Bodyguard is BBC iPlayer’s biggest show of 2018 so far

Bodyguard is the biggest show of the year so far on BBC iPlayer.

Every episode of the Golden Globe-nominated drama – which stars Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes – made it into the iPlayer’s top ten episodes of the year, getting 41.3 million requests to become BBC iPlayer’s biggest box set ever.

The first episode has smashed records to reach 10.5 million requests – making it the most popular episode ever on BBC iPlayer.

The other big success story of the year was Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s spy thriller Killing Eve, which stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.

The first episode of the series was the second best performing BBC iPlayer episode ever, with 8.9 million requests.

Sandra Oh on the red carpet
Sandra Oh stars in Killing Eve (PA)

The series overall has 40.7 million requests – the second biggest box set iPlayer has ever seen.

McMafia was also popular with audiences, getting 4.5 million requests for its first episode, and sleeper hit Welsh mystery Keeping Faith had 3.9 million requests for its first episode.

Jodie Whittaker’s first outing as the Time Lord in the returning series of Doctor Who also did well, with 3.6 million requests.

And the first episode of the new series of Our Girl and The Cry each had 3.4 million requests.

England’s World Cup quarter final against Sweden was the most popular live episode of the year, with 3.2 million requests – 2.8 million of which were live.

The latest performance data reveals that November was a big month for BBC iPlayer, with 311 million requests, an 8% increase on the same month in 2017.

Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who (Henrik Knudson/BBC)

The debut episode of Sir David Attenborough’s Dynasties – which focused on the chimpanzee – was the most popular programme of the month, with 2.3 million requests, followed by the airline advertising episode of The Apprentice with 1.8 million requests and The Little Drummer Girl with 1.7 million requests.

Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, said: “These figures show that the BBC iPlayer remains the first choice for thrilling dramas, big sporting moments and the very best natural history and factual programmes.

“This year’s figures are the best yet and show that the BBC iPlayer is going from strength to strength.

“With Les Misérables, The Greatest Dancer and a new series of Fleabag coming up in the New Year there will be more great programmes for audiences to enjoy in 2019.”

Dan McGolpin, BBC controller of programming, said it had been “a fantastic year for BBC iPlayer” and said viewers appreciated its “unique range”.

Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Our Girl and Silent Witness are among the series available to watch now as box sets on BBC iPlayer.