How to Watch BBC iPlayer News Live Abroad: BBC Online in 2024

Watch BBC iPlayer News Live Abroad: The Easy Way to Enjoy BBC1 News in 2024

It’s often quite difficult to obtain real, unbiased high quality news coverage in certain parts of the world. Unfortunately, it’s difficult and expensive to run a decent news service of any size. However, to run a truly global news service needs a huge organisation which means there’s often a lot of state or commercial input into the channel. The BBC News channel is probably the world’s best provider of news and current affair coverage and has a hard-won reputation of the very highest journalistic standards.

Why Should I Watch BBC News Live?

There are many reasons – for example the BBC is the only News organization that broadcasts around the clock, which allows people to be informed on events at all times of day. The BBC has a dedicated news channel which broadcasts 24/7 and is also available to stream live online too. There is some archive material however generally most BBC News coverage is best watched live for obvious reasons. Specific programmes and documentaries are available to watch later but these are normally available on other BBC channels.

Best International News Coverage

BBC News is a free service that gives the latest news about politics, business, science and more. If you are looking for something to watch on BBC News Live Online, then all of these services will help make it easier to find what you’re after. You can also search through different topics or see which programs are coming up on BBC One at any time with this guide!

Watch BBC News Live Abroad

The BBC is actually the public broadcaster of the United Kingdom so naturally the channel is broadcast in English. However, their coverage extends far beyond the UK borders, in fact the BBC has one of the largest journalist networks in the world. Anyone who has ever listed to the BBC World Service will be familiar with the extensive world coverage of reporting. The BBC has a presence in virtually all corners of the world, with some of the best journalists in the business too.

BBC Covers More Local and UK Regional News

Watching the BBC News is easy with these various regional channels that provide coverage for each region in addition to providing international news as well. Most of this coverage starts after the national news where you will be switched to the news in your local area. This area can be configured in the BBC iPlayer settings where you can control which region you want to set as default e.g., BBC Wales, BBC London etc. See the local news section below for more detailed information.

One can watch BBC News at Six on weekdays where Huw Edwards hosts the evening news programme, or you can watch it at 10:00 pm on Sundays when they air it live across all regions. The BBC Breakfast provides breakfast news, business, weather and sport for those who want to tune in from the start of their day as well as those who are just waking up.  On weekdays also you’ll find the award-winning programme Newsnight which is a topical news show which covers important events.

News Coverage without Bias

The BBC is often accused of political bias in the UK however it’s fearlessly defensive of its impartiality especially with regards their new coverage. There’s unlikely to be a more impartial source of English-speaking news in the world, certainly not of the quality of the BBC. The corporation has strict guidelines regarding its reporting, and all of these adhere to the very highest journalistic standards.

BBC News Regions

The BBC News coverage is spread over various channels both TV and radio based. All of these channels can be accessed online mostly through the BBC iPlayer web site and application. The main source however particular for international news is the BBC News channel which is accessible 24 hours a day. The BBC also broadcasts local news from all areas of the United Kingdom.

Here’s some of the local BBC News Regions

These are all from England, although there are also news regions from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

BBC International Regions

watch bbc live free

How to Watch BBC News Live iPlayer

Sounds great and it really is, as a primary source for all world news then the BBC News stations are hard to beat for any English speaker. If you’re learning English, they’re great too especially if you’d rather an English accent than an American one.

As we’ve mentioned all the TV channels including the BBC News are available online to watch both live and recorded. Although you can generally only watch the headline news on the day it’s published and released. You can watch all the special programmes and documentaries usually for up to 6 months after.  If you’ve got access to BBC iPlayer on your TV, then arguably you won’t need any other TV channels or paid subscriptions.

BBC iPlayer App and Website Restricted to UK

You’ve probably heard that you can access the full BBC News Schedule plus the dozens of other BBC channels for free – however there is a slight catch. The BBC does indeed make all it’s content available free online there are two pre-requisites –

  • You must have a UK TV license.
  • You must access from within the UK.

So, this is obviously rather difficult for anyone outside the United Kingdom. The first requirement is not actually that difficult to meet, as there are no checks other than asking you if you have one! A little tip when you are asked – “do you have a current UK TV license” you should answer ‘Yes’. There’s no check on the actual TV license and if you say ‘No’ then you won’t be allowed access.  This is vital if you don’t say yes then you won’t be able to watch iPlayer abroad from anywhere!

Using a VPN to Watch BBC 1 News Online

The second problem is slightly more difficult to solve than the TV license check. Obviously moving to the UK is not really practical (and at the moment not that desirable with Boris in charge!). So how can we solve this issue? How can you watch UK TV online in somewhere like Spain?

