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What’s coming soon to BritBox in January 2022?

Staff Writer

BritBox is kicking off 2022 with a selection of old-school favourites, from Jon Pertwee’s Worzel Gummidge and Ivor the Engine to the original Rentaghost, more Maid Marian and the complete collections of Bugs and Coupling. But the film library is also expanding with modern gems such as The Escapist and High Rise. And, to top it all off, there’s the small matter of another BritBox Original; the period drama Hotel Portofino starring Natasha McElhone.

Here’s what’s coming soon to BritBox UK in January 2022:

The Escapist – 1st January

Frank’s 14 years into a life sentence when he decides to break out of the London prison to set things right with his ill junkie daughter. He plans an ingenious escape requiring 4 inmates with different skills. Starring Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham, Dominic Cooper and Brian Cox.

Last Orders – 1st January

Charismatic butcher Jack Dodds instructs his lifelong friends to make a special journey in the wake of his death to deliver his ashes to the sea. Starring Michael Caine, Helen Mirren and Ray Winstone.

Martha, Meet Daniel, Frank and Laurence – 1st January

Three childhood friends all separately fall for cute American Martha and within three days of her arrival at a London airport, their friendship is at risk. Starring Joseph Fiennes, Monica Potter and Rufus Sewell.

Byzantium – 6th January

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deadly consequences, the secret shared by two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton and Sam Riley.

High Rise – 6th January

The lives of the members of a high-rise tower in London run into chaos, violence and murder when a young doctor moves into one of the apartments of the building. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller.

I Give it a Year – 6th January

Newlywed couple Nat and Josh are deliriously happy despite their differences, though friends and family aren’t convinced that they can last. With their first anniversary approaching and attractive alternatives in the mix, can they last? Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall and Anna Faris.

Journeyman – 6th January

Boxer Matty Burton suffers a serious head injury during a fight. This is the story about the impact on his marriage, his life, and his family. Starring Paddy Considine and Jodie Whittaker.

Our Kind of Traitor – 6th January

A couple finds themselves lured into a Russian oligarch’s plans to defect, and are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust. Starring Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Stellan Skarsgård and Nadine Harris.

The Mercy – 6th January

The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times. Starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz.

The Sense of an Ending – 6th January

A middle-aged business owner who lives a quiet life in London reunites with his first love after his mother unexpectedly receives a letter from his ex-girlfriend from school which forces him to confront the past. Starring Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer.

Babs – 6th January

Biopic about Dame Barbara Windsor, the Cockney kid with a dazzling smile and talent to match. Preparing to perform in the theatre one cold evening in 1993, the cheeky, chirpy blonde Babs recounts the people and events that have shaped her life and career over fifty years from 1943 to 1993. Starring Samantha Spiro and Jaime Winstone.

When Harvey Met Bob – 6th January

Feature-length drama about how singer Bob Geldof and promoter Harvey Goldsmith put together Live Aid, the global charity music event. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ian Hart and Antonia Campbell-Hughes.

A Little Princess S1 (1986-87) – 6th January

Sara Crewe enters a London boarding school as a wealthy lady when she bids her father farewell as he enters the British Army, but her lifestyle quickly vanishes when her father suddenly dies, and Sara must endure a life of servitude. Starring Maureen Lipman and Amelia Shankley.

Fantomcat S1-2 (1995-96) – 6th January

17th century swashbuckling hero Fantom the Cat, awakens in modern times and helps officers Tabs Wildcat, Mouse MacDuff and Pigeon Lindbergh, fight crime ring leader Marmagora the Giant Spider and her henchmen. Animated series starring Jimmy Hibbert and Lorelei King.

Ivor the Engine in Colour (1976-77) – 6th January

In the ‘top, left hand corner of Wales’ runs an archaic railway line staffed by such characters as Jones the Steam and Dai Station. Their pride is Ivor, the steam engine with a will of his own and a penchant for such things as looking after dragons in his firebox. Starring Olwen Griffiths, Anthony Jackson and Oliver Postgate.

The Ink Thief S1 (1994) – 6th January

The Ink Thief steals the power of children’s imaginations by taking the ink from drawings and pulling two young children into his world inhabited by Oobs and other creatures of imagination. Children’s adventure series starring Richard O’Brien and Toyah Wilcox.

Whizziwig S1-2 (1998-99) – 6th January

The story of a child’s relationship with an extraterrestrial which is completely unable to control its ability to grant wishes. Said ability usually results in wishes being made in the heat of the moment then being granted with tragic ramifications for both the protagonists and Whizziwig. Children’s sci-fi series starring Tyler Butterworth and Brian Bovell.

Widget S1 (1990) – 6th January

Widget is an alien that has come down from the sky to learn about humans with the aid of his sidekick, Brain. They explore the world and educate kids on health, safety, emotions and dangers. Children’s animated series starring Russi Taylor and Jim Cummings.

Worzel Gummidge Down Under S1-2 (1987-89) – 6th January

The continuing adventures of Worzel Gummidge, the magic scarecrow, only this time he’s in New Zealand! Children’s fantasy series starring Jon Pertwee, Bruce Phillips and Una Stubbs.

