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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3,107 812
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 Fawlty Towers is a BBC television sitcom that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979. Twelve episodes were made. The show was written by John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth, both of ...more

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2,559 861
Blackadder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Blackadder Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray Blackadder is the name that encompasses four series of a BBC 1 period British sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. All television episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as the anti-hero ...more

3
2,195 1,213
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 Keeping Up Appearances is a BBC television sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC, centred on the life of eccentric social climber Hyacinth Bucket, who insists that her surname is ...more

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2,003 1,076
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 Are You Being Served? is a British sitcom created and written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, with contributions from Michael Knowles and John Chapman, for the BBC. The series follows the ...more

5
1,884 798
Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Monty Python's Flying Circus Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more

6
1,824 820
Father Ted is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Father Ted Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn Father Ted is a sitcom that was produced by independent production company Hat Trick Productions for British broadcaster Channel 4. Written jointly by Irish writers Arthur Mathews and Graham ...more

7
2,136 583
Only Fools and Horses is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Only Fools and Horses David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber Only Fools and Horses is a British television situation comedy created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, ...more

8
1,964 865
The IT Crowd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The IT Crowd Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson The IT Crowd is a British sitcom by Channel 4, written by Graham Linehan, produced by Ash Atalla and starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson and Matt Berry. The "IT" ...more

9
1,722 739
The Vicar of Dibley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Vicar of Dibley Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers The Vicar of Dibley is a BBC television situation comedy created by Richard Curtis and written for actress, Dawn French, by Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, with contributions from Kit ...more

10
1,482 932
Absolutely Fabulous is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Absolutely Fabulous Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha Absolutely Fabulous, also known as Ab Fab, is a BBC television sitcom created by Jennifer Saunders, based on an original idea by her and Dawn French, and written by Saunders, who plays the ...more

11
1,445 843
Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Red Dwarf Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave ...more

12
1,835 568
Mr. Bean is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
VanessaHawelu added Mr. Bean Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Matilda Ziegler Mr. Bean is a British television programme series of fifteen 25-minute episodes written by Robin Driscoll and starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. Different episodes were also written ...more

13
1,312 959
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 The Office is a mockumentary that was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme is ...more

14
1,322 628
'Allo 'Allo! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
'Allo 'Allo! Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle 'Allo 'Allo! is a BBC television sitcom broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992, comprising eighty-five episodes. A repeat is aired in the 'Afternoon Classics' on BBC2 since 27 March 2015. The story ...more

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1,250 753
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 Black Books is a British sitcom created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan that was broadcast on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2004. Starring Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig, the series is set in ...more

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1,082 638
The Young Ones is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Young Ones Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson The Young Ones is a British sitcom, broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1982 to 1984 in two six-part series. Shown on BBC2, it featured anarchic, offbeat humour which helped bring alternative ...more

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1,086 538
As Time Goes By is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
alanviets added As Time Goes By Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira Brooker As Time Goes By is a British romantic sitcom that aired on BBC One from 1992 to 2002, with reunion specials in 2005. Starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, it follows the relationship between ...more

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1,233 686
The Inbetweeners is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Inbetweeners Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison The Inbetweeners is a British sitcom that originally aired on E4 from 2008 to 2010. Created and written by Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, the show followed the life of suburban teenager Will ...more

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1,035 458
One Foot in the Grave is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
One Foot in the Grave Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Angus Deayton One Foot in the Grave is a British BBC television sitcom series written by David Renwick. The show ran for six series, plus seven Christmas specials and two Comic Relief sketches, over an ...more

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981 497
Dad's Army is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Dad's Army Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn Dad's Army is a BBC television sitcom about the British Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television from 1968 to 1977. ...more

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1,049 745
Peep Show is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Peep Show David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King Peep Show is a British sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. The television programme is written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, with additional material by Mitchell and Webb, amongst ...more

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1,116 646
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 Yes, Minister is a TV program

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958 493
Open All Hours is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Open All Hours David Jason, Ronnie Barker, Stephanie Cole Open All Hours is a BBC television sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. It ran for 26 episodes in four series, which premiered in 1976, 1981, 1982 and 1985. The programme ...more

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876 445
Porridge is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Porridge Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay Porridge is a British situation comedy broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977, running for three series, two Christmas specials and a feature film also titled Porridge. Written by Dick Clement and ...more

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779 574
Jeeves and Wooster is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Jeeves and Wooster Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws Jeeves and Wooster is a British comedy-drama series adapted by Clive Exton from P.G. Wodehouse's "Jeeves" stories. The series was a collaboration between Brian Eastman of Picture ...more

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886 553
The Thin Blue Line is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Thin Blue Line Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy, James Dreyfus The Thin Blue Line is a British sitcom starring Rowan Atkinson set in a police station that ran for two series on the BBC from 1995 to 1996. It was written by Ben Elton.

