The Best British Sitcoms of All Time TV Programs
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The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

List Criteria: Episodic comedy shows that initially debuted on British television

Funniest British TV shows ever produced, ranked by worldwide comedy fans. British sitcoms - or "Britcoms" as they are sometimes called in the US - are known for their crisp dialogue, biting wit and sardonic look at modern life in the UK. Shows like The Office (which inspired the US series), Are You Being Served and Absolutely Fabulous present traditional settings and scenes, but populated by outlandish, even demented, eccentrics, some of whom have become among the nation's most iconic characters. (Both David Brent of The Office and Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers have been voted near the top of Ranker's "Funniest TV Characters of All Time" list.)

Additionally, though US sitcoms tend to take one of a few reliable formats - a traditional three-camera set-up in front of a studio audience, say, or the "mockumentary" style of shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation - British sitcoms tend towards the more experimental and daring. Blackadder, for example, sets each new season in a different time period, with relations of the original two characters: Blackadder and Baldrick. Peep Show as well tells a rather familiar story about two wacky roommates, but through a unique POV perspective, with the actors performing largely in voice-over.

What are the best British comedy series? Numerous English comedies on this list - as from the obvious The Office - have inspired American remakes, though the vast majority of these - such as the US versions of Fawlty Towers and Men Behaving Badly - have not met with similar success across the pond.

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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

    ) open buy now
  2. 2
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    the people's #1
    John Cleese, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

    ) open buy now
  3. 3
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    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

    ) open buy now
  4. 4
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    John Inman, Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden

    ) open buy now
  5. 5
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    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

    ) open buy now
  6. 6
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    Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Chloë Annett

    ) open buy now
  7. 7
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    John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

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  8. 8
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    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Berry

    ) open buy now
  9. 9
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    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

    ) open buy now
  10. 10
    + 640
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    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  11. 11
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    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Suzi Quatro

    ) open buy now
  12. 12
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    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

    ) open buy now
  13. 13
    + 515
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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

    ) open buy now
  14. 14
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    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

    ) open buy now
  15. 15
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Rowan Atkinson, Rupert Vansittart, Howard Goodall

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  16. 16
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    Rachel Blanchard, David Mitchell, Olivia Colman

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  17. 17
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    Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Blake Harrison, James Buckley

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  18. 18
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    Kenneth Connor, Gorden Kaye, Sam Kelly

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  19. 19
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    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  20. 20
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Barbara Flynn

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  21. 21
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    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

    ) open buy now
  22. 22
    + 302
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    Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

    ) open buy now
  23. 23
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    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Wilson, Angus Deayton, Janine Duvitski

    ) open buy now
  24. 24
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    Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  25. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steve Coogan, David Schneider, Amelia Bullmore

    ) open buy now
  26. 26
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  27. 27
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    ranked low on reranks
    Tony Robinson, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolyes

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  28. 28
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  29. 29
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    Zoë Wanamaker, Robert Lindsay, Daniela Denby-Ashe

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  30. 30
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alanviets
    Judi Dench, Joan Sims, Geoffrey Palmer

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  31. 31
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  32. 32
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Tom Baker, Anthony Head, David Walliams

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  33. 33
    + 242
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    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Patrick McAlinney

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  34. 34
    + 286
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  35. 35
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    added by Leslie2
    Richard Briers, Paul Eddington, Felicity Kendal British sitcom produced by the BBC that ran from 1975 to 1978. It was written by Bob Larbey and John Esmonde. In 2004, it came 9th in Britain's Best Sitcom. In the United States, it aired on various

    ) open buy now
  36. 36
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    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Mark Heap

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  37. 37
    + 261
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    Alexander Armstrong, Peter Bowles, Penelope Keith

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  38. 38
    + 219
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    Liz Smith, Sheridan Smith, Caroline Aherne

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  39. 39
    + 272
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    Jennifer Gibney, Gary Hollywood, Sorcha Cusack

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  40. 40
    + 296
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    Miranda Hart, Adrian Scarborough, Sally Phillips

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  41. 41
    + 179
    - 139

    Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Frances de la Tour

    ) open buy now
  42. 42
    + 123
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    added by Trioxin245
    Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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  43. 43
    + 234
    - 154

    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

    ) open buy now
  44. 44
    + 251
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    ranked low on reranks
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

    ) open buy now
  45. 45
    + 128
    - 130

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Julie Walters, Victoria Wood, Shobna Gulati

    ) open buy now
  46. 46
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    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  47. 47
    + 154
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Erik the Redd
    Benny Hill, Patricia Hayes, Henry McGee

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  48. 48
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    ranked low on reranks
    Joanna Lumley, Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett

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  49. 49
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    Reg Varney, Cicely Courtneidge, Bob Grant

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  50. 50
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    added by Booksflavia
    Matt Berry, Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt

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