Best 50 British sitcoms ever!

by markgbullen | created - 31 Jan 2017 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

A list of the greatest British comedy TV shows ever. Without the crap people seem to love voting for (ie. No Mrs Browns boys or Ab Fab, democracy -pah!).

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1. Steptoe and Son (1962–2016)

TV-PG | 45 min | Comedy

A thirty-something year-old man named Harold and his elderly father, Albert, work as rag and bone men (collecting and selling junk). Harold is ambitious and wants to better himself, but his... See full summary »

Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Harry H. Corbett, Frank Thornton, Tim Buckland

Votes: 2,419

The best written and acted show of all time. The two superb performances make it excruciatingly funny yet sadly tragic.

2. Bottom (1991–1995)

30 min | Comedy

Living in a squalid flat, perpetually unemployed, skint, bored, and sexually frustrated, virgin Richie Richard and carefree alcoholic Eddie Hitler are social outcasts at the bottom of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Steven O'Donnell, Christopher Ryan

Votes: 10,843

3. I'm Alan Partridge (1997–2002)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy

Alan Partridge, a failed television presenter, is now presenting a programme on local radio in Norwich. He desperately tries to revive his broadcasting career.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall, Felicity Montagu

Votes: 16,805

4. Peep Show (2003–2015)

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

Mark and Jez are a couple of twenty-something roommates who have nothing in common - except for the fact that their lives are anything but normal. Mayhem ensues as the pair strive to cope with day-to-day life.

Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King, Olivia Colman

Votes: 46,278

5. Red Dwarf (1988– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

The adventures of the last human alive and his friends, stranded three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf.

Stars: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn

Votes: 30,878

6. Father Ted (1995–1998)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

Three misfit priests and their housekeeper live on Craggy Island, not the peaceful and quiet part of Ireland that it seems to be.

Stars: Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn

Votes: 33,207

7. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 87,510

8. Porridge (1974–1977)

TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy, Crime

The prison life of Fletcher, a criminal serving a five-year sentence, as he strives to bide his time, keep his record clean, and refuses to be ground down by the prison system.

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsale

Votes: 4,804

9. Minder (1979–1994)

60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Arthur Daley, a small-time conman, hires former boxer Terry McCann to be his 'minder', so Terry can protect him (Arthur) from other, small-time, crooks. While Terry is trying his hardest to... See full summary »

Stars: George Cole, Glynn Edwards, Dennis Waterman, Gary Webster

Votes: 1,631

10. The Royle Family (1998–2012)

45 min | Comedy

A British sitcom about a family going through everyday life in the Royle family house.

Stars: Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash

Votes: 5,621

11. The Young Ones (1982–1984)

410 min | Comedy

The crazy and sometimes surreal comedic adventures of four very different students in Thatcher's Britain.

Stars: Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan

Votes: 12,307

12. The Thick of It (2005–2012)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy

Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10's policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants.

Stars: Chris Addison, James Smith, Peter Capaldi, Joanna Scanlan

Votes: 17,639

13. Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003)

TV-PG | 95 min | Comedy

Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals as they search for the big score that'll make them millionaires.

Stars: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roger Lloyd Pack, Buster Merryfield

Votes: 41,337

14. Hancock's Half Hour (1956–1960)

30 min | Comedy

TV version of the popular BBC radio show of the same name, with Tony Hancock as the modern man of the world (in his own eyes). Sid James is there to bring him back to earth.

Stars: Tony Hancock, Sidney James, Johnny Vyvyan, Alec Bregonzi

Votes: 425

The show that created the rules. Utterly brilliant.

15. Toast of London (2012– )

30 min | Comedy

Steven Toast, an eccentric middle aged actor with a chequered past, spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it

Stars: Matt Berry, Shazad Latif, Robert Bathurst, Doon Mackichan

Votes: 4,404

16. This Country (2017– )

21 min | Comedy

Comedy exploring the lives of young people in modern rural Britain, focusing on cousins Kerry and Kurtan and their lives in the Cotswolds.

Stars: Daisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, Paul Chahidi, Trevor Cooper

Votes: 1,862

17. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973–1974)

30 min | Comedy

Terry and Bob from The Likely Lads (1964) continue their life after Terry arrives home from serving in the Army to discover that Bob is about to marry his girlfriend Thelma. Can Thelma lead... See full summary »

Stars: James Bolam, Rodney Bewes, Brigit Forsyth, Sheila Fearn

Votes: 998

18. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983–2004)

60 min | Comedy, Drama

The adventures of a gang of British workmen abroad. Combines black and white humour with moments of drama, poignancy and drunkenness. In series 1, the lads head to Germany seeking work, and... See full summary »

Stars: Timothy Spall, Jimmy Nail, Tim Healy, Kevin Whately

Votes: 2,558

Is this a sitcom or a drama? Either way very funny and with touching moments.

