Based on the British Home Guard, an armed citizen militia tasked with supporting the British Army on the home front, Dad’s Army has endured as a comedy favourite. Set during the Second World War, Captain George Mainwaring leads the contingent of the Local Defence Volunteers. Full of slapstick humour and catch phrases, Dad’s Army originally ran between 1968 and 1977. Numerous re-runs attest to the comedy’s enduring popularity.
The Royle Family
Starring Ricky Tomlinson and Caroline Aherne, the Royle Family only ran for 3 series between 1998 and 2000. Proving to be a resounding success, the sitcom has since been regularly voted in polls ranking Britain’s best comedies. According to the BBC’s poll to find the Best British Sitcom, The Royle Family ranked 19th. Winning numerous BAFTA Awards and an enduring cult status, the comedy remains an all-time classic.
Also known as ‘Ab Fab’, it was created by Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French. The sitcom follows the lives of Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patricia Stone (Joanna Lumley), two high-powered career women in the fashion industry. Fueled by cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs, the pair encounter crises, often resolved by Saffron Monsoon (Julia Sawalha), Edina’s daughter. The show regularly achieved viewing figures between 5 and 9 million, across all its series.
The Vicar of Dibley
Originally running between 1994 and 1998, The Vicar of Dibley starred comedian Dawn French and Emma Chambers. French, alongside creator Richard Curtis, consulted one of the first female Anglican priests Joy Caroll, towards the development and portrayal of the character. Nominated for British Academy Television Awards for six years in a row, the show achieved success at the British Comedy Awards and National Television Awards. It is considered one of the most successful television programmes in the era of digital television.