Watchworthy

The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked 

Ranker TV
Updated July 23, 2020 2k votes 298 voters 14.5k views 44 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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

More The Great British Bake Off 

The Best Great British Bake Off Winners, Ranked #335 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #35 of 139 The Best Reality Competition Series

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

More Britain's Got Talent 

#184 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #1,150 of 1,318 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #1 of 18 The Very Best British Talent Shows, Ranked

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

More Strictly Come Dancing 

#3 of 18 The Very Best British Talent Shows, Ranked #21 of 41 The Best Dance TV Shows #187 of 211 The Best Sports TV Shows

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
The X Factor (UK) is listed (or ranked) 6 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

More The X Factor (UK) 

The Best X-Factor UK Winners, Ranked #352 of 487 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are #75 of 143 The Dumbest Reality Shows of All Time

7
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightma... is listed (or ranked) 7 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

More Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares 

#13 of 299 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #11 of 57 The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows #6 of 81 The Best Cooking TV Shows of All Time

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
The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 9 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

More The Apprentice 

#179 of 299 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #116 of 139 The Best Reality Competition Series #55 of 66 Reality Shows That Involve Actual Skill

10
Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 10 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

More Big Brother 

The Best Big Brother Contestants of All Time #351 of 487 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are #116 of 143 The Dumbest Reality Shows of All Time

11
Shop Well for Less is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Shop Well for Less
12
Wife Swap is listed (or ranked) 12 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

More Wife Swap 

Gary Busey And Ted Haggard Once Swapped Wives, And It Was More Bizarre Than You Can Possibly Imagine #38 of 299 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever #26 of 26 The Funniest Apps For Your Smartphone

13
Tipping Point is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Tipping Point Ben Shepherd
14
The Weakest Link is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
akashtalkingalways added Bradley Walsh

Premiered: 2000

The Weakest Link is a British television quiz show, mainly broadcast on BBC Two, but also on BBC One. It was devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning, and developed for television by the BBC ...more

More The Weakest Link 

#20 of 81 The Greatest Game Shows of All Time #10 of 35 The Very Best British Game Shows, Ranked #18 of 44 The Best American Versions of British Shows

15
Easy Ways to Live Well ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Easy Ways to Live Well
16
Eat Well for Less? is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
Eat Well for Less? Gregg Wallace, Chris Bavin, Liza Tarbuck

Premiered: 2015

17
The Repair Shop is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
The Repair Shop
18
Ex on the Beach is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Beauty and the Geek is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Take Me Out is listed (or ranked) 20 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

More Take Me Out 

#4 of 10 British Reality TV Shows That Far Outshine American Shows #38 of 86 The Best Dating Reality Shows #5 of 26 The Best Dating Game Show TV Shows

21
Too Hot to Handle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked

Premiered: 2020

Too Hot to Handle (Netflix, 2020) is a reality television dating game show. The series follows ten singles as they travel to find love and $100,000. However, while on the island, the contestants ...more

More Too Hot to Handle 

Who Is Your Favorite 'Too Hot to Handle' Cast Member? #132 of 143 The Dumbest Reality Shows of All Time #97 of 299 The Best Reality TV Shows Ever

22
Big Dreams Small Spaces ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
JulieWittelsberger added Big Dreams Small Spaces Monty Don

Premiered: 2014

23
Dragons' Den is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
akashtalkingalways added Dragons' Den Duncan Bannatyne

Premiered: 2005

Dragons' Den is a British television series, hosted by Evan Davis. The format of the show is owned by Sony Pictures and is based on the original Japanese series, which has been sold around the ...more
24
The Undateables is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked
The Undateables Sally Phillips

Premiered: 3 April 2012

The Undateables is a British reality documentary show that has aired on Channel 4 since 3 April 2012 and is narrated by Sally Phillips. A fourth series started broadcast on 5 January 2015. The ...more
25
Geordie Shore is listed (or ranked) 25 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

More Geordie Shore 

#231 of 645 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #708 of 1,318 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #7 of 10 British Reality TV Shows That Far Outshine American Shows