The BBC’s online services, including its website and iPlayer, suffered an outage last night due to a 'major technical issue'.

Although the BBC said that its engineers were still looking into the cause of the problem, it is similar to an outage that occurred in March 2011, which was blamed on a major network incident.

Yesterday’s problems caused the BBC website’s contents to become unavailable just after 20:00 BST. The iPlayer service was also knocked offline.

BBC iPlayer outage

Other problems included old stories appearing in the section of the website that shows the most popular stories of the day.

Some parts of the website, such as the BBC technology news page, went back online by 21:00 BST, but users found it difficult to access the BBC front page for a further hour.

The BBC said in a statement: "Due to a major technical issue, BBC Online was temporarily down on Wednesday evening.

"Service was restored to most users within an hour. We are working on full restoration as quickly as possible, and are investigating the cause of the outage."