It’s also quite simple to do although unfortunately does involve a small cost for something called a VPN. This is techno speak for virtual private network but don’t worry it’s extremely easy to use if you choose the right one. Here’s a video showing you how easy it is to use one of the cheapest ones – NordVPN to access the BBC from anywhere in the world.

Using NordVPN to Access BBC Streaming Service

NordVPN Latest Discounts

That’s all there is to it, a very simple process which millions of us use to watch the BBC News and all their other channels whenever we like. I think I was watching the BBC from France in this one, but your real location doesn’t really matter. When you connect to the VPN server, as long as it’s in the United Kingdom all the BBC programmes and channels will work perfectly wherever you happen to be. UK expats have been using them for over a decade to watch the BBC from their new homes.

Creating a BBC iPlayer Account (Update in 2024)

Although this wasn’t previously necessary, in 2024 you will actually need to create an account to use BBC iPlayer irrespective of your location. Without it you won’t be able to stream any programmes or watch live on the website or application. Many people, particularly ex-pats will probably already have an account but don’t worry if you don’t.

The BBC accounts are completely free and are easy to create even if you have to do it through a VPN. There’s only a couple of things you need – an email address, a UK VPN service (if outside UK) and a UK Postcode.

BBC iPlayer Registration

Here’s the registration screen as mentioned above there are only a few short questions. You’re asked if you are over 13 in order to access age related content, probably best to answer YES unless you want to be restricted to the children’s channels.

The other information you’ll need is a valid email address, any will do as long as you can access properly and a UK postcode.

What a Postcode! I Don’t live in the UK!

Lots of people panic or simply give up when they see the request for UK postcode. If you’re not familiar, it’s simply a postal address code similar to the US ZIP code and most developed countries have something similar.

The important point to remember is that you don’t have to prove that you reside or have any real connection with this post code. The only important factor is that it’s a real, valid code which actually exists. So as long as you enter a proper valid post code then everything will work fine. Check out the ones below or grab one from the web.

Some UK Postcodes to Use

It doesn’t matter which postcodes you use when validating your BBC iPlayer account. As long as it’s a real valid one then everything will work fine. It should be remembered that it will be used to localize your account initially. So if you supply a London postcode for example then you’ll get some London based content like news and programmes.

London Postcodes for BBC





Welsh Postcodes for BBC




Birmingham Postcodes for BBC

Please note that most Birmingham postcodes are 5 digits.

B1 1ER B1 1ES B1 1EU

B1 1EW B1 1EY B1 1EZ

B1 1FD B1 1FE B1 1FF

So grab any postcode when setting up your account, or if you want a specific location just google a local business or amenity. There’s no check and as long as the postcode is valid everything will work fine.

Use a UK Server to Access Other UK Channels Too

What’s more the exact same process unlocks all the other UK TV channels as well including ITV Hub which is possibly the next best after the BBC. They also have lots of news programmes too and check out Channel 4 for some world class documentaries too.

Other channels include Channel 5 and the UK’s biggest subscription channels Sky. You need a subscription for most of their programmes but currently can watch the excellent Sky News channel just by using a UK VPN service.

Using a VPN to Watch Other Channels

When people first start using a VPN program like this, they’re usually after something specific. Maybe it’s the BBC News, or Coronation Street, Love Island or Strictly Dancing. Mostly home TV shows that they miss when travelling or moving abroad. However, a VPN offers much, much more than just being able to watch the BBC from Australia if you use it properly.

Most TV channels across the world do exactly the same with their online content. That is, they restrict free access to their domestic market. Just as the BBC blocks access from outside the UK, most US channels filter non-US traffic too. All the major broadcasters in Europe, Asia and Africa do exactly the same too.

Change Countries Whenever You Need

However as long as you use a decent VPN like NordVPN which has lots of global servers included in the base subscription you can access these too. Just by changing the country you connect from you can enjoy Irish, Canadian, Australian TV channels too. In fact, anywhere you like, it’s not just restricted to English speaking locations either, so enjoy French, German or Indian TV too.

A decent VPN means that these blocks (called geo-blocks) based on your location won’t apply to you anymore. Your VPN will quietly sidestep all these restrictions and let you appear to be from wherever you need to be from!

Here’s the link to the latest NordVPN discounts, our favorite VPN. Connect to a UK server for BBC iPlayer and watch live from anywhere in the world.

Watch BBC 1 Live

If you want to watch the latest news broadcasts, there’s two main locations.  You can watch the BBC News broadcasts on BBC 1 live each evening at 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm GMT.   The other option is to watch the BBC News channels which has regular hourly bulletins throughout the day.

Watch BBC News Abroad Live – Not Catch Up

To watch BBC News live then use the dedicated news channel.  Other news programmes are available on the archive but these are normally special investigations and reports from channels like Panorama and Newsnight.  The majority of News programmes are not archived obviously as they are soon out of date.


Leave a Comment