This one's not for the faint-hearted but a fascinating tale of a different kind of love affair.

Best on ITV Hub

Liar – The second series of this drama starring Joanne Froggatt is already half-way through and it's certainly gripping viewers. If you've not caught up, then not to worry as the whole of series one is available to watch, too. 

Belgravia – A brand new period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Belgravia, has just started and it's set to be the next big hit on TV. Catch up on episode one now, available on the Hub. 

The Trouble with Maggie Cole – Dawn French plays Maggie Cole in this new series all about a small village that is rocked by Maggie's rather disastrous radio interview. Trouble begins to unfold in the aftermath of Maggie's gossiping, can she make amends? 


MORE: BBC announces unprecedented changes following coronavirus outbreak

dawn french itv© Photo: ITV

Dawn French fronts new ITV drama The Trouble with Maggie Cole

Joanne Lumley's Hidden Caribbean – We may not be able to jet away to sunnier climates at the moment, but luckily for us Joanna Lumley is transporting us to the tropical Caribbean via our TV screens. The AbFab actress takes us around the islands to explore some hidden gems – you'll feel like you're on your holidays in no time.

Endeavour – One of the classic whodunnit shows is Endeavour. Since landing on our screens nearly seven years ago, Shaun Evans has been gripping us all with his portrayal as Endeavour Morse, solving the biggest murder cases in Oxford. Series seven has recently been released, so there's never been a better time to binge-watch previous seasons. 

Best on All4

First Dates – What better way to lift your spirits than watch people find love in the First Dates restaurant? All4 has plenty of episodes to catch up on as many people enjoy a dinner date in the hope of finding love.  

The End of the F***ing World – This hugely popular show is all about two teenagers that flee their normal lives for a life of crime on the road. Through the series, the pair begin to grow closer while the police draw closer to tracking them down. Both series available to watch on All4. 

Baghdad Central – A crime thriller series that will have you hooked instantly, Baghdad Central is a Iraq War-based show set shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Based on the book Baghdad Central by Elliott Colla, it focuses on ex-police inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji, who is searching for his missing daughter.

feel good netflix still image

Watch new series Feel Good on All4

Deadwater Fell – David Tennant stars in this thrilling mini-series. A small town is rocked by the death of two children and their mother in a mysterious house fire, but who's to blame?

Derry Girls – If you're wanting something that'll lift your spirits and make you laugh, then Derry Girls is the perfect antidote. It's about five friends based in 90s Londonderry during the Troubles, both series one and series two of this show will leave you in stitches.

Feel Good – This is a brand new darkly humours series about Mae (Mae Martin), a rising talent on the stand-up circuit, who falls in love with George (Charlotte Ritchie). The couple embark on an intoxicating romance that turns more addictive than meaningful. Look out for Friends star Lisa Kudrow in the cast.

WATCH: New Channel Four drama Feel Good - official trailer

Best on My5

Cruising with Jane McDonald – Missing out on a cruise? Watch Jane McDonald's much-loved show as she explores some of the most luxurious cruise ships around. It's light-hearted and easy watching, what's not to love?

Henry VIII and Trump: History repeating itself? – If you fancy a historical documentary, then this is the one for you. The synopsis reads: "Documentary offering a fresh perspective on the question of how history will judge Donald Trump, by setting his life side by side with that of a controversial leader from our own past, Henry VIII, and telling their stories in parallel."

bellevue channel 5© Photo: Rex

Catch Bellevue on My 5

Penance – Julie Graham (Shetland, The Bletchley Circle) stars in this psychological thriller drama series all about a grieving mother and her daughter whose lives are changed forever after meeting Jed. Neil Morrissey also stars.

Bellevue – This mystery drama originally aired in Canada in 2017. The show sees police officer Annie Ryder juggling an investigation into the disappearance of a teenager and her past which comes back to haunt her. 

The Oath – American crime drama The Oath tells the story of a group of LAPD officers that form a gang, shedding light on corruption and secrecy in authority. Look out for cameos from singer Leona Lewis and Lord of the Rings star Sean Bean. 

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

This article contains affiliate links, which means HELLO! may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. More information.

More TV and Film

See more