tv The Best British Sitcoms of All Time  

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List Rules 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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Fawlty Towers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Fawlty Towers John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

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Blackadder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Blackadder Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray

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Keeping Up Appearances is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Keeping Up Appearances Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

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Are You Being Served? is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Are You Being Served? Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton

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Father Ted is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Father Ted Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

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Only Fools and Horses is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Only Fools and Horses David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

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Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Monty Python's Flying Circus Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

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Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Red Dwarf Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

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The IT Crowd is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The IT Crowd Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson

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The Vicar of Dibley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Vicar of Dibley Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

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Absolutely Fabulous is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Absolutely Fabulous Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

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Mr. Bean is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Mr. Bean Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Matilda Ziegler

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The Office is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Office Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

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The Young Ones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Young Ones Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

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Black Books is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Black Books Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

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'Allo 'Allo! is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
'Allo 'Allo! Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle

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One Foot in the Grave is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
One Foot in the Grave Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton

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Dad's Army is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Dad's Army Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn

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The Inbetweeners is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Inbetweeners Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

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Peep Show is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Peep Show David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King

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Open All Hours is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Open All Hours David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole

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Yes Minister is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Yes Minister Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds

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The Thin Blue Line is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Thin Blue Line Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus

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As Time Goes By is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
As Time Goes By Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira Brooker

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Porridge is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Porridge Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay

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Coupling is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Coupling Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander

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I'm Alan Partridge is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
I'm Alan Partridge Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall

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Jeeves and Wooster is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Jeeves and Wooster Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws

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Blackadder's Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Blackadder's Christmas Carol Rowan Atkinson, Rony Robinson, Stephen Fry

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Men Behaving Badly is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Men Behaving Badly Rob Schneider, Dina Spybey-Waters, Ron Eldard

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Steptoe and Son is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Steptoe and Son Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton

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My Family is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
My Family Robert Lindsay, Zoƫ Wanamaker, Gabriel Thomson

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The Good Life is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Good Life Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith - 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 PBS stations under the title Good ...

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Spaced is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Spaced Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin

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A Bit of Fry and Laurie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
A Bit of Fry and Laurie Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Deborah Norton

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The Benny Hill Show is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Benny Hill Show Benny Hill, Nicholas Parsons, Patricia Hayes

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Bottom is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Bottom Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Steven O'Donnell

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To the Manor Born is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
To the Manor Born Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne

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Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice

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The Royle Family is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Royle Family Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne

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On the Buses is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
On the Buses Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge

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Little Britain is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Little Britain Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker

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Gavin & Stacey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Gavin & Stacey Joanna Page, Mathew Horne, Alison Steadman

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Waiting for God is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Waiting for God Stephanie Cole, Graham Crowden, Janine Duvitski

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Miranda is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Miranda Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge, Tom Ellis

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Outnumbered is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Outnumbered Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Anna Skellern

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Mrs. Brown's Boys is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Mrs. Brown's Boys Brendan O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Dermot O'Neill

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Extras is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Extras Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant

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Last of the Summer Wine is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Last of the Summer Wine Peter Sallis, Jane Freeman, Kathy Staff

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The Brittas Empire is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Brittas Empire Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Michael Burns