19. Blackadder the Third (1987)

TV-PG | 180 min | Comedy

In the Regency era, Mr E. Blackadder serves as butler to the foppish numskull Prince George amidst the fads and crazes of the time.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Helen Atkinson Wood

Votes: 37,445

This goes for all the Blackadders, I'd just say this is the best series.

20. 'Allo 'Allo (1982–1992)

45 min | Comedy, History, War

In France during World War II, Rene Artois runs a small café where Resistance fighters, Gestapo men, German Army officers and escaped Allied POWs interact daily, ignorant of one another's true identity or presence, exasperating Rene.

Stars: Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Vicki Michelle, Richard Marner

Votes: 22,105

21. This Morning with Richard Not Judy (1998–1999)

45 min | Comedy

A spoof of the well known This Morning With Richard & Judy, by Alan Partridge creators Lee and Herring.

Stars: Stewart Lee, Richard Herring, Kevin Eldon, Paul Putner

Votes: 357

Not exactly a sit-com, but very good and sadly underrated.

22. Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)

TV-PG | 28 min | Comedy

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Stars: Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richard

Votes: 6,239

23. Dad's Army (1968–1977)

30 min | Comedy, War

A ragtag group of Home Guard volunteers prepare for an imminent German invasion during World War II.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn, John Laurie

Votes: 4,943

24. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

This parody series is an unearthed 80s horror/drama, complete with poor production values, awful dialogue and hilarious violence. The series is set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.

Stars: Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry, Matthew Holness, Alice Lowe

Votes: 14,543

25. Bellamy's People (2010– )

30 min | Comedy

Gary Bellamy makes the transition from radio phone in show to television travel doc in his Triumph Stag, journeying around the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and meeting people from all walks of life along the way.

Stars: Rhys Thomas, Simon Day, Felix Dexter, Lucy Montgomery

Votes: 106

26. On the Buses (1969–1973)

30 min | Comedy

Jack-the-lad bus driver and conductor Stan and Jack enjoy the female employees more than their work and Inspector Blake is relentless in his attempts to make their lives a misery.

Stars: Anna Karen, Bob Grant, Stephen Lewis, Reg Varney

Votes: 1,720

27. Time Gentlemen Please (2000–2002)

26 min | Comedy

The Pub Landlord is a small-minded, bullet headed Little Englander whose prejudices mask a surprisingly sensitive, vulnerable and confused man. He is King of his own world but outside of ... See full summary »

Stars: Al Murray, Phil Daniels, Jason Freeman, Roy Heather

Votes: 463

28. The IT Crowd (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

The comedic misadventures of Roy, Moss and their grifting supervisor Jen, a rag-tag team of IT support workers at a large corporation headed by a hotheaded yuppie.

Stars: Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry

Votes: 118,922

29. Yes Minister (1980–1984)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy

The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms, or so he thinks.

Stars: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds, Diana Hoddinott

Votes: 10,844

30. Phoenix Nights (2001–2002)

25 min | Comedy

The misadventures of club owner Brian Potter who is determined to make The Phoenix Club the best working men's club in Greater Manchester.

Stars: Peter Kay, Dave Spikey, Justin Moorhouse, Paddy McGuinness

Votes: 4,847

31. Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–2016)

Not Rated | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

British sitcom in which an unhappily married man discovers he can time travel back to 1940s war-torn London where he masquerades as an MI5 agent and part-time songwriter whilst courting the local barmaid.

Stars: Nicholas Lyndhurst, Victor McGuire, Christopher Ettridge, Elizabeth Carling

Votes: 2,088

32. British Men Behaving Badly (1992–2014)

45 min | Comedy

Two early thirties best friends live together while having completely different personalities. While their girlfriends try to help them take on more responsibilities the boys seldom respond well and usually end up drinking together.

Stars: Martin Clunes, Caroline Quentin, Leslie Ash, Neil Morrissey

Votes: 6,536

33. The New Statesman (1987–1994)

70 min | Comedy

The ultra right-wing Alan B'Stard, the most selfish, greedy, dishonest, sadistic and sociopathic Conservative MP of them all, plots to achieve his meglomaniacal ambitions.

