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The Best British Comedy Series Ever 

Ranker TV
Updated July 30, 2020 16.6k votes 2.1k voters 56.4k views 141 items

List Rules Vote up the best British comedies that have aired on television.

British comedies might be some of the funniest shows on either side of the pond. The humor is just different than American comedies, and there's something refreshing about it that makes them extra fun to watch. If you’ve been looking for the best British comedies that are funny even across the cultural gap, this list of the best British comedy series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue and what older shows you might need to hunt down and watch immediately.

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, many newer British comedies are available to watch even in The States. Both the more recent Derry Girls and Catastrophe are comedies of British origin that are ready to stream and considered some of the best British sitcoms of the past decade. Other series, such as Peep Show, are Channel 4 classics worth hunting down. And, of course, there are the British comedy series, such as The Office and Shameless, that have been remade for Amerian audiences.

Which British shows bring the laughs? Vote up the best British comedies, then vote down the shows that don't even garner a chuckle, and add any comedies from England that are missing.

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list ordered by
1
Fawlty Towers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs

Premiered: 1975

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
2
Blackadder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
edmoore added Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray

Premiered: 1983

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
Only Fools and Horses is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
TRENT13 added David Jason, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Paul Barber

Premiered: 1981

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
4
Monty Python's Flying Ci... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Premiered: 1969

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
5
The Inbetweeners is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Greg Davies, Blake Harrison

Premiered: 2008

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
6
The IT Crowd is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson

Premiered: 2006

The IT Crowd (Channel 4, 2006) is a British sitcom created by Graham Linehan. In the basement office of a corporation, the three staff members of its IT (Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd, and ...more
7
The Office is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

Premiered: 2001

The Office (BBC Two, 2001) is a British television mockumentary sitcom created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The series follows the day-to-day lives of office ...more
8
Father Ted is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Ardal O'Hanlon, Dermot Morgan, Pauline McLynn

Premiered: 1995

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
9
Keeping Up Appearances ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Patricia Routledge, Geoffrey Hughes, Clive Swift

Premiered: 1990

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
10
Peep Show is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King

Premiered: 2003

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
11
Are You Being Served? is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton

Premiered: 1972

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
12
The Vicar of Dibley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Dawn French, Liz Smith, Emma Chambers

Premiered: 1994

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
13
Black Books is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

Premiered: 2000

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
14
Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

Premiered: 1988

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
15
Absolutely Fabulous is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha

Premiered: 1992

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
16
Fleabag is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Hugh Skinner, Sian Clifford

Premiered: 2016

Fleabag (BBC Three, 2016) is a British comedy series created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on her 2013 one-woman show. A young woman (Waller-Bridge) tries to cope with life in London while ...more
17
Derry Girls is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Derry Girls Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland

Premiered: 2018

Derry Girls (Channel 4, 2018) is a British sitcom created by Lisa McGee. Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle ...more
18
'Allo 'Allo! is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle

Premiered: 1982

'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
19
Doc Martin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Doc Martin Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice
Doc Martin (ITV, 2004) is a British television medical comedy drama series. Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes), a brilliant and successful vascular surgeon at Imperial College London, develops ...more
20
Little Britain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker

Premiered: 2003

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
21
The Young Ones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
tamaiahransley added Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Ade Edmondson

Premiered: 1982

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
22
Mr. Bean is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Dav107 added Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Matilda Ziegler

Premiered: 1990

Mr. Bean is a British sitcom created by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions and starring Atkinson as the title character. The sitcom consisted of 15 episodes ...more
23
Gavin & Stacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Joanna Page, Mathew Horne, Alison Steadman

Premiered: 2007

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
24
Extras is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant

Premiered: 2005

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
25
Spaced is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Comedy Series Ever
Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin

Premiered: 1999

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