The Best British Sitcoms of All Time TV Programs

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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Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 49 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    - 404

    most listed
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

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  2. 2
    + 1863
    - 375

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

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  3. 3
    + 1044
    - 372


    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  4. 4
    + 1308
    - 549


    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  5. 5
    + 1024
    - 248


    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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  6. 6
    + 1211
    - 490


    John Inman, Wendy Richard, Frank Thornton

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  7. 7
    + 1164
    - 400


    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Noel Fielding

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  8. 8
    + 1142
    - 339

    ranked low on reranks
    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

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  9. 9
    + 857
    - 384

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

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  10. 10
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    - 330


    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  11. 11
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    often listed
    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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  12. 12
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    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders

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  13. 13
    + 972
    - 215

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

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  14. 14
    + 595
    - 272


    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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  15. 15
    + 716
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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  16. 16
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    Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

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  17. 17
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    Kenneth Connor, Sam Kelly, Gorden Kaye

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  18. 18
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    Rachel Blanchard, Sophie Winkleman, David Mitchell

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  19. 19
    + 534
    - 180


    Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton

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  20. 20
    + 491
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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  21. 21
    + 559
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    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  22. 22
    + 472
    - 219


    John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn

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  23. 23
    + 477
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  24. 24
    + 369
    - 321

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

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  25. 25
    + 401
    - 188


    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  26. 26
    + 498
    - 224


    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  27. 27
    + 478
    - 187

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

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  28. 28
    + 397
    - 248


    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  29. 29
    + 416
    - 232


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  30. 30
    + 361
    - 223

    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes

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  31. 31
    + 377
    - 259


    Zoë Wanamaker, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Robert Lindsay

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  32. 32
    + 352
    - 222


    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  33. 33
    + 474
    - 169

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

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  34. 34
    + 297
    - 134


    Joanna Lumley, Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell

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  35. 35
    + 354
    - 220


    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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  36. 36
    + 365
    - 189


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  37. 37
    + 308
    - 223

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sheridan Smith, Liz Smith, Joanne Froggatt

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  38. 38
    + 467
    - 218

    added by VanessaHawelu
    Tom Baker, David Walliams, Matt Lucas

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  39. 39
    + 379
    - 192

    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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  40. 40
    + 291
    - 209


    Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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  41. 41
    + 421
    - 300


    Jennifer Gibney, Brendan O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack

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  42. 42
    + 349
    - 116

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

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  43. 43
    + 314
    - 235


    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  44. 44
    + 319
    - 229


    James Corden, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman

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  45. 45
    + 380
    - 235


    Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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  46. 46
    + 457
    - 274

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

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  47. 47
    + 224
    - 174

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

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  48. 48
    + 177
    - 158

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

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  49. 49
    + 139
    - 49

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

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  50. 50
    + 326
    - 204


    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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203 +

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