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.
  • 33 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 John Cleese, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 859
    - 186

    most listed Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 603
    - 277

    John Inman, Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 632
    - 277

    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 627
    - 177

    John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 502
    - 209

    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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

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  8. 8
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    - 221

    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Berry

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  9. 9
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Suzi Quatro

    ) open
  10. 10
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    - 145

    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

    ) open
  11. 11
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    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  12. 12
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    - 267

    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 319
    - 158

    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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  14. 14
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    - 171

    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  15. 15
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    - 187

    often listed Rachel Blanchard, David Mitchell, Olivia Colman

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  16. 16
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    - 154

    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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    - 129

    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Barbara Flynn

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  20. 20
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu Rowan Atkinson, Rupert Vansittart, Howard Goodall

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  21. 21
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    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  22. 22
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    Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Steve Coogan, David Schneider, Amelia Bullmore

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  24. 24
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    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  25. 25
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    Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

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  26. 26
    + 273
    - 98

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

    ) open
  27. 27
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    - 153

    Zoë Wanamaker, Robert Lindsay, Daniela Denby-Ashe

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  28. 28
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    - 101

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

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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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    - 78

    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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    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

    ) open
  38. 38
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    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  39. 39
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    Liz Smith, Sheridan Smith, Caroline Aherne

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  40. 40
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    Alexander Armstrong, Peter Bowles, Penelope Keith

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  41. 41
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    - 133

    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  42. 42
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    - 101

    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  43. 43
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    - 35

    added by Trioxin245 Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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  44. 44
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    Jennifer Gibney, Gary Hollywood, Sorcha Cusack

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  45. 45
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    - 120

    Reg Varney, Cicely Courtneidge, Bob Grant

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  46. 46
    + 158
    - 132

    Rob Brydon, James Corden, Joanna Page

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  47. 47
    + 126
    - 106

    Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Frances de la Tour

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  48. 48
    + 100
    - 122

    Stephen Merchant, Nick Frost, Sarah Alexander

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 121
    - 74

    Joanna Lumley, Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett

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  50. 50
    + 64
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Kenneth Connor, Paul Shane, Leslie Dwyer

    ) open
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