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
  • 51 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

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  2. 2
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    the people's #1
    John Cleese, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

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  3. 3
    + 1,067
    - 388


    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  4. 4
    + 1,347
    - 564


    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  5. 5
    + 1,244
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    John Inman, Wendy Richard, Frank Thornton

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  6. 6
    + 1,051
    - 257


    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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  7. 7
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    ranked low on reranks
    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

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

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  9. 9
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    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Noel Fielding

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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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    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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  13. 13
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Rowan Atkinson, Rupert Vansittart, Howard Goodall

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  14. 14
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    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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    Kenneth Connor, Sam Kelly, Gorden Kaye

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  17. 17
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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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    Rachel Blanchard, Sophie Winkleman, David Mitchell

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  20. 20
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    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  21. 21
    + 510
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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  22. 22
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    John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn

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  23. 23
    + 493
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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, David Schneider, Amelia Bullmore

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  26. 26
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  27. 27
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    - 234


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  28. 28
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    - 193

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

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  29. 29
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    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  30. 30
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    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes

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  31. 31
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    ranked low on reranks
    Tony Robinson, Robbie Coltrane, Miriam Margolyes

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  32. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Zoë Wanamaker, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Robert Lindsay

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  33. 33
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  34. 34
    + 359
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  35. 35
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    Joanna Lumley, Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell

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  36. 36
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    - 224


    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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  37. 37
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    - 196

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

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  39. 39
    + 483
    - 220

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

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  40. 40
    + 301
    - 213


    Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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  41. 41
    + 391
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    Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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  42. 42
    + 430
    - 307


    Jennifer Gibney, Brendan O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack

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  43. 43
    + 331
    - 235


    James Corden, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman

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  44. 44
    + 366
    - 123

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

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  45. 45
    + 321
    - 243


    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  46. 46
    + 232
    - 181

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

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  47. 47
    + 469
    - 280

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

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  48. 48
    + 178
    - 165

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

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  49. 49
    + 334
    - 205


    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  50. 50
    + 146
    - 55
    Doc Martin is listed (or ranked) 50 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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