Funniest British TV Shows Ever

You’ve got to love the British sense of humour. Often peppered with a distinct air of sarcasm and irony, there really is nothing quite like it. The brits have been nailing comedy for a long time now but just which are the funniest shows ever to hit our small screens? Luckily for you we’ve taken the time to put together a list…

1. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)

Pretty much the first successful sketch show ever to hit British television screens, the Monty Python clan set the precedent for things to come with their hugely innovative and completely over-the-top skits that have had people in fits of laughter for decades.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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2. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)

Lasting a surprisingly short amount of time – 2 series to be exact – Fawlty Towers has gained worldwide recognition of one of the funniest shows to come out of Great Britain. This is, of course, down to John Cleese’s hilarious portrayal of highly-strung hotelier Basil Fawlty but also thanks to his hugely underrated co-stars Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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3. Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003)

There aren’t many British people who can remember a time before Only Fools and Horses. Synonymous with the joys of sitting down on a Saturday night to watch television with your family, this show has undoubtedly become something of a cultural landmark, following the plight of ‘Del Boy’ and his younger brother Rodney on their relentless quest to become millionaires.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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4. Mr. Bean (1990-1995)

One thing’s for sure; this show never would have worked were it not for Rowan Atkinson’s spectacular Charlie Chaplin-esque comedic skills. Mr. Bean follows one man in his day-to-day life and even though there is next to no dialogue, the joy is to be found in Atkinson’s brilliantly-timed slapstick moments.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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5. Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012)

It would seem that the 90s were just crying out for a satire focussed on London’s poshest socialites and this is when Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley (a.k.a Eddy and Patsy) stepped in. Stretching over the course of 20 years, Eddy and Patsy found themselves in no end of booze-fuelled trouble, culminating with a hugely popular movie released in 2016.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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6. The Office (2001-2003)

As we can see from most of the shows on this list, the most triumphant comedy ideas are based on something completely simple and relatable. This is the primary reason why Ricky Gervais’s masterpiece The Office was such a worldwide hit, spurning its very own US version that has become equally as successful. The show follows David Brent – now a household name in Britain – and his unyielding attempts to be a ‘cool boss’ and also a musician on the side.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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7.  Extras (2005-2007)

Ricky Gervais’s second most successful comedy follows extra Andy Millman (played by Gervais, of course), and his quest to become a successful actor. This magnificently-put-together series certainly has its fair share of celebrity cameos, including Robert DeNiro, Samuel L Jackson and Kate Winslet but the funniest moments come from the simplest cringe-worthy mishaps from Millman.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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8. Gavin and Stacey (2007-2010)

It’s safe to say that when comedies are built around the wholesome ideals of friendships and family they have the potential to become timeless and this is certainly the case for Gavin and Stacey (brainchild of Ruth Wilson and James Corden). If you ever need to be cheered up with some very down-to-earth, relatable comedy then this is the show for you as it never fails to trigger a smile from its fans.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

Image source: comedy.co.uk

9. The Inbetweeners (2008-2010)

What better recipe can there be for a comedy that will last through the ages than 4 teenage boys attempting to impress potential girlfriends and their peers with badly thought out attempts to look cool? This, combined with a hilariously generous measure of bad language, is the reason why people love Jay, Simon, Neil and Will – a.k.a. the ‘Inbetweeners’.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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10. Peep Show (2003-2015)

It doesn’t get more opposite than Peep Show’s Mark and Jeremy; a pair of hapless thirty-something flatmates, played by the hugely underrated talents of David Mitchell and Robert Webb. These two are the modern ‘odd-couple’ and their cringe-worthy plights are the stuff that awkward comedy dreams are made of.

Funniest British TV Shows Ever

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