Maid Marian & Her Merry Men S3-4 (1993-94) – 6th January

The true story of Sherwood Forest is finally revealed: Robin was a cowardly tailor from Kensington, and Marian was the brains behind the Merry Men. With her ruthless band of freedom fighters, Marian seeks to save the villagers of Worksop from the tyranny of King John and his cunning henchman, the Sheriff of Nottingham… Comedy series starring Tony Robinson, Mike Edmonds and Mark Billingham. (Season 1 and 2 are already available on BritBox UK.)

Rentaghost S1-2 (1976) – 6th January

Harold and Ethel Meaker live in South Ealing, and run a business called `Rentaghost’, where they rent ghosts and poltergeists out to the public on a daily or weekly basis. Children’s comedy series starring Michael Staniforth, Edward Brayshaw and Molly Weir. Series 9 is already available on BritBox.

The Saint S5-6 (1966-68) – 6th January

The final two series’ of Sir Roger Moore’s crime drama following Simon Templar, a 20th Century Robin Hood, who travels the world to solve the unsolvable and right wrongs committed against the beautiful, wealthy and elite. Also starring Ivor Dean, Leslie Crawford and Justine Lord.

Ballykissangel S5-6 (1999-2001) – 13th January

A young British priest adjusts to life in a rural Irish community where life revolves around the church and the local pub. Everyone knows everyone else’s business, and everyone usually has an opinion on it. While characters come and go, the small-town qualities remain. Starring Stephen Tompkinson, Dervla Kirwan and Tony Doyle.

Hampton Court: Behind Closed Doors S1 (2021) – 13th January

Inside Hampton Court is an intimate look behind the scenes of King Henry VIII’s beloved royal palace on the Thames. Now a popular tourist attraction, this series follows the team who care for the palace, its parklands and historic rooms, and who cope with the thousands of visitors every year.

How We Forgot to Save the Planet (2021) – 13th January

In this irreverent one-off special, comedian Kieran Hodgson explores the history of climate change in Britain. Kieran and an all-star cast guide viewers on a journey to understand how we forgot to save the planet and what we need to do to fix it.

Queen Victoria’s Children (2021) – 13th January

In a 60-year family saga, this three-part documentary series explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children.

The Wrong Mans S1-2 (2013-14) – 13th January

Sam Pinkett and Phil Bourne abruptly become entangled in a far-fetched, but deadly serious web of crime, after Sam answers a ringing phone at the site of a car crash. Comedy series starring Mathew Baynton, James Corden and Sarah Solemani.

Coupling S1-4 (2000-2004) – 20th January

Sitcom following the trials and tribulations of six thirty somethings struggling with life in general, but above all, relationships. Starring Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt and Ben Miles.

Wodehouse in Exile (2013) – 20th January

An all-star cast heads up this intimate film about how author, P.G.Wodehouse, came to face a charge of treason during the Second World War and how this quintessential Englishman, creator of Jeeves and Wooster, became an exile from his own country and never set foot on English soil again. Starring Tim Pigott-Smith, Zoë Wanamaker and Curran McKay.

Daphne (2007) – 20th January

Daphne Du Maurier, author of “Rebecca” and “Jamaica Inn,” becomes attracted to the wife of a publisher and to an actress. Biographical drama starring Elizabeth McGovern, Janet McTeer and Geraldine Somerville.

The Battle of Britain (2020) – 20th January

Dan Snow and Kate Humble tell the story of the critical aerial battle that changed the course of the Second World War, as the German Luftwaffe amassed large attacks against the RAF to gain air supremacy to land the invasion ‘Operation Sealion’ and all that stands in their way are the brave men and women of the Royal Air Force.

The Crimson Field S1 (2014) – 20th January

During the First World War, Kitty Trevelyan tries to put the past troubles behind her as she joins two other girls to volunteer at one of the busy war hospitals in northern France. Drama series starring Oona Chaplin, Kevin Doyle and Suranne Jones.

Maxwell (2007) – 27th January

Feature-length television drama based on the life of the media magnate Robert Maxwell, father of Ghislaine; a man obsessed with wealth, power and his rival Rupert Murdoch. He tried everything in a desperate attempt to stop his world from falling apart.

The Gentle Touch S1-3 (1980-82) – 27th January

Drama series following the life of British Inspector Maggie Forbes as she works in a male-dominated profession. Starring Jill Gascoine, William Marlowe and Paul Moriarty.

Bugs S1-4 (1995-99) – 27th January

Ed, Ros, Alex and Beckett form the high-tech crime fighting team who work for the mysterious, secretive Bureau 2 chief, Jan, and are only assigned the most difficult and dangerous cases. Action-fiction series starring Jaye Griffiths, Jesse Birdsall and Craig McLachlan.

Hotel Portofino (2021) – 27th January

Starring Natasha McElhone, Hotel Portofino follows a British family who open a hotel for upper class travellers on the magical Italian Riviera during the Roaring 20s. The Hotel has only been open a few weeks, but the guests including the imperious Lady Latchmere (Anna Chancellor), are demanding and hard-to-please. Bella Ainsworth (McElhone) the co-proprietor and moving spirit behind the hotel, quickly finds herself being targeted by a scheming and corrupt local politician, Signor Danioni (Pasquale Esposito), who threatens to drag her into the red-hot political cauldron of Mussolini’s Italy.

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