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43 all-time best TV shows to watch while in isolation

Need some TV recommendations? Check out our favourites

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While it is important to remain productive while staying indoors, sometimes you need to just sit back, switch off and watch some television, right? To help out with the boredom, we have put together our top picks from every streaming service you can think of, from Netflix to Disney+. Check out our recommendations and find your new favourite show here...

Shows to watch on BritBox 

Last Tango in Halifax

Last Tango in Halifax is the easy watching, charming-but-dramatic-enough-to-keep-you-hooked show we absolutely need in our lives right now. The story follows Celia and Alan, old school pals who reunite after finding each other on Facebook nearly 60 years after moving away from one another, and decide to get married. Celia and Alan's very different children also take centre stage; Caroline, a headteacher who is dealing with a divorce while falling deeply in touch with her co-worker, Kate, and Gillian, a farmer with a dark secret. The series recently returned for season five and frankly, we would love to see at least ten more! 

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Last Tango in Halifax follows Celia and Alan

Broadchurch

If you didn't watch the popular ITV drama when it was on TV, or perhaps you simply want to watch it again in all its brilliantness, then BritBox has the entire series collection of Broadchurch. It stars Olivia Colman and David Tennant as lead detectives in a murder case involving a young boy in the local area. Gripping and with a fantastic cast – this show is not to be missed.

MORE: 17 of the best crime shows to watch on Netflix

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Olivia Colman and David Tennant in Broadchurch

Absolutely Fabulous

Who doesn't love this classic British sitcom? Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are at their best starring as Patsy and Edina 'Eddy', the dysfunctional 30-something wannabe professionals in the PR and magazine world. Despite Eddy having a daughter, Saffy, played by Julia Sawalha, Eddy is often the one being looked after as she and Patsy indulge in a party lifestyle of booze, and, erm, other things. This show will leave you in stitches over and over again.

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Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders in AbFab

Apple TV+

Servant

Servant is a tiny bit creepy and from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan, so you know it's going to be full of twists and turns. As such, we can't say a whole lot about it without giving the game away, so let's just say that a wealthy couple hire a nanny to help care for their child - but all is not as it seems. Rupert Grint stars. 

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Servant on Apple TV+

The Morning Show

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston front this new drama exclusively on Apple TV. Jennifer plays TV host Alex Levy, who struggles to maintain her spot at the top of her game after her partner of 15 years, Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carrell), is fired following a sexual misconduct scandal. Reese plays Bradley Jackson, an ambitious journalist who is determined to take Alex's place on the show. The show was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Drama Series, and Jennifer won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the show.

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Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon stars in Apple's The Morning Show

Shows to watch on Disney+ 

The Mandalorian 

Hurray, Disney+ is finally coming to the UK! From Tuesday 24 March we will be able to finally see what all the fuss about Baby Yoda is about. From what we can gather from across the pond, the story follows a bounty hunter who ends up having to protect an extremely cute Yoda...who is a baby. We're looking forward to being caught up to speed! 

MORE: Here’s every single thing you can watch on Disney+

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We finally get to meet baby Yoda

High School Musical: The Musical

This tongue-in-cheek mockumentary follows a group of keen theatre students who attend the same high school where the High School Musical trilogy was filmed, and who want to put on a stage production of the film. So who is being cast as Troy and Gabriella? The series was a hit with US audiences, and has already been renewed for season two.

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High School Musical: The Musical relives the magic of the first film

Finding Nemo

Who doesn't love this Disney Pixar classic? For those unaware, Finding Nemo is a funny and heartwarming film all about a clown fish whose son goes missing. It tells the story of one father's journey across the oceans to find his son and how family is the most important thing. The whole family can enjoy this film and it's one of many classics on the new streaming platform from Disney, which you can get for an exclusive introductory offer of just £49.99 for the year. 

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Finding Nemo is a Disney classic

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

This documentary series follows and celebrates the weird and wonderful of Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum. On the show, the main himself has said: "The premise of the show is, because it’s the world according to Jeff Goldblum, it's me with all the information and experience that my life has entailed up til this point now."

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Jeff Goldblum stars in his own documentary series

Shows to watch on Netflix

Schitt's Creek

With five seasons on Netflix, Schitt's Creek is the perfect comedy that you can just watch for hours as a distraction (and fun, don't forget fun)! The story follows a very wealthy family after they lose everything and are forced to move to Schitt's Creek - a town that they once bought as a joke. The family, incidentally, is made up of suave businessman Johnny, his theatrical former soap actress wife, Moira and their two children; sarcastic David and spoiled Alexis. Trust us, by the end of season one you will love them all like your own family.  

