The Greatest British Comedy Series of All Time Continued

Dad’s Army

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.

Absolutely Fabulous

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.

The Greatest British TV Comedy Series of All Time

Fawlty Towers

Broadcast on BBC Two between 1975 and 1979, John Cleese starred alongside Connie Booth in what has since become a cult classic. Repeatedly voted as the greatest British sitcom as all time, Fawlty Towers reigns in a class of its own.

Blackadder

Rowan Atkinson starred alongside Tony Robinson in the pseudohistorical sitcom originally aired between 1983 and 1989. Blackadder was voted as the second-best British sitcom of all time in a 2004 BBC poll identifying Britain’s Best Sitcom.

Only Fools and Horses

Written and created by John Sullivan, Only Fools and Horses starred David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst. Originally running between 1981 and 1991, the show’s popularity spawned sporadic Christmas specials until 2003. It was voted the best British sitcom of all time in the BBC poll Britain’s Best Sitcom.

Porridge

With Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale leading the cast, the comedy followed the antics of inmates in HM Prison Slade. Aired on BBC One from 1974 to 1977, only 21 episodes were produced in three series.

The Office

Ricky Gervais’ ground-breaking “mockumentary” brought a new genre of sitcom before the public and propelled his stardom. The series’ popularity spawned various adaptations abroad, with the US version proving the most enduringly successful.

Father Ted

Starring Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly, accompanied by other priests exiled on an island off the west coast of Ireland, the sitcom was aired from 1995 to 1998. Receiving widespread critical acclaim, the show received numerous BAFTA awards.

Are You Being Served?

Between 1972 and 1985, a total of 69 episodes of the sitcom were aired. A combination of popular characters, including Mrs Slocombe and Mr Humphries, made the show an enduring success. The show also proved a success abroad, particularly in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.