The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

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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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  • 51 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray

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  2. 2
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    the people's #1
    John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

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  3. 3
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    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  4. 4
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    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  5. 5
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    Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton

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  6. 6
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    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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    Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

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  8. 8
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

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    Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson

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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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    Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

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  13. 13
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    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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    Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Matilda Ziegler

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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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    Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle

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    Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

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  18. 18
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    Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton

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  19. 19
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    David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King

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  20. 20
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    Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds

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  21. 21
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    Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

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  22. 22
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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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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    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  25. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall

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    Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay

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    Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws

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    ranked low on reranks & added by alanviets
    Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira Brooker

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  29. 29
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    Rob Schneider, Dina Spybey-Waters, Ron Eldard

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  30. 30
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    added by PeteBoyle
    Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin

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    ranked low on reranks
    Rowan Atkinson, Rony Robinson, Stephen Fry

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert Lindsay, Zoë Wanamaker, Gabriel Thomson

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    Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Steven O'Donnell

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    Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Deborah Norton

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    Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton

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    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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    added by Leslie2
    Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith 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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  38. 38
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    Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne

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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker

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    Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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    Brendan O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Dermot O'Neill

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    Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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    Joanna Page, Mathew Horne, Alison Steadman

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  44. 44
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    Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant

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    ranked low on reranks & added by Erik the Redd
    Benny Hill, Nicholas Parsons, Patricia Hayes

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  46. 46
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Anna Skellern

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    ranked low on reranks
    Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge, Tom Ellis

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  48. 48
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    often listed & added by Booksflavia
    Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding

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  49. 49
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    Doc Martin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

    added by keith-e-spear
    Doc Martin Trials and tribulations of a socially challenged doctor in Cornwall, England

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  50. 50
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    Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Brint

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