WATCH: Schitt's Creek trailer

Crash Landing on You 

Crash Landing on You is a Korean drama that follows Yun Se-ri, a beautiful heiress and a leading fashion businesswoman in South Korea who knows exactly what she wants out of life, but things go horribly wrong when she is swept up by a wind storm and accidentally crashes in North Korean territory while paragliding. Luckily for her, she meets a sympathetic North Korean military officer Ri Jeong-hyeok, played by Hyun Bin, and the pair fall in love. 

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Crash Landing on You on Netflix

Self Made: Inspired by the life of Madame CJ Walker

With an all-star cast including Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish and Blair Underwood, Self Made is set to be very popular. Octavia stars as Madam CJ Walker, the trailblazing African-American haircare entrepreneur who was America's first female self-made millionaire. Sounds interesting right? The four-part limited series brings this cultural icon to life as she fights for social change, overcomes post-slavery racial biases and business rivalries to revolutionise black haircare.

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Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer stars in Self Made

Star Trek: Discovery

Want a sci-fi show to sink your teeth into? This whole new story could be a perfect place for people who know nothing about the franchise to start. The show follows Michael Burnham, a brilliant member of Star Fleet who finds herself court marshalled after trying to commit mutiny. However, a slight detour from her lifetime in prison on the USS Discovery gives her a chance to redeem herself. 

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Star Trek: Discovery is the perfect sci-fi show to watch

You

Hello you. This series follows Joe, a handsome, charming bookkeeper who is also a bona fide sociopath who becomes dangerously obsessed with the women he has his eye on - and will do anything he possibly can to make them fall in love with him. Spoiler alert, this means there is a lot of murder. 

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Penn Badgley in Netflix's You

Unforgotten 

This police show, starring the one and only Nicola Walker, follows two police officers as they investigate a series of historic cases after discovering crime scenes from decades before. But are the culprits still alive, and do they think they've managed to get away with it all this time? While the whole show is fantastic, seasons two and three are particularly outstanding. 

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WATCH: Unforgotten official trailer

Tiger King

This original documentary series focuses on Joe Exotic, a mullet-haired, gun-loving eccentric who is infamous in the big cat owning community. Joe, among those around him, has a passion for big cats, but his life takes a turn when he's threatened out of business. The synopsis reads: "Things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe's arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner."

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Joe Exotic is a big cat lover who is threatened out of business

Ozark

Jason Bateman stars as Martin 'Marty' Byrde in the Netflix original Ozark. Marty is a self-employed financial advisor who suddenly moves his family from Chicago to the Ozarks after a money laundering scheme with a Mexican drug cartel goes wrong. Marty needs to make amends to the cartel, so convinces them to stay on his side after his family's relocation, assuring them he can make more money in the new town, but it comes with new problems. All three seasons are on Netflix now, so get bingeing.

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Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark

Russian Doll

Nadia is enjoying her 36th birthday party when she is hit by a car and killed. The thing is, she wakes up in the bathroom of the party hours earlier like nothing happened. This intelligent Groundhog Day-style comedy drama follows Nadia as she tries to figure out why she is stuck in a time loop that only ends with her certain death - and how to get out of it. Oh, it also has an incredible soundtrack. Just top drawer.

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Russian Doll on Netflix is not to be missed

The English Game

Julian Fellowes new six-part drama is all about the beautiful game. It delves into the history of the origins of football and how those involved in its creation broke the class divide to establish the world's most popular sport. With a stellar cast including Edward Holcroft (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) and Line of Duty's Craig Parkinson, we can't wait to get stuck into this one.

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Julian Fellowes created new drama The English Game

Shows to watch on Amazon Prime

Marvelous Mrs Maisel

After her husband tells her he wants a divorce, perfect housewife and mother of two children Miriam turns to stand-up comedy - and is really, really good at it. Attempting to carve a career as a comic in the 1950s while keeping it a secret from her disapproving (and hilarious) parents, Miriam goes through some comedic trials and tribulations, all the while wearing seriously fabulous clothes. 

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The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is a must watch

The Night Manager

Whether you missed it the first time it aired, or simply want to enjoy it again, The Night Manager is available to enjoy on Prime. The TV series, based on the John le Carre novel, has a host of big TV and film names such as Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Hugh Laurie and David Harewood. It tells the story of Jonathan Pine (Tom), a former soldier and manager of a Cairo hotel who is tasked by Angela Burr (Olivia) to infiltrate the ruthless arms dealing circle led by Richard Roper (Hugh). It won two Emmy Awards and some of the stars picked up Golden Globes for their performances – so it's got to be worth a watch!

