Farewell BBC Store

Sad news from this week… The BBC will close its digital download service BBC Store after just 18 months, as the Corporation accepted that it had failed to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I’ve been lucky enough to review and promote some of BBC Store’s titles here on my blog, including ‘Steve Coogan Live’, ‘Bread’ and ‘The Goodies’ – these were featured in my DVD/TV page.  I have now deleted these as the titles will be no longer available to purchase.  

According to the Radio Times website, “The service, which offered people the chance to buy and download digital copies of major BBC series or single episodes once they left iPlayer, failed to attract customers alongside the rise of on demand TV subscription services.”
BBC Store will close for good on 1st November 2017. Programmes that users have purchased will no longer be available, although the BBC will fully refund customers.  BBC Store customers are being contacted with options to claim either a refund for the total value of their previous purchases or an Amazon Video voucher for the value of their purchases plus 10 per cent, which they will be able to spend on the Amazon website.

If you have a BBC Store account and want to process your refund, visit http://www.bbcstore.com – you should have an email with further instructions.

For me, it’s sad news because BBC Store had released some great archive titles, including ‘Rentaghost’, ‘Jackanory’, Dennis Potter plays… and where will these get to be seen now?  Some had never been released on VHS or DVD previously too.  Netflix and Amazon tend to show more recent BBC series, and nothing too deep into the BBC Archive.  Looks like many programmes will just gather dust on the shelves again.  Chris


BBC Store – Reviewed!

The BBC is in the process of putting its vast archive online, and available for all to enjoy again – with a small charge for purchasing these programmes.  It’s called BBC Store and has just celebrated its first birthday.


The process to add to BBC Store’s list of available shows will take longer than others for some programmes – there are several reasons for this:

  1. Background Music – Shows such as Only Fools and Horses have been affected by this with VHS and DVD releases. If a fee can’t be agreed with music artists, then scenes have to be edited out, or replacement music added.
  2. Actors sometimes might not want their work to be repeated and made available.
  3. Some content might not be suitable due to presenters/cast involved.

But, a good extensive archive is building up – now over 10,000 hours available. Shows such as ‘The Night Manager’, ‘Happy Valley’, which have all finished really on BBC’s main channels can be enjoyed again… or maybe you missed them first time around?  Either way, they’re readily available here.

Many thanks to the BBC for allowing us to review BBC Store – for this trial, I downloaded a couple of programmes I’d never seen before.

The first, is a 1980’s BBC2 Windsor Davies sitcom from 1985, ‘The New Statesman’, not to be confused with the Rik Mayall ITV sitcom of the same name.

The second, is a Dennis Potter play called ‘Traitors’ which features John Le Mesurier in a non-comedic role, for me, I had to see it.  I had only ever seen Le Mesurier playing the same type of laid-back, easy going, jolly character… ‘Traitor’ really does show Le Mesurier at his best.

I’ve also purchased an episode of ‘Dad’s Army’ from Series 2 which was ‘lost’ – only the audio survives.  But, the episode has been animated, following the surviving soundtrack and the result is a brilliant 30 minutes, a must for any Dad’s Army fan – you may have heard the episode, but seeing it gives it a whole new lease of life.  A Patrick Troughton story, ‘Power of the Daleks’ has been animated and has just been released on BBC Store – to find out more visit https://store.bbc.com/doctor-who/the-power-of-the-daleks

At present, the programmes are available to watch, once you log into BBC Store with your ‘BBC ID’; and now, via the BBC Store App you can watch the shows via Chromecast.  This is brilliant – any downloaded shows available through your TV within a matter of seconds.  I have a vast number of BBC shows on DVD and I genuinely think purchasing them digitally is the way forward – instead of shelves of DVD clutter!