Stars: Rik Mayall, Michael Troughton, Marsha Fitzalan, Terence Alexander

Votes: 2,044

34. Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge (1994–1995)

TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy, Talk-Show

Alan Partridge hosts his own chat show on the BBC. He insults and belittles almost all of his guests and is humiliated by the rest.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Patrick Marber, Steve Brown

Votes: 5,323

35. The Inbetweeners (2008–2010)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

Follows four friends and their antics during their final years of school.

Stars: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas

Votes: 72,723

36. Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

Votes: 76,850

Not as good as everyone makes out but still ok.

37. The Phil Silvers Show (1955–1959)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Sergeant Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas U.S. Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base, tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. ... See full summary »

Stars: Phil Silvers, Harvey Lembeck, Paul Ford, Allan Melvin

Votes: 1,234

Not British, but it's so good it could be!

38. Mind Your Language (1977–1986)

30 min | Comedy

Jeremy Brown is a put-upon language teacher who tries to make a living by teaching English to immigrants. With pupils from India, France, China, and many other countries, his lessons do not... See full summary »

Stars: Barry Evans, George Camiller, Jacki Harding, Zara Nutley

Votes: 5,846

Don't watch it with any Labour voting social workers from Islington or they'll have you up in front of the race relations board.

39. Brass Eye (1997–2001)

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

Controversal spoof of current affairs television, and the role of celebrity in the UK.

Stars: Christopher Morris, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Doon Mackichan

Votes: 8,698

40. Jeeves and Wooster (1990–1993)

TV-PG | 55 min | Comedy

Bertram Wooster, a well-intentioned, wealthy layabout, has a habit of getting himself into trouble and it's up to his brilliant valet, Jeeves, to get him out.

Stars: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Robert Daws, Richard Dixon

Votes: 11,119

41. The Brittas Empire (1991–1997)

30 min | Comedy

Gordon Brittas is the manager of the Whitbury-Newtown Leisure Centre. Despite his ambition and good intentions, everything seems to go wrong when he's around, despite the best efforts of ... See full summary »

Stars: Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Michael Burns, Tim Marriott

Votes: 2,328

42. One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001)

TV-PG | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

Victor Meldrew is a retiree who attracts bad luck. If he's not driving his long suffering wife Margaret crazy with his constant moaning, he's fighting with neighbors.

Stars: Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Doreen Mantle, Owen Brenman

Votes: 4,891

43. Friday Night Dinner (2011– )

TV-14 | 24 min | Comedy

Two siblings share their Friday night dinners at their parents home and, somehow, something always goes wrong.

Stars: Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, Paul Ritter, Tom Rosenthal

Votes: 9,384

44. In Sickness and in Health (1985–1992)

30 min | Comedy

Alf and Else are getting old, Rita's left home, Else's confined to a wheelchair. Alf must now do battle with the Social Security system.

Stars: Warren Mitchell, Carmel McSharry, Arthur English, Ken Campbell

Votes: 524

45. Benidorm (2007–2018)

Not Rated | 30 min | Comedy

Follow holidaymakers at the Solana Resort in Benidorm. Hilarity ensues as guests try to get value for their Euros.

Stars: Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski, Tony Maudsley, Elsie Kelly

Votes: 3,177

46. Game On (1995–1998)

29 min | Comedy

The daily lives of three London flatmates.

Stars: Matthew Cottle, Samantha Womack, Neil Stuke, Tracy Keating

Votes: 1,641

47. Extras (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Andy Millman is an actor with ambition and a script. Reduced to working as an extra with a useless agent, Andy's attempts to boost his career invariably end in failure and embarrassment.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson

Votes: 48,729

The terrible Scottish side-kick almost ruins the whole show, but Stephen Merchant is the key and is exceptional, second series much better.

48. Sykes (1972–1979)

30 min | Comedy

Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques play twins. They live together and lead a slightly surreal life, annoying their snobby next-door neighbour Mr Brown and getting into frequent trouble with the ... See full summary »

Stars: Eric Sykes, Hattie Jacques, Deryck Guyler, Richard Wattis

Votes: 209

Anything with Hattie Jacques in must be good!

49. The Detectives (1993–1997)

50 min | Comedy, Crime

In the never ending, high tech war against crime, Detective Constables Bob Louis and David Briggs are the Scud missiles of the police arsenal of intuition, hunches and inspired guesses... ... See full summary »

Stars: Jasper Carrott, Robert Powell, George Sewell, Frank Windsor

Votes: 1,166

50. Sean's Show (1992–1993)

30 min | Comedy