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The Night Manager has an all-star cast

Outlander

This romance, time travelling drama is already on season five, and follows Claire; a World War II nurse who accidentally finds herself in 18th century Scotland (it makes no sense but go along with it) and falls into the arms of the extremely handsome highlander Jamie. Life in the past isn't easy, and Claire and Jamie literally are followed by very entertaining mayhem everywhere they go.

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Outlander is a romantic, time-travelling drama

Catastrophe

This hilariously crude sitcom is all about Rob and Sharon who end up having a baby after a one-night hook up and eventually embark on a relationship. Written and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, this show will leave you in stitches and pull at your heartstrings all at the same time. All series available to watch now on Amazon Prime.

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Catastrophe will leave you in stitches

Homecoming

This psychological thriller, based on the hugely popular podcast series of the same name, stars Julia Roberts as the lead playing Heidi Bergman. Heidi is a former caseworker who worked at the Homecoming Transitional Support Centre, that provided aid to soldiers and helped them transition back into society. But years after Heidi left to live a more normal life, the organisation returns to question why she left, which leads her to realise that the facility is not what she initially thought.

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Julia Roberts with her Homecoming co-stars

Shows to watch on Sky Box Sets and NOWTV

Game of Thrones

Missed out before? Now is the perfect opportunity to catch up on the show that got everyone talking and has even been dubbed the 'greatest TV show of all time'. Sky and NowTV have all eight seasons to watch (so you can decide for yourself what you thought of the controversial ending) of the fantasy drama set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. The show stars huge names in the industry such as Kit Harrington, Emilia Clarke and Sophie Turner, and has many different storylines and arcs involved that will no doubt have you gripped.

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Game of Thrones is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time

War of the Worlds

This series is a re-creation of H. G. Wells' classic novel of the same name starring Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne and Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern. The synopsis reads: "When astronomers detect a transmission from another galaxy, it is definitive proof of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The world's population waits for further contact with bated breath. They do not have to wait long. Within days, mankind is all but wiped out by a devastating attack; pockets of humanity are left in an eerily deserted world. As aliens hunt and kill those left alive, the survivors ask a burning question - who are these attackers and why are they hell-bent on our destruction?" Sounds gripping right?

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War of the Worlds is available to watch on NOWTV

Westworld 

A cowboy-themed theme park populated with a group of robots so intelligent that they look, sound, think and feel like human? What could possibly go wrong? This extremely impressive show follows a series of characters, from the artificially intelligent 'hosts' to humans (or so we think) as they live out their lives in Westworld. Season three has just began on the streaming service, so it is a great time to get all caught up. 

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Watch Westworld on NOWTV

Chernobyl 

This real-life story follows the immediate aftermath of the devastating nuclear explosion in Ukraine in the 1980s, and how scientists fought to heard about how damaging the fallout from the incident would be while living in a soviet country determined to maintain a certain image. The show is both fascinating and devastating, and looks at, as Valery Legasov says, the cost of lies. 

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Chernobyl is both gripping and devastating

Avenue 5 

This comedy follows a space cruise named Avenue 5 that is set 40 years into the future and is all about solar system travel, which is the new trend among the rich and famous. What could possibly go wrong? Hugh Laurie stars as Captain Ryan Clark.

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Hugh Laurie stars in comedy Avenue 5

Shows to watch on All4, BBC iPlayer, ITV Catch Up 

Derry Girls - All4

This comedy follows a group of friends growing up in Derry in the 1990s amid the IRA threat. Simultaneously highlighting the struggles in Northern Ireland at the time and the struggles of growing up, this is one of those unique comedies that will leave you crying with laughter. With two series, there is already plenty to catch up on!

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Derry Girls is hugely popular

Misfits - All4

A superhero TV show with a twist, Misfits follows what would happen if a group of extremely mouthy young offenders suddenly got landed with mysterious (and occasionally ridiculous) super powers that reflect something about their own personality. For example, Kelly cares what people think about her and so can start reading minds, while Curtis deeply regrets his past actions - and so can travel back in time. This series is beloved by fans and if you haven't checked it out yet, where have you been?!

