We don’t need fiction – real life is exciting enough! Well… we would miss Broadchurch. And Taboo. And Sherlock of course… Perhaps we do need fiction. Either way, there’s some cracking documentaries on TV to catch up on.
With Freeview Play you can watch lots of documentaries on demand, all in one place, giving you easy access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 and UKTV Play. Just make sure your Freeview Play TV or recorder is connected to the internet and you’re good to go (some services available on Smart TVs too).
Usually, programmes about footballers show what they splash their cash on or the extravagant mansions they live in. This time, the cameras capture an unflinching look at Rio’s family life after his wife passed away from breast cancer in 2013. Rather than look into the past, we see what the future holds for the stoic father of three and the coping mechanisms needed for his children to lead a life without fear.
Forget your budget hotels. Giles Coren and Monica Galetti (from Masterchef) are on an expedition to seek out the best establishments in the world and find out what makes them tick. But they don’t just stay in them, they work alongside staff and discover what it takes to offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences in awe-inspiring locations.
More documentaries on BBC iPlayer
Galapagos – Scientific expedition to the famous islands.
Shogun – The teenage MC with 1.75 million YouTube views for his latest track.
Turkey with Simon Reeve – A dramatic and beautiful country at the centre of world events.
American Justice – Prosecutors and cops in Jacksonville Florida
A show about the mystery and intrigue behind these unseen creatures lurking beneath the depths. The original scope was for Jeremy Wade to present just one program, but now it’s a lot more than the stereotype of a man sitting on his own in the cold, with a rod and a net.
More documentaries on ITV Hub
Ax Men – Following the dangerous work of North American lumberjacks.
Bridezillas – They will have the perfect wedding, no matter what the cost.
The Liberte Cup – The football tournament bringing together refugees and football fans.
Is there anything Ant Middleton can’t do? The former Royal Marine who presented the renowned Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins is back. Mutiny follows a group of 9 men (with skipper Middleton at the helm) who set out to recreate one of the greatest feats ever: the 4000-mile trip of Captain Bligh in a tiny wooden boat after the mutiny on the Bounty. Expect flowing testosterone and plenty of untamed beards.
More documentaries on All 4
Bare Knuckle Fight Club – The shocking world of underground, bare knuckle fighting.
A Very British Hotel – Behind the scenes of the exclusive Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
The Secret Life of the Zoo – An intimate portrait of the animals at Chester Zoo
The Supervet – The pioneering work of professor Noel Fitzpatrick
You may have heard of them and you may have even driven over them, but have you thought about how they were designed and built? Rob Bell explores the country, seeking out six of Britain’s most iconic bridges, including the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol which is technically classed a Grade I-listed building.
More documentaries on My 5
Ancient Mysteries – Revealing the secrets behind lost civilisations
Ben Fogle: The Great African Migration – Ben Fogle follows the annual migration, wildebeast and others…
Britain’s Cleverest Dog – Which furry friend is brighter than the rest?
Conspiracy – From the Moon Landings to the Royal Family, this series examines accepted historical events through the lens of conspiracy.
Despite playing a pivotal part in ending World War II by cracking the Enigma code, Alan Turing’s life was fraught with tragedy and loss, culminating in his death at the age of 41 after being unjustly punished for his homosexuality. Based on journals written by Turing’s psychiatrist Dr. Franz Greenbaum. Codebreaker weaves dramatic scenes into the documentary, brilliantly capturing Turing’s remarkable life and legacy.
More documentaries on UKTV Play
Clare Balding’s Secrets of a Suffragette – Investigating the death of Emily Davidson at Epsom Derby in 1913.
Impossible Engineering – Engineering marvels around the world.
Battleplan – Explaining tactical thinking in wartime.