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BBC iPlayer launches in 11 European countries

Home-sick ex-pats and European Anglophiles will be able to get a proper BBC fix on their iPads from today.

The Beeb has finally unleashed a subscription-based version of the popular catch-up service which has been enjoyed by Brits for years in 11 European outposts including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

The €7 a month, €50 a year service will roll out to other countries, no doubt if it makes a buck or two in the safe places chosen for the initial launch.

The service will be iPad only for at least a year according to reports, after which we suspect it will be rigged to work on other less expensive devices.

"Based on the soaring success of the UK's pioneering BBC iPlayer service, the app combines technical innovation with editorial creativity to transport users to the heart of the BBC and British television and on a journey of discovery, wherever and whenever they want," enthused the Beeb's press machine.

Unlike many existing streaming services, iPlayer for iPad will allow users to download content for later viewing.

It won't, however, feature the full seven days of catch up content for those of us living on UK soil who are forced to pay the £145.50 a year license fee.