The BBC has said strong iPlayer growth is thanks largely to Apple's iPad tablet.

According to iPlayer figures, or 'iStats', for the first quarter of the year, requests averaged at 190 million per month. The firm said that requests from mobile and tablet devices grew 94 percent compared with the same period last year.

The BBC said: "Apple announced the BBC iPlayer app for iPads is the top free app of all time in the UK."

It was revealed that 15 percent of total requests came from smartphones and tablets in April this year. Requests from computers has dropped 10 percent over the last year making way for the rise of devices like Smart TVs, games consoles and Blu-ray players.

These three account for 11 percent of total requests, an increase of 57 percent compared to April of last year.

Popular programs on the on-demand service helping the growth this year have included Top Gear, The Voice and The Apprentice.