WATCH: Misfits trailer

The Accident - All4

Looking for a gripping new drama? Then The Accident is another great choice. After a terrible explosion occurs in a small town in Wales, the community is left devastated and mourning the loss of many including children. The synopsis reads: "Polly Bevan (Sarah Lancashire) is the wife of the local politician who championed the project and the person to whom the stricken community turns following the disaster. Her husband, Iwan, (Mark Lewis Jones) loves his home town and is passionate about restoring the town to its former glory, but at what cost?" We can't wait to get stuck into this.

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Sarah Lancashire stars in The Accident

Feel Good

Feel Good 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.

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Feel Good is a brand new darkly funny drama

Gavin and Stacey - iPlayer

If you haven't seen Gavin and Stacey, we can safely say that now is the time for some delightful escapism with the families of West and Shipman. The series, of course, follows Welsh Stacey and Essex boy Gavin, who fall in love and get married - as such bringing their two very different families and friends together. 

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Gavin and Stacey is a TV favourite

This Country - iPlayer

This mockumentary follows Kurtan and Kerry, two young people living in the Cotswolds. With no jobs, nothing to do and nowhere to go, the pair spend their days getting up to all sorts of village-related trouble. This will give you a warm glow if you are from a sleepy British town, not to mention that it is quite simply hilarious. With the third and final season recently finished, there's never been a better time to binge-watch!

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This Country will leave you howling with laughter

Race Across the World - iPlayer

This competition programme focuses on five couples as they participate in the ultimate race across the world, taking any route they choose. However, without the use of planes and smart phones and the fact that they have to earn their own money to get around, it's not going to be easy for them! In each episode, the teams of two have to reach a certain checkpoint, and whoever is last to arrive at the points, runs the risk of being eliminated. The first team to reach the final destination wins a cash prize.

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Race Across the World is available on iPlayer

What We Do in the Shadows - iPlayer

Based on the film of the same name, this mockumentary follows a household a vampire housemates in the US as they deal with typical vampire problems, like getting stuck in their coffins, finding their reincarnated lovers or having to deal with visiting Baron's popping around with plans to take over the world. 

WATCH: What We Do in the Shadows trailer

Detectorists - iPlayer

A charming comedy, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook play two friends who enjoy spending their free time searching for buried treasure with their metal detectors - which serve as a distraction from the problems in their own lives. This is the perfect escapism and will have you crying happy tears, we guarantee! 

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The Detectorists is brilliantly funny

Inside No. 9 - iPlayer

Want a creepy anthology series with a twist to every tale? Of course you do! The series is now on season five and is just as brilliant as ever. Each episode of the show is different but always based somewhat around the number nine - whether it is a shoe size or a house number. While the two creators, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, star in almost every episode, they also have some pretty awesome guest stars including Jenna Coleman and Sheridan Smith. Trust us, you'll be obsessed before too long!

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Inside No. 9 stars Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith

Line of Duty - iPlayer

After filming of the latest series of Line of Duty was cancelled over the coronavirus outbreak, BBC decided to put all of the previous series of the police corruption drama on iPlayer for you to enjoy. The series is all about Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (known as AC12) as they seek to uncover officers that are partaking in illegal activity and police corruption. Series one to five star Martin Compston and Vicky McClure, and has guest appearances from favourite TV actors throughout such as Lennie James, Keeley Hawes and Stephen Graham.

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Line of Duty stars Martin Compston and Vicky McClure

Fleabag - iPlayer

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is Fleabag, a London-based cafe owner who believes everything from her work life to her family is funny, and shares the joke with the audience. Of course, the more you learn about her life and her problems, the less funny it gets. This dark comedy was a smash hit and a game changer for British comedy - particularly with the introduction of the 'Hot Priest' (played by Andrew Scott) in season two. 

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag was hugely successful

Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen – ITV

If you're thinking of using this time to learn how to cook some delicious new recipes then this is the perfect watch. As well as taking us on a journey around the tropical islands – giving us something to look forward to perhaps? – he's showing us some of the best dishes from places such as Antigua, Dominica and St Lucia. Yum!

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Ainsley's travel around the Caribbean will make you feel like you're abroad

Flesh and Blood

Imelda Staunton, Russell Tovey and Francesca Annis all star in this mini-series that aired on ITV earlier this month. But don't worry if you missed out the first time, all four episodes are available on the hub for you to enjoy. The drama focuses on mum Vivien (played by Francesca Annis) and her three children who are not keen on her new partner Mark (Stephen Rea). Throughout the series, we know that somebody has been seriously injured, perhaps murdered, but we're left trying to figure out who is the victim, and who is the perpetrator. The whodunit plot will have you gripped throughout.

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Russel Tovey stars in Flesh and Blood

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