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BBC iPlayer - Killing Eve v Bodyguard, BBC reveals which one was most watched of 2018

Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve, which is still available on BBC iPlayer
(Image credit: Sid Gentle Films/Robert Viglasky)

Killing Eve and Bodyguard were the BBC's stars of 2018, but which one came out on top?

The first episode of Bodyguard was the most requested show on BBC iPlayer in 2018, the BBC has revealed.

A whopping 10.8 million requests were made for the opening instalment of the Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden drama, pipping Killing Eve, which starred Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, for the top spot.

Amazingly episodes of Bodyguard and Killing Eve had a clean sweep of the top 10 places, indeed all six episodes of Bodyguard made the Top 10 list, while four episodes of Killing Eve made it.

Bodyguard BBC1

Bodyguard was the most requested show of 2018 on BBC iPlayer

If you look simply per programme - so each show can only make one entry into the list - then Bodyguard was first, (10,842,000 requests)), Killing Eve second (9,235,000) and McMafia (3,965,000) third .

BBC iPlayer’s top 10 programmes (per series) list is dominated by drama, with the first episode of Doctor Who, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, taking the fourth spot.

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker in a new shot for the upcoming new series of Doctor Who

Doctor Who proved popular on BBCiPlayer

Outside of drama, BBCiPlayer obviously has lots of little fans as CBeebies hit Bing was the ninth most requested show - impressively beating England’s World Cup football clash with Sweden, which was 10th.

The only other non drama to make the list was the David Attenborough wildlife series Dynasties - it’s been revealed that the 92-year-old star is making another landmark show for the Beeb.

Both Bodyguard and Killing Eve are still available to watch. Of course, work is already under way on a second series of Killing Eve.

Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC, said: “In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it. Over the last 12 months viewers have enjoyed an increased number of box sets, along with other upgrades such as a selection of live Ultra HD programmes and increased personalisation.

"In a fiercely competitive market, with global streaming companies investing more and more in content, the challenge for 2019 is how to ensure that audiences can enjoy the full range and breadth of BBC programmes on iPlayer.”

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!