How to watch The Big Night In: stream the BBC fundraiser online from anywhere

watch Big Night In
(Image credit: BBC)

There's a veritable who's who of British comedy and light entertainment coming together tonight for a BBC special telethon - read on to find out how to watch The Big Night In online and live stream the charity fundraiser no matter where you are in the world.

The show sees Comic Relief and Children in Need join forces for a night of live acts that will see big names appearing via video links from their homes in an effort to raise money for those fighting coronavirus on the frontline.

Complying with the government’s social distancing guidelines, the BBC promise big laughs from top comics alongside chances to win “money can’t buy prizes”, live music performances and “big surprises”.

The Big Night In cheat sheet

The star-studded telethon is being aired on BBC1 on Thursday 23 April from 7pm to 10pm. It will be available to watch on iPlayer shortly after broadcast.

Following closely in the footsteps of last weekend's spectacular One World: Together at Home concert, the show is set to be hosted live by Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Matt Baker, Paddy McGuinness and Zoe Ball.

Among the expected highlights, the fundraiser is set premier Peter Kay's new version of his “(Is This The Way To) Amarillo” music video. Coming 15 years after the original hit, the new video features members of the public who have filmed themselves dancing along. 

Elsewhere, David Williams and Matt Lucas are set to resurrect Little Britain, with the pair set to play characters from the show for the first time in a decade, while Catherine Tate will reprise her role as schoolgirl Lauren.

Viewers will be able to donate to the fundraiser to support vulnerable people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK that are set to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis, with donations to be split between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.

It's set to be an event not to be missed - so here's how to watch The Big Night In online tonight no matter where you are in the world.

How to watch The Big Night In online for free - live stream the BBC event in the UK

BBC iPlayer

Tonight's celebrity-packed special is being shown on free-to-air BBC 1 in the UK at the time of 7pm BST. 

If you would prefer to use your laptop, phone, iPad or other device to watch this Thursday, you can use the BBC iPlayer app to stream The Big Night In instead - where the show will also be available in its entirety on-demand following the live broadcast. Best of all, it's FREE provided you hold a valid TV license.

You can also head over to the free to use which has good quality streaming as well as the rest of the Freeview channels on one easy platform.

How to watch The Big Night In live online from abroad

While anyone in the UK will find it easy to watch The Big Night In tonight courtesy of the BBC, folks elsewhere in the world may struggle to tune in to the bastion of British television because of geo-blocking.

If this is the case, anyone from the UK who's currently abroad and holds a valid TV license in Blighty could consider using a VPN. This nifty bit of software changes your IP address so that you can access all the content and services you already pay for back home - just from anywhere in the world.

we always recommend ExpressVPN

There are hundreds of VPNs to choose from, we always recommend ExpressVPN. As well as being fast, simple, and straightforward to install, it's also compatible with a whole host of devices - Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and Android to name some of the main ones.

Plus, ExpressVPN's flexible 30-day money back guarantee is difficult to argue with. Even better, you can purchase an annual plan for a 49% discount and 3 months extra FREE – a brilliant offer for an essential bit of software.

Once installed, select the location of your home country and simply click connect to watch the telethon at home from anywhere on the planet.

James Laird

James is a technology journalist with nearly 10 years experience and currently Sports and TV Streaming Editor at Future, where he works across TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide. He is here to help you find the best ways to watch sports, TV shows and movies online. Previously, he was News and Features Editor at Trusted Reviews, Editor of Lifehacker UK, and Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.