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
  • 47 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1544
    - 400

    most listed
    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson

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  2. 2
    + 1800
    - 370

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

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  3. 3
    + 1275
    - 534

    often listed
    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  4. 4
    + 1013
    - 360


    Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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  5. 5
    + 1182
    - 483


    John Inman, Wendy Richard, Frank Thornton

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  6. 6
    + 1117
    - 330


    John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

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  7. 7
    + 988
    - 243


    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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  8. 8
    + 1140
    - 394


    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Noel Fielding

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  9. 9
    + 839
    - 378

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

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  10. 10
    + 953
    - 320


    Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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  11. 11
    + 898
    - 443


    Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders

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  12. 12
    + 762
    - 456

    often listed
    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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  13. 13
    + 947
    - 201

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

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  14. 14
    + 582
    - 269


    Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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  15. 15
    + 698
    - 315


    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  16. 16
    + 647
    - 305


    Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

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  17. 17
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    - 278


    Kenneth Connor, Sam Kelly, Gorden Kaye

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  18. 18
    + 557
    - 330


    Rachel Blanchard, Sophie Winkleman, David Mitchell

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  19. 19
    + 522
    - 176


    Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton

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  20. 20
    + 481
    - 231


    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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  21. 21
    + 546
    - 300


    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  22. 22
    + 470
    - 318

    often listed
    Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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  23. 23
    + 464
    - 213


    John Le Mesurier, Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn

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  24. 24
    + 487
    - 221


    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  25. 25
    + 357
    - 316

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

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  26. 26
    + 389
    - 184


    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  27. 27
    + 407
    - 226


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  28. 28
    + 458
    - 181

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

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  29. 29
    + 391
    - 241


    Justine Bateman, Anna Gunn, Greg Proops

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  30. 30
    + 368
    - 253


    Zoë Wanamaker, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Robert Lindsay

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  31. 31
    + 351
    - 219

    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jessica Hynes

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  32. 32
    + 466
    - 166

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

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  33. 33
    + 288
    - 130


    Joanna Lumley, Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell

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  34. 34
    + 345
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  35. 35
    + 356
    - 184


    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  36. 36
    + 345
    - 216


    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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  37. 37
    + 455
    - 207

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

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  38. 38
    + 302
    - 215

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Sheridan Smith, Liz Smith, Joanne Froggatt

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  39. 39
    + 370
    - 188

    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
    + 406
    - 290


    Jennifer Gibney, Brendan O'Carroll, Sorcha Cusack

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  41. 41
    + 310
    - 224


    James Corden, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman

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  42. 42
    + 334
    - 110

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

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  43. 43
    + 371
    - 231


    Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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  44. 44
    + 284
    - 202


    Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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  45. 45
    + 447
    - 266

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

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  46. 46
    + 219
    - 168


    Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Anna Skellern

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  47. 47
    + 304
    - 231


    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  48. 48
    + 318
    - 198


    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  49. 49
    + 168
    - 154

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

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  50. 50
    + 186
    - 127

    added by Trioxin245
    Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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201 +

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