10 Best British Reality Shows on BBC iPlayer

Some people might denounce reality shows as trash TV, but they’re my favorite type of show. Whether you want to learn something new or just stew on your couch for an entire afternoon, these unscripted shows are the answer. I’ve researched the 10 best BBC reality TV shows, from cooking competitions to drag race drama, so you don’t have to.

BBC iPlayer is only available to UK residents, which can mean missing out if you travel abroad. CyberGhost VPN has a streaming-optimized server for BBC iPlayer, so you can access iPlayer securely without annoying error messages.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer with CyberGhost VPN

Gain secure access to BBC iPlayer wherever you go.

  1. Get CyberGhost VPN and download our app onto your streaming device.
  2. Connect to a streaming-optimized server for BBC iPlayer.
  3. Grab your snacks and watch all the reality TV you like.

The 10 Best British Reality Shows on BBC iPlayer

Not all reality shows are created equal. Skip the shows with a shoddy premise or poor production value and take a look at my top 10 British reality series on BBC iPlayer to get right to the good stuff.

1. The Traitors

The Traitors offers a unique mix of strategy, suspense, trust, and treachery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

This gripping series brings together 22 strangers who have to work together and complete challenges to build the ultimate prize pot. The catch? Among the contestants are three “Traitors” who are working to deceive and eliminate the other contestants (the “Faithful”) to claim the prize money for themselves.

Be prepared for plenty of twists and turns as the thrilling game of psychological warfare unfolds. Can the Faithful root out the Traitors and win the cash pot or will the Traitors get to them first?

2. Masterchef

MasterChef is a BBC reality TV original that’s taken the world by storm. Aspiring chefs from diverse backgrounds face a series of grueling challenges as they showcase their culinary skills in the hope of impressing judges John Torode and Greg Wallace.

Follow as contestants invent new and exciting dishes under some serious time pressure to progress through the weeknight heats to the Friday quarterfinal. Then watch the amateur cooks fight their way to the final by attempting to recreate a John Torode mystery dish and whipping up a show-stopping meal for the judges.

3. Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star

Glitz and glam is the name of the game in Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star. This BBC reality TV competition tests the skills and creativity of 10 aspiring make-up artists as they’re challenged to create stunning, unique looks each week.

Presented by British model Leomie Anderson, the show puts contestants through their paces as they attempt to impress beauty experts Val Garland and Dominic Skinner with their artistic vision and flair. 

This is one of the best BBC reality TV shows for fans of fashion and makeup who want to be inspired and entertained by the incredible possibilities of this art form. You can also watch it on Netflix.

4. Race Across the World

Catch the travel bug with Race Across the World, a unique competition that challenges contestants to traverse the globe without the use of planes, credit cards, or smartphones.

Teams must harness every ounce of resourcefulness they possess as they navigate diverse landscapes, from bustling cities to remote rural areas, to reach their final destination using the same amount of money they would have spent on the airfare.

Race Across the World offers viewers a refreshing take on classic travel competitions that will inspire your wanderlust and make you want to go on an adventure.

5. The Agency: Unfiltered

Peek behind the curtain of Scotland’s social media scene with Kirsten and Amy, the founders of influencer agency Aquarius Creative, in The Agency: Unfiltered. The show immerses viewers in the high-stakes world of talent management, where agents and influencers frequently find themselves at loggerheads.

Get yourself ready – in full glam, of course – for plenty of drama as the cast navigates the fast-paced world of social media. It’s a fascinating watch for anyone interested in what it’s like to live in the spotlight while trying to build a thriving business. 

6. Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing has been dazzling audiences with its mix of choreography, costumes, competition, and celebrity since 2004. 

Watch British celebrities and their professional dance partners as they attempt to win the hearts of the judges and the public with their interpretations of the waltz, samba, and other popular dances. 

Presented by Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, the show has been a firm favorite with local and international audiences since its premiere. You can keep up with all of the contestants as they take to the floor to win the coveted Glitterball Trophy on BBC iPlayer. 

7. Crazy Rich Agents: Selling Dream Homes

Crazy Rich Agents: Selling Dream Homes gives viewers a glimpse into the world of ultra-high-end real estate. The series follows a group of rookie real estate agents as they try to sell some of the most lavish properties in the UK.

Each episode gives you a look inside spectacular homes and shows you the intense negotiations involved in sealing deals in this competitive market. Whether you’re a fan of stunning architecture or strategic sales tactics, Crazy Rich Agents: Selling Dream Homes is sure to get your buy-in.

