Top Best British Sitcoms of All Time

1. Peter Kay's Car Share (2015 - 2018; 2020), 2. Bad Education (2012 - 2014), 3. Only Fools And Horses (1981-2003), 4. Outnumbered (2007-2016), 5. Gavin And Stacey (2007-2019), 6. Peep Show (2003-2015), 7. Drifters (2013 - 2016), 8. Benidorm (2007 - 2018), 9. Goodnight Sweetheart (1993 - 1999: 2016), 10. Are You Being Served? (1972-1985). Everyday family life and even professional life have been immortalized in comedy format, with many British comedies finding their way over the pond and quickly becoming acclaimed shows in the US. With so many British comedies to choose from over the decades, determining the top UK sitcoms of all time was no easy task. In this article, Toplist has listed top 10 the best British sitcoms of all time.

  1. Peter Kay’s Car Share (2015 – 2018; 2020)
  2. Bad Education (2012 – 2014)
  3. Only Fools And Horses (1981-2003)
  4. Outnumbered (2007-2016)
  5. Gavin And Stacey (2007-2019)
  6. Peep Show (2003-2015)
  7. Drifters (2013 – 2016)
  8. Benidorm (2007 – 2018)
  9. Goodnight Sweetheart (1993 – 1999: 2016)
  10. Are You Being Served? (1972-1985)

Peter Kay’s Car Share (2015 – 2018; 2020)

Peter Kay’s Car Share is a British sitcom centered around supermarket assistant manager John Redmond (Peter Kay) and promotions woman Kayleigh Kitson (Sian Gibson) and their involvement in a business car-sharing system. The first series was shot in and around Greater Manchester, including Peter Kay’s hometown of Bolton, as well as Manchester, Trafford, and Salford.

Peter Kay is recognized for producing and writing numerous cult comedies, but Car Share was an instant smash with audiences. The show follows two colleagues, Kayleigh and John, who carpool to and from work every day while discussing their favorite songs and all the drama they observe during the day, similar to James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.

Despite the fact that it is a short sitcom, Kayleigh and John find themselves in a variety of amusing scenarios (with one episode involving them accidentally kidnapping a monkey). What makes the program even more unusual is that the performers improvise portions of the situations, which means they must always be on their toes (and, in turn, show everyone what great chemistry they have).

Detailed information:

Directed by: Peter Kay

Starring: Peter Kay, Sian Gibson

Running time: 30 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Peter Kay’s Car Share

Bad Education (2012 – 2014)

Cory Finley’s 2019 American crime drama film Bad Education is directed by Cory Finley and written by Mike Makowsky. It is based on Robert Kolker’s 2004 New York magazine article “The Bad Superintendent,” which tells the actual story of the greatest public school theft in American history. Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff, Rafael Casal, Stephen Spinella, Annaleigh Ashford, and Ray Romano star in the film.

Although it only aired for two years, the BBC’s Bad Education had a significant influence on viewers, and it was subsequently adapted into a film. The sitcom, which starred Jack Whitehall as Alfie Wickers, followed his character, who turns out to be a secondary school teacher who is far over his head.

Not only is he a horrible history teacher, but he also can’t seem to keep his class under control, as fresh problems/shenanigans emerge with each episode. However, while this would be dreadful in real life, it makes for intriguing drama. The authors may rely on a lot of sophomoric comedy, but the performers use it successfully since it helps them depict the characters’ immaturity and recklessness.

Directed by: Cory Finley

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolff

Running time: 108 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Only Fools And Horses (1981-2003)

Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom developed and written by John Sullivan. From 1981 to 1991, seven seasons were shown on BBC One in the United Kingdom, with sixteen occasional Christmas specials airing until the show’s cancellation in 2003. It is set in working-class Peckham, south-east London, and stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek “Del Boy” Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney Trotter, as well as a supporting cast.

Only Fools And Horses is still holding up better than it should. Despite being over forty years old, the laughter has not subsided. The amusing Trotters and their get-rich-quick schemes put them in a variety of hilarious scenarios that have made people laugh for decades. It may exaggerate the cockney part of Del Boy to the nth degree and transform Rodney into a walking parody of ignorance, but it’s exactly right. Try not to giggle while watching the sequence in which Del Boy falls backward into the bar.

