Topping up your suntan – and your favourite soap


I’ve just got back from a holiday, replenishing my Vitamin D in the Canaries. Although I had a wonderfully relaxing time I didn’t want to cut myself off completely from things happening back in the UK.

Like most hotels across the world, we were offered just two English language TVchannels – BBC World and Sky News – which was a bit limiting. Unlike business hotels, holiday hotels  took a while to realise that their customers would value free Wi-Fi anywhere on site, but that is now pretty standard. So I could also listen online to the radio live and on catch-up whenever I wanted through the BBC and other channels. But that did not apply to TV programmes.

Whenever I tried to access, I was redirected to, so I wasn’t able to watch UK based BBC television programmes live or on catch-up. This didn’t exactly spoil my holiday but I was rather keen to see the final two episodes of Apple Tree Yard, which had left us with a cliffhanger. No doubt other holidaymakers would have appreciated a chance to follow their own favourite soaps and series, as well as news from their home towns.

So I was intrigued to catch a press release from Catherine Bearder which has largely been ignored by the media. The 28 EU member countries have agreed a protocol which will allow residents travelling to other EU countries to view catch-up TV, online, from their home countries. The proposal now needs to do the rounds of EU governments and the EU Parliament, so it will probably come into law in 2018.

She says:

This is fantastic news for British consumers whilst we are still members of the EU.

The frustration of missing your favourite shows when abroad will soon be a thing of the past.

Breaking down barriers and making life easier for consumers is what being in Europe is all about – we must make sure our Brexit Government does not lose these things in the negotiations.

The irony has not escaped me. Maybe she is right to be optimistic, but I will need some convincing that we won’t lose this minor pleasure through the heavy hand of Brexit.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Richard Underhill 20th Feb '17 - 3:29pm

    SS-GB on BBC1 postulates a German victory in the Battle of Britain (which is not incredible, it was a close-run thing, in which the RAF was grateful for the experienced Polish and Checkoslovakian pilots who helped the fight against the Luftwaffe. Prior to the Nuremburg trials Marshall Goering was interviewed, in German, by a British naval test pilot. Goering said that German attacks were stopped because Hitler wanted the resources for the attack on Soviet Russia).
    In a review inn the Daily Torygraph on 20/2/2017 a columnist on the op-ed page suggests that there would have been collaborators, as in France, and that David Lloyd-George could have become a Marshall Petain equivalent. This ignores his speech in the Norway debate, in which he supported his friend Winston Churchill.

  • Steve Comer 21st Feb '17 - 9:48am


    There are various options to get the BBC channels and iPlayer overseas.
    This one is good because it enables you to subscribe for a month for only ten Euros:

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