How to Watch London New Year's Eve 2021 Countdown Live

Fireworks should be a blast


When the clock strikes midnight tonight, we finally get to say goodbye to the horrible year that was 2020. Well, anyone who can stay up that late, which can be a bit of a challenge for those of us with little kids.

A word of advice for new or adventurous (or drunk) parents who were planning on waking their children up just before midnight local time to join them in a countdown, toast and a kiss — don’t. We’ve tried — and failed at — that.

TheWrap’s got a better idea: party like — and with — the Brits. They may not have a giant ball, but there’s a hell of a fireworks display as Dec. 31 gives way to Jan. 1.

London is five hours ahead of the United States’ Eastern time zone. That means midnight in jolly old England is 7 p.m. ET (or 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT and 4 p.m. PT — but if the California kids are going to bed at 4 o’clock, that New Year’s Day hangover is going to be the least of parents’ problems.)

The London fireworks are broadcast locally on BBC One. That doesn’t much help us here. Nor does BBC America, which is just airing a “Doctor Who” marathon leading up to its New Year’s Day special.

The BBC One live stream via BBC iPlayer can be found at You will have to register ahead of time, a process which merely requires one to enter their date of birth, email address and create a password. Then check your email to confirm your (free) account. The BBC YouTube channel can be found here.

If the kids simply won’t go to sleep, or God forbid they have one more nightmare of 2020 (likely about 2020, children are sponges), your family can also watch the ball drop in Times Square via the below live stream. Technically, that celebration starts at 6 p.m. ET, so the patriotic young ones can catch a little American preparation — in the times of COVID — at the very least.

Oh, and in case you’ve already had way too much champagne, a reminder — no, you cannot attend the midtown Manhattan event (or anywhere, really) in person this year.

Here’s to 2021. Or really, to not 2020.

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