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882 764
Coupling is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Coupling Gina Bellman, Jack Davenport, Sarah Alexander Coupling is a British television sitcom written by Steven Moffat that aired on BBC2 from 12 May 2000 to 14 June 2004. Produced by Hartswood Films for the BBC, the show centres on the dating, ...more

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660 670
I'm Alan Partridge is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
I'm Alan Partridge Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall I'm Alan Partridge is a BBC situation comedy starring Steve Coogan, of which two series of six episodes each were produced — the first in 1997 and the second in 2002. The series followed the ...more

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676 394
Steptoe and Son is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Steptoe and Son Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about a father-and-son rag-and-bone business. They live on Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd's Bush, ...more

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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 Men Behaving Badly is a British sitcom that was created and written by Simon Nye. It follows the lives of Gary Strang and his flatmates, Dermot Povey and Tony Smart. It was first broadcast on ...more

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785 435
Blackadder's Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Blackadder's Christmas Carol Rowan Atkinson, Rony Robinson, Stephen Fry Blackadder's Christmas Carol is a one-off episode of Blackadder, a parody of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It is set between Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth, and is narrated ...more

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736 505
Bottom is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Bottom Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Steven O'Donnell Bottom is a British sitcom television series that originally aired on BBC2 between 1991 and 1995. It was written by and starred comic duo Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall as Eddie and Richie, two ...more

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813 440
The Benny Hill Show is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Erik the Redd added The Benny Hill Show Benny Hill, Nicholas Parsons, Patricia Hayes The Benny Hill Show is a British comedy television show that starred Benny Hill and aired in various incarnations between 15 January 1955 and 30 May 1991 in over 140 countries. The show focused ...more

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590 358
Waiting for God is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
MelissaFennell added Waiting for God Stephanie Cole, Graham Crowden, Janine Duvitski Waiting for God is a British sitcom that ran on BBC1 from 1990 to 1994 starring Graham Crowden as Tom and Stephanie Cole as Diana, two spirited residents of a retirement home who spend their ...more

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697 522
To the Manor Born is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
To the Manor Born Penelope Keith, Alexander Armstrong, Angela Thorne To the Manor Born is a BBC television sitcom that first aired on BBC1 from 1979 to 1981. A special edition appeared in 2007. Starring Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles, the first 20 episodes and ...more

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668 502
A Bit of Fry and Laurie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
A Bit of Fry and Laurie Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Deborah Norton A Bit of Fry & Laurie is a British sketch comedy television series written by and starring former Cambridge Footlights members Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, broadcast on both BBC1 and BBC2 ...more

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676 575
My Family is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
My Family Robert Lindsay, Zoë Wanamaker, Gabriel Thomson My Family was a British sitcom created and initially co-written by Fred Barron, which was produced by DLT Entertainment and Rude Boy Productions, and broadcast by BBC One for eleven series ...more

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657 569
Spaced is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
PeteBoyle added Spaced Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin Spaced is a British television sitcom written by and starring Jessica Stevenson and Simon Pegg, and directed by Edgar Wright. Two series of seven episodes each were broadcast in 1999 and 2001 on ...more

39
792 571
On the Buses is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
On the Buses Reg Varney, Stephen Lewis, Cicely Courtneidge On the Buses is a British sitcom created by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1969 to 1973. It spawned three feature spin off films and a stage version based ...more

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741 455
The Good Life is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Leslie2 added 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 Neighbors.  It starred Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington.

The Good Life is a British sitcom, produced by BBC television. It ran from 1975 to 1978 and was written by Bob Larbey and John Esmonde. Opening with the midlife crisis faced by Tom Good, a ...more

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633 493
The Royle Family is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
The Royle Family Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne The Royle Family is a British television sitcom produced by Granada Productions for the BBC, which ran for three series between 1998 and 2000, and specials from 2006 to 2012. It centres on the ...more

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703 495
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Michael Crawford, Dick Bentley, Michele Dotrice Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em is a BBC television sitcom, written by Raymond Allen and starring Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice. It was first broadcast in 1973 and ran for three series, ending ...more

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841 539
Little Britain is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
VanessaHawelu added Little Britain Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker Little Britain is a British character-based comedy sketch show which was first broadcast on BBC radio and then turned into a television show. It was written and performed by comic duo David ...more

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625 535
Gavin & Stacey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Gavin & Stacey Joanna Page, Mathew Horne, Alison Steadman Gavin & Stacey is a British romantic situation comedy that follows the long-distance relationship of Gavin from Billericay in Essex, England, and Stacey from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, ...more

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790 663
Mrs. Brown's Boys is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Mrs. Brown's Boys Brendan O'Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Dermot O'Neill Mrs. Brown's Boys is a television sitcom created by and starring Irish writer and performer Brendan O'Carroll and produced in the United Kingdom by BBC Scotland alongside companies BocPix and ...more

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834 623
Miranda is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Miranda Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge, Tom Ellis Miranda is a British television sitcom written by and starring comedian Miranda Hart. It originally aired on BBC Two from 9 November 2009 and later on BBC One until 1 January 2015, lasting three ...more

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413 503
The Mighty Boosh is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Booksflavia added The Mighty Boosh Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy television show created by Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding and others. The Mighty Boosh is a comic fantasy containing humour and pop-culture references. ...more

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587 565
Extras is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Extras Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant Extras is a British sitcom about extras working in television and film sets and in theatre. The series was co-produced by the BBC and HBO, and was created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais ...more

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662 377
Last of the Summer Wine is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
BobEqualityGreen added Last of the Summer Wine Peter Sallis, Jane Freeman, Kathy Staff Last of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke that was originally broadcast on the BBC. Last of the Summer Wine premiered as an episode of Comedy Playhouse on 4 ...more

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473 466
Outnumbered is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Sitcoms of All Time
Outnumbered Samantha Bond, Hugh Dennis, Anna Skellern Outnumbered is a British sitcom starring Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner as a father and mother outnumbered by their three children. There were five series, which aired on BBC One in 2007, 2008, ...more