Top 5 British Comedy Shows

Britain has produced some pretty top notch comedy in its time. The BBC and Channel 4 still continue to outdo themselves with comedy gold.

In this article, I will be evaluating what I feel are the top 5 best British comedy shows  to have ever hit our TV screens. Now, I could without hesitation stretch this article to a Top 10 or even Top 20 list of British comedy gems; as there have been so many classics. But, I have instead limited Britain’s barmy, brilliant broadcasts down to a Top 5 list.

Who knows? In a few years the list may be invalid due to even better new comedy releases. But for the meantime, let’s work with what we have, shall we?


5. Blackadder

Written by Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson and Ben Elton, and starring Atkinson and Tony Robinson, Blackadder was a BBC1 period British sitcom which aired from 1983 to 1989. Episodes circulate around Edmund Blackadder’s constant misfortunes. Needless to say, Atkinson’s animated mannerisms had us in hysterics.

Blackadder has been voted as the second-best British sitcom of all time and has been included in the top 100 Greatest British Television shows, but for this article Blackadder scores a no.5. Sweet!


4. One Foot in the Grave

Written by David Renwick, made by the BBC, and aired from 1990 to 2000, One Foot in the Grave is a cranky, crotchety yet comical display of early retirement and the woes it can really cause. Who wouldn’t find Victor Meldrew’s constant crankiness and never-ending irritation a hysterical outlet to daily life? His suburban adventures land him in at an impressive number 4 on our list. I don’t believe it!


3. Fawlty Towers

Written by comic geniuses John Cleese and wife Connie Booth, Fawlty Towers was a short-lived yet legendary BBC sitcom which aired from 1975 to 1979. The merry, mirthful yet borderline insane behaviours of Basil Fawlty left us all in peels of playful laughter; as he constantly made outlandish attempts to improve the standard of his clumsy, capricious hotel.

If only more episodes had been made, this sitcom would probably be number one on our list. MANUEL!!


2. The IT Crowd

Plunging forward in time, we now look at The IT Crowd. Written by Graham Linehan, and aired by Channel 4 from 2006 to 2010, The IT Crowd is somewhat responsible for breaking down the social assumption that all geeks are undesirable recluses. The IT Crowd instead celebrates nerds and turns them into brave, brawny, blithe heroes. Because of this, I feel that The IT Crowd deserves a number 2 spot on our list. Have you tried turning it off and on again?


1. Father Ted

Yes, you guessed it. Father Ted falls in at the number 1 British comedy show of all time. Co-written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, and broadcasted by Channel 4 between 1995 and 1998, Father Ted continues to be a famous family favourite today. Following the isolated lives of three country, crazy priests in rural Ireland, Father Ted makes some light-hearted fun of the priesthood, Irish customs and “small town minds”.

The true genius of Father Ted cannot be denied, which is why it deserves a number 1 spot on this list. Watch it… go on, go on, go on, go on…


So there you have it; a top 5 list of comic gems provided of course by Great Britain. Of course, there are sitcoms I would have loved to include in a longer list, such as Only Fools and Horses and Some Mothers Do’ Ave’ Em. The task of limiting British comedies down to a Top 5 was challenging, but thoroughly enjoyable.

I’m sure all we have to do is stay tuned for further comedies to hit our TV screens in the near future. One thing is for sure; the BBC and Channel 4 have provided some profound productions in their time.

But what do you think? Maybe you would disagree with my list or add alternative British sitcoms? Comment below with your opinions on the Top 5 British Comedies; why not get a friendly debate started on the topic? Thank you for reading.

About Aisling Kelleher

Aisling is a 20 year old student from the west of Ireland. She has been writing blogs and articles for a number of years now. Her main areas of interest are comedy, film and technology. She is also a student of media production and regularly uploads video blogs online
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