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.

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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
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    Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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  4. 4
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    John Inman, Frank Thornton, Mollie Sugden

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

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  6. 6
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    John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

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

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  8. 8
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    Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, Matt Berry

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  9. 9
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    David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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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, Suzi Quatro

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  12. 12
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    Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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  13. 13
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    Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis

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

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  16. 16
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    Rachel Blanchard, David Mitchell, Olivia Colman

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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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    Kenneth Connor, Gorden Kaye, Sam Kelly

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  19. 19
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    Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds

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  20. 20
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Barbara Flynn

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  21. 21
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    Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

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  22. 22
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    Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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  23. 23
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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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    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Wilson, Angus Deayton, Janine Duvitski

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

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  27. 27
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    David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Christopher Biggins

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  28. 28
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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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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    Zoë Wanamaker, Robert Lindsay, Daniela Denby-Ashe

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  31. 31
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    Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Steven O'Donnell

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  32. 32
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alanviets
    Judi Dench, Joan Sims, Geoffrey Palmer

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  33. 33
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    Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Patrick McAlinney

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  34. 34
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    ranked low on reranks & added by VanessaHawelu
    Tom Baker, Anthony Head, David Walliams

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  35. 35
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    added by PeteBoyle
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Mark Heap

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  36. 36
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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

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  37. 37
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    Alexander Armstrong, Peter Bowles, Penelope Keith

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  38. 38
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    Liz Smith, Sheridan Smith, Caroline Aherne

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  39. 39
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    Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry

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  40. 40
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    Jennifer Gibney, Gary Hollywood, Sorcha Cusack

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  41. 41
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    Joanna Lumley, Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett

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  42. 42
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    Miranda Hart, Adrian Scarborough, Sally Phillips

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  43. 43
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    Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Frances de la Tour

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  44. 44
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    added by Trioxin245
    Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Pippa Haywood

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  45. 45
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    Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, David Walliams

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  46. 46
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Julie Walters, Victoria Wood, Shobna Gulati

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  47. 47
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Erik the Redd
    Benny Hill, Patricia Hayes, Henry McGee

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  48. 48
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    Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Jensen

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  49. 49
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    Reg Varney, Cicely Courtneidge, Bob Grant

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  50. 50
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    Rob Brydon, James Corden, Joanna Page

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