8. Antiques Roadshow

There are few better feelings than finding overlooked treasures in an antique store – unless you find a super-valuable collectible in your attic. Antiques Roadshow invites members of the public to bring their cherished heirlooms and garage sale finds alike for appraisal.

Each episode features a team of experts who tell the surprising stories behind each antique, from dusty paintings to never-been-used fine china and everything in between. Some items promise to bring their owners a big payday, while the value of others lies simply in the joy they spark each day. 

Antiques Roadshow is a relaxing watch for anyone who loves touching stories and beautiful, historic locations. If you’re keen on uncovering the potential hidden value of your dust collectors, you can even attend shows in person. 

9. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World brings a death drop battle of global proportions to BBC iPlayer. This series brings glamazons from across the world together to compete for the title of Queen of the Mothertucking World in this fabulous series.

Much like the other shows in the franchise, fierce competition is blended with uplifting messages of acceptance and self-expression. You’ll tune in for the flawless on-stage outfits and performances but want to stay for the backstabbing backstage drama. 

10. Love in the Flesh

Love in the Flesh brings together five couples who have only ever interacted online to see if they can turn their digital connections into real-life affection.

Hosted by Love Island alumnus Zara McDermott, the show hosts the 10 contestants in a stunning Greek beach house. The romantic setting is perfect for getting sparks to fly between established couples and new love interests alike.

There’s plenty of romance and some very hard reality in this BBC iPlayer dating show, making it a must-watch for anyone who’s a fan of relationship dramas and shows such as Love Island.

Why Watch BBC iPlayer with a VPN?

A VPN helps you access your favorite BBC shows while you’re traveling abroad. If you try to watch BBC iPlayer from a country other than the UK, you’ll see a notice that says, “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK.” A VPN allows you to change your virtual location back to the UK, so you can access the service just like you would at home.

If the Wi-FI network at your school or office blocks streaming sites, you can use a VPN to regain access. VPN encryption prevents the network from seeing your activity, so it can’t block your access to specific sites or apps like BBC iPlayer. You can also hide your activity from your ISP to bypass content-based throttling and maximize your speeds when streaming.

Streaming on public Wi-Fi can expose your data to online snoops and crooks. Connect to a VPN before streaming to protect your passwords and financial info from cybercriminals.

Why CyberGhost Is the Best VPN for Streaming

Many VPNs struggle to access streaming services. CyberGhost VPN has streaming-optimized servers for popular streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, which we check regularly to make sure you can always access the platforms without any glitching or error messages.

CyberGhost gives you lightning-fast VPN speeds, no matter where you are in the world, so you can stream reality TV shows smoothly in the highest resolution available. What’s more, we give you unlimited bandwidth and will never slow your connection just because you’re using loads of data for streaming.

CyberGhost VPN is easy to use, even if you don’t have any experience with VPNs. Simply download and install the app on your laptop, mobile device, Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV Stick. You can also use CyberGhost on other smart TVs and gaming devices.  

If you have any questions about customizing your setup, our customer support team is available to help you 24/7. You can try CyberGhost VPN risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee.

Can I Use a VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer Outside the UK?

Some VPN users connect to a server in the UK to watch BBC iPlayer from outside the country, but this is against our terms of service and is not acceptable.

CyberGhost is a privacy-forward no-logs VPN, meaning we can’t view your online activity and we never share your browsing data. While we don’t know what you’re doing online, you should always comply with BBC iPlayer’s terms of use, our terms of service, and any applicable law, including copyright.


What is the most watched reality show?

Gold Rush was the most-watched reality show in the US in 2023. The show, which can be streamed on Discovery+, gives viewers a glimpse into the tough lives of gold prospectors who put everything on the line to keep their families’ companies alive.

What shows are on the BBC?

The BBC broadcasts some of the world’s best dramas, comedies, documentaries, and reality shows. Some of the most popular shows include Doctor Who, Line of Duty, Sherlock, and Fleabag. You can stream BBC content online on BBC iPlayer.

Are there any new reality shows?

Vanderpump Villa (Netflix) and Lovers and Liars (The CW) are some of the most recent reality releases to hit screens. The BBC is also bringing The Traitors series from the US, New Zealand, and Australia to iPlayer.

Which reality TV show has the most drama?

The Real Housewives franchise is the collection of reality TV shows with the most drama. No matter which city you prefer – New Jersey, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, or the original Orange County – you’ll be treated to plenty of theatrics.

Who is the king of all reality shows?

Indian model and actor Prince Narula claims to be the reigning king of reality shows. He’s won many competitive reality TV shows, including MTV Roadies 12, MTV Splitsvilla 8, Bigg Boss 9, and Nach Baliye 9.

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