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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.

The Best British Sitcoms of All Time TV Programs
  • 43 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1425
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    most listed
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

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  2. 2
    + 1617
    - 345

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

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  3. 3
    + 1152
    - 475


    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  4. 4
    + 1084
    - 436


    John Inman, Wendy Richard, Frank Thornton

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  5. 5
    + 914
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    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  6. 6
    + 1028
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    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

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  7. 7
    + 772
    - 338

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Chris Barrie

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  8. 8
    + 892
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    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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  9. 9
    + 858
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    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  10. 10
    + 1045
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    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Noel Fielding

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  11. 11
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    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders

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  12. 12
    + 692
    - 420

    often listed
    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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  13. 13
    + 845
    - 173

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

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  14. 14
    + 534
    - 249


    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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  15. 15
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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  16. 16
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    often listed
    Rachel Blanchard, Sophie Winkleman, David Mitchell

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  17. 17
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    Kenneth Connor, Sam Kelly, Gorden Kaye

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  18. 18
    + 587
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    Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

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  19. 19
    + 443
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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  20. 20
    + 505
    - 279


    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  21. 21
    + 481
    - 158

    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton

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  22. 22
    + 411
    - 199


    John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn

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  23. 23
    + 423
    - 284

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  24. 24
    + 438
    - 203


    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  25. 25
    + 371
    - 212


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  26. 26
    + 327
    - 294

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Steve Coogan, David Schneider, Amelia Bullmore

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  27. 27
    + 360
    - 170

    ranked low on reranks
    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  28. 28
    + 337
    - 234

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Zoë Wanamaker, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Robert Lindsay

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  29. 29
    + 357
    - 224


    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  30. 30
    + 428
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    ranked low on reranks
    Tony Robinson, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolyes

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  31. 31
    + 404
    - 166

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

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  32. 32
    + 312
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    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes

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  33. 33
    + 319
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  34. 34
    + 328
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Tom Baker, David Walliams, Matt Lucas

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  36. 36
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    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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  37. 37
    + 350
    - 172

    added by Leslie2
    Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Paul Eddington 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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    Joanna Lumley, Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell

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  39. 39
    + 368
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    Jennifer Gibney, Brendan O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack

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  40. 40
    + 341
    - 216


    Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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  41. 41
    + 266
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    Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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  42. 42
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Erik the Redd
    Benny Hill, Nicholas Parsons, Patricia Hayes

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  43. 43
    + 151
    - 138

    often listed & added by Booksflavia
    Noel Fielding, Matt Berry, Julian Barratt

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  44. 44
    + 271
    - 202


    Sheridan Smith, Liz Smith, Joanne Froggatt

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  45. 45
    + 401
    - 249

    ranked low on reranks
    Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge, Adrian Scarborough

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  46. 46
    + 280
    - 217


    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  47. 47
    + 298
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    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  48. 48
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    Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Anna Skellern

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  49. 49
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    added by Trioxin245
    Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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  50. 50
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    - 99

    ranked low on reranks & added by BobEqualityGreen
    John Cleese, June Whitfield, Peter Sallis

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