Detailed information:

Directed by: Martin Shardlow
Starring: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Lennard Pearce, Buster Merryfield, Tessa Peake-Jones, Gwyneth Strong
Running time: Series 1–5: 30 minutes, Series 6–7: 50 minutes, Christmas specials: 35–95 minutes
top best british sitcoms of all time

Only Fools And Horses (1981-2003)

Outnumbered (2007-2016)

Outnumbered is a British sitcom featuring Hugh Dennis as the father, Claire Skinner as the mother, and their three children, played by Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, and Ramona Marquez. From 2007 to 2014, there were five seasons that were broadcast on BBC One. On December 26, 2016, a Christmas special aired. Following the success of the 2016 Christmas special, more specials are being planned.

Giving two very young toddlers the reigns of a show as they semi-improvise their way through half an hour of television sounds like a formula for disaster. Fortunately, with Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez in charge of this presentation, it was in good hands. It’s very amazing for youngsters so young to have such a good grip on what is and isn’t humorous.

Obviously, the program was a ticking time bomb that was attempting to do as much as possible before the kids grew up. Because the children (now both adults) don’t have the same laugh-out-loud presence on screen, the most recent Christmas special had to shift the humor back to the parents, Pete and Sue. Outnumbered, on the other hand, was about as hilarious as TV gets at its peak.

Directed by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin

Starring: Claire Skinner, Hugh Dennis, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, Ramona Marquez, Samantha Bond, David Ryall, Rosalind Ayres

Running time: 30 minutes, 40 minutes (specials)

top best british sitcoms of all time

Outnumbered (2007-2016)

Gavin And Stacey (2007-2019)

Gavin & Stacey is a British sitcom created by James Corden and Ruth Jones that follows two families: one in Billericay, Essex, and the other in Barry, South Wales. Gavin and Stacey are played by Mathew Horne and Joanna Page, respectively, and Smithy and Nessa are played by the writers. Gavin’s parents (Pam and Mick) are played by Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb, while Stacey’s mother is played by Melanie Walters and her uncle is played by Rob Brydon.

The sitcom was created by Baby Cow Productions for BBC Wales. From 13 May 2007 until 1 January 2010, three series of twenty episodes were shown on BBC Three and afterward on BBC One. Episodes from the last season were broadcast on Christmas Day 2009 and New Year’s Day 2010, accounting for a major portion of the prime-time schedule.

The show is known for fusing Welsh and English cultures as its main protagonists Gavin (Matthew Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page) strive to find out how to have a long-distance relationship after only dating over the phone. It is most recognized in the United States for providing James Corden a break in the comedy industry since he co-wrote and co-starred in the program with the incomprehensibly comic Ruth Jones. The list of spectacular events and hilarious characters is simply endless.

Directed by: Christine Gernon

Starring: Mathew Horne, Joanna Page, James Corden, Ruth Jones

Running time: 8–63 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Gavin And Stacey (2007-2019)

Peep Show (2003-2015)

David Mitchell and Robert Webb appear in the British comedy Peep Show. Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain wrote it, with contributions from Mitchell and Webb, among others. From 2003 to 2015, it aired on Channel 4. In terms of years on the air, it became the longest-running comedy in Channel 4 history in 2010.

One of the most original sitcoms stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb as Mark and Jeremy, a couple of very unsuccessful, uninspired late twenties who share an apartment. The trick is that everything is shot from the two protagonists’ first-person perspectives. This implies that the audience sees what they see and experiences what they experience. Inner monologues assist sell the humor by immersing the audience in whatever horrifyingly unpleasant circumstance they’ve found themselves in.

Directed by: Jeremy Wooding

Starring: David Mitchell, Robert Webb

Running time: 23–27 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Peep Show (2003-2015)

Drifters (2013 – 2016)

Jessica Knappett developed the British sitcom Drifters. Knappett, Lydia Rose Bewley, and Lauren O’Rourke star. Drifters depict the lives of cousins Meg and Bunny (Knappett and Bewley) and their friend Laura (O’Rourke) after they graduate from university and move to Leeds. Between 2013 and 2016, E4 aired four series.

Jessica Knappett’s Drifters, described as a female Inbetweeners, was a breath of fresh air for fans, with outrageous plots and realistic scenarios. Many of the episodes follow the lives of Meg, Bunny, and Laura as they strive to adjust to their new lives after graduating from university. While it may not be for everyone due to the vulgar and filthy comedy, some may enjoy the awkward situations these complicated individuals find themselves in while trying to make an honest life.

