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The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked 

Ranker TV
Updated May 21, 2020 1.9k votes 284 voters 13.3k views 41 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite British reality shows in any genre.

Reality programs have become a favorite genre among UK viewers and television fans around the world. The top British reality shows come in many forms: maybe you thrill to the competitions, or perhaps you prefer the romance and heartbreak (and humiliation) of dating shows. This is a list of the best British reality TV shows, including everything from Britain's Got Talent to Strictly Come Dancing to The Only Way Is Essex.

What series will you find on this list of the best British reality shows? Big Brother has proven to have remarkable staying power. The long-running series follows a group of housemates as they participate in a series of competitions and evict each other from the home they share. The X-Factor is another popular British reality series. The Great British Bake Off has been praised all over the world for its warm-hearted take on cooking competitions. Other good British reality series include Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea, and Bear Grylls: Mission Survive.

Which British reality show is the best? Vote your favorites up to the top of this list and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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list ordered by
1
The Great British Bake O... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

Premiered: 2010

The Great British Bake Off (also called Bake Off or GBBO) is a British television baking competition, produced by Love Productions, in which a group of amateur bakers compete against each other ...more

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2
Britain's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Britain's Got Talent Anthony McPartlin, Declan Donnelly, Amanda Holden

Premiered: 2007

Britain's Got Talent (ITV, 2007), often abbreviated to BGT, is a televised British talent show competition, and part of the global Got Talent franchise created by Simon Cowell. Contestants ...more

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3
Love Island is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Laura Whitmore, Caroline Flack, Iain Stirling

Premiered: 2015

Love Island (ITV2, 2015) is a British dating reality series created by Richard Cowles, and a revival of the 2005 series. Living in isolation from the world in a villa, contestants must couple up ...more
4
Strictly Come Dancing is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Tess Daly, Bruce Forsyth

Premiered: 2004

Strictly Come Dancing is a British television show, featuring celebrities with professional dance partners competing in Ballroom and Latin dances. The title of the show suggests a continuation ...more

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#22 of 41 The Best Dance TV Shows #3 of 17 The Very Best British Talent Shows, Ranked #21 of 46 The Best Talent Shows Ever on TV

5
Celebrity Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Lucy Pinder, La Toya Jackson, Coolio

Premiered: 2001

Celebrity Big Brother is a television reality game show based on the Dutch show Big Brother, created by producer John de Mol in 1997. The show follows a number of celebrity contestants, known as ...more
6
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightma... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Gordon Ramsay, Neil Farrell, Daniela Bayfield

Premiered: 2004

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (Channel 4, 2004) is a reality television program. In each episode, chef Gordon Ramsay visits a failing restaurant and acts as a troubleshooter to help improve the ...more

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#11 of 54 The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows #13 of 284 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #6 of 110 The Best Cooking TV Shows of All Time

7
The X Factor (UK) is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in 2004 and ...more

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8
First Dates is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Ashleigh Brennan added Brian Protheroe

Premiered: 2013

First Dates is a British reality television programme that has aired on Channel 4 since 20 June 2013. The programme is narrated by Brian Protheroe.
9
Ex on the Beach is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Cory Wharton, Paulie Calafiore, Welborn Ferrene
Ex on the Beach (MTV, 2018) is an American reality series inspired by the British show. Cast members from various reality television shows and first time reality participants live together in ...more
10
The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, George Ross

Premiered: 2004

The Apprentice (NBC, 2004) is an American Reality TV Program created by Mark Burnett. Seven of the show's seasons featured aspiring, but otherwise unknown, businesspersons who would vie for the ...more

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#124 of 152 The Best Reality Competition Series #168 of 284 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #46 of 57 Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill

11
Wife Swap is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked

Premiered: 2003

Wife Swap is a British reality television programme produced by independent television production company RDF Media and created by Stephen Lambert for Channel 4, first broadcast in 2003. In the ...more

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12
Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Julie Chen, Phil Proctor, Clayton Halsey

Premiered: 2000

Big Brother (CBS, 2000) is a television reality game show based on an originally Dutch TV series of the same name created by producer John de Mol in 1997, taking its name from the character in ...more

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13
Take Me Out is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Paddy McGuinness

Premiered: 2012

Single women searching for love hope to find a match in this fast-paced and unpredictable dating series hosted by entertainer George Lopez. Each week, in front of a studio audience, brave ...more

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#146 of 152 The Best Reality Competition Series #40 of 83 The Best Dating Reality Shows #4 of 9 British Reality TV Shows That Far Outshine American Shows

14
Geordie Shore is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Charlotte-Letitia Crosby, Gaz Beadle, Greg Lake

Premiered: 2011

Geordie Shore (MTV, 2011) is a British reality television series and a British spin-off of the American show Jersey Shore. "Geordie" is the regional nickname and dialect given to the ...more

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#713 of 1,318 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #7 of 9 British Reality TV Shows That Far Outshine American Shows

15
Big Dreams Small Spaces ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
JulieWittelsberger added Big Dreams Small Spaces Monty Don

Premiered: 2014

16
Made in Chelsea is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Agne Motiejunaite, Alexandra "Binky" Felstead, Amber Atherton

Premiered: 2011

Made in Chelsea (E4, 2011) is British reality television series. Made in Chelsea chronicles the lives of affluent young people in the West London areas of Belgravia, Kings Road, and ...more

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#6 of 9 British Reality TV Shows That Far Outshine American Shows #39 of 48 The Best TV Shows Set In London

17
The Only Way Is Essex is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Amy Childs, Billie Faiers, Candy Jacobs

Premiered: 2010

The Only Way Is Essex (ITV2, 2010) is a British television soap opera. It shows "real people in modified situations, saying unscripted lines but in a structured way."

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18
Tudor Monastery Farm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Tudor Monastery Farm Peter Ginn, Ruth Goodman, Tom Pinfold
19
Bear Grylls: Mission Sur... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Bear Grylls, Kelly Holmes, Jamelia

Premiered: 2015

Bear Grylls: Mission Survive is a reality television show presented by Bear Grylls featuring eight celebrities on a 12-day survival mission. The celebrities are tested on fundamental principles ...more
20
Shop Well for Less is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Shop Well for Less
21
Tipping Point is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Tipping Point Ben Shepherd
22
Eat Well for Less? is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Eat Well for Less? Gregg Wallace, Chris Bavin, Liza Tarbuck

Premiered: 2015

23
Easy Ways to Live Well ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Easy Ways to Live Well
24
The Repair Shop is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
The Repair Shop
25
Beauty and the Geek is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Beauty and the Geek Natalie Pike, Will Goodhand

Premiered: 2006

Beauty and the Geek is a reality television show, first aired in the United Kingdom on E4 on February 7, 2006, following the success of the format in the United States, and was advertised ...more