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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    the people's #1 John Cleese, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

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  2. 2
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    most listed Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

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  3. 3
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    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  4. 4
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    John Inman, Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden

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  5. 5
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    John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

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  6. 6
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    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  7. 7
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    Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Chloë Annett

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  8. 8
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Suzi Quatro

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  9. 9
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    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Berry

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  10. 10
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    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  11. 11
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    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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  12. 12
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    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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  13. 13
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    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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  14. 14
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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  15. 15
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Rachel Blanchard, David Mitchell, Olivia Colman

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  16. 16
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    Kenneth Connor, Gorden Kaye, Sam Kelly

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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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    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  19. 19
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Barbara Flynn

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  20. 20
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Steve Coogan, David Schneider, Amelia Bullmore

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu Rowan Atkinson, Rupert Vansittart, Howard Goodall

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  22. 22
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    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  24. 24
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    Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

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  25. 25
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    ranked low on reranks Tony Robinson, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolyes

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  26. 26
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    Zoë Wanamaker, Robert Lindsay, Daniela Denby-Ashe

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  27. 27
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    ranked low on reranks Richard Wilson, Angus Deayton, Janine Duvitski

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  28. 28
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    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  29. 29
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  30. 30
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  31. 31
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    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Patrick McAlinney

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  32. 32
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    added by VanessaHawelu Tom Baker, Anthony Head, David Walliams

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  33. 33
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  34. 34
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    added by PeteBoyle Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Mark Heap

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  35. 35
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    added by alanviets Judi Dench, Joan Sims, Geoffrey Palmer

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  36. 36
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    Miranda Hart, Adrian Scarborough, Sally Phillips

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  37. 37
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    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  38. 38
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    Liz Smith, Sheridan Smith, Caroline Aherne

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  39. 39
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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

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  40. 40
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    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  41. 41
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    Alexander Armstrong, Peter Bowles, Penelope Keith

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  42. 42
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    ranked low on reranks Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  43. 43
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    Jennifer Gibney, Gary Hollywood, Sorcha Cusack

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  44. 44
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    added by Trioxin245 Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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  45. 45
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    Rob Brydon, James Corden, Joanna Page

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  46. 46
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    Reg Varney, Cicely Courtneidge, Bob Grant

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  47. 47
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    Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Frances de la Tour

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  48. 48
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    Stephen Merchant, Nick Frost, Sarah Alexander

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  49. 49
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    Joanna Lumley, Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett

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  50. 50
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    Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Danni Bennatar

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