Directed by: Jessica Knappett

Starring: Jessica Knappett, Lydia Rose Bewley, Lauren O’Rourke

Running time: 23 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Drifters (2013 – 2016)

Benidorm (2007 – 2018)

Derren Litten wrote and developed Benidorm, which was produced by Tiger Aspect for ITV and broadcast for ten seasons from 1 February 2007 to 2 May 2018. Over the course of a week each year, the series showcases an ensemble cast of vacationers and hotel workers at the Solana all-inclusive hotel in Benidorm, Spain. Derren Litten, the series creator, and writer revealed on July 5, 2018, that series 10 will be the final after ITV canceled the show. Litten’s stage adaptation, Benidorm Live, has been revealed, with 250 performances booked in venues around the United Kingdom and Ireland.

There has never been another sitcom as family-oriented or relatable as Benidorm. The sitcom depicts the lives of numerous holiday residents who visit the Solana hotel in Benidorm every summer to take advantage of the all-inclusive resort. It stars Inside No.9’s Steve Pemberton, comedian Johnny Vegas, and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’s Tim Healy.

While it is more anchored in reality since the stories aren’t too far-fetched, there is still a lot to love. Benidorm has supplied viewers with many laughter and moments that they will cherish, whether it’s due to Garvey’s family dynamic, the snarky and clever one-liners, or the selection of live entertainment at Neptune’s pub.

Directed by: Derren Litten

Starring: Abigail Cruttenden, Nicholas Burns, Elsie Kelly

Running time: 23–46 minutes

top best british sitcoms of all time

Benidorm (2007 – 2018)

Goodnight Sweetheart (1993 – 1999: 2016)

Goodnight Sweetheart is a BBC science-fiction time travel sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and developed by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. The sitcom is based on the life of Gary Sparrow, an unintentional time traveler who lives a double existence thanks to the usage of a time portal that allows him to travel between London in the 1990s and London in the 1940s during WWII. The majority of the scripts for the episodes were written by the sitcom’s founders, who previously developed Birds of a Feather and The New Statesman.

Nicholas Lyndhurst had already become a British hero as Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, but Goodnight Sweetheart was another program that his fans adored. Lyndhurst portrayed a TV repairman from London who finds he has the ability to travel back in time to the 1940s when the country is at war.

While the time-traveling part was undoubtedly a fascinating premise, especially because it had never been seen in a sitcom before, it was the people that won everyone over. The public liked watching these relationships evolve and the hijinks that Gary (Lyndhurst) got up to in both time periods, from the strong and opinionated Phoebe and Yvonne to the loving but naive Reg, to the amusing Ron.

Directed by: Terry Kinane, Robin Nash

Starring: Nicholas Lyndhurst, Michelle Holmes, Dervla Kirwan, Emma Amos, Elizabeth Carling, Victor McGuire, Christopher Ettridge

Running time: 30–45 mins

top best british sitcoms of all time

Goodnight Sweetheart (1993 – 1999: 2016)

Are You Being Served? (1972-1985)

Are You Being Served? is a BBC sitcom conceived and written by David Croft (who also directed several episodes) and Jeremy Lloyd, with assistance from Michael Knowles and John Chapman. The sitcom, set in London, depicts the escapades and blunders of the retail ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothes departments of the flagship department store of a fictional company named Grace Brothers. The BBC aired the program for 10 seasons, totaling 69 episodes between September 8, 1972, and April 1, 1985 – and featured five Christmas specials. There was also a 1977 film, a spin-off series Grace & Favor in 1991–1992, and a one-off episode with a fresh cast in 2016.

Few sitcoms have as many laughs as Are You Being Served? This hilarious parody of British class strife and stuffy 1970s department stores couldn’t have come at a better time. The Rolling Stones were dominating the charts, Britain was experiencing a significant political shift, and the old ways appeared to be dying slowly.

Grace Brothers’ workforce, on the other hand, was not ready to go down without a fight. To comic effect, they spent just as much time ripping on one other as they did ripping off their clients. Even today, the physical humor and hilarious sexual double entendres are comedic folklore.

Directed by: David Croft, Bernard Thompson, Harold Snoad

Starring: Mollie Sugden, Trevor Bannister, Frank Thornton, John Inman, Wendy Richard, Arthur Brough

top best british sitcoms of all time

Are You Being Served? (1972-1985)