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British TV Comedies That No One Talks About

I know we have folks from all over, but I'm pretty sure most of us are in the US. Let's turn each other onto British TV comedies that don't get a lot of attention (whether on here) or in the broader culture. This is not the thread for Britcoms with huge gay followings like AbFab. (I LOOOOVE AbFab, but it's far from obscure -- especially around these parts.)

Nor is it for the spot for British TV comedies that have become big global hits like Fleabag or classic Britcoms that will air into perpetuity on your local PBS station like Are You Being Served or Keeping Up Appearances.

They don't have to be new or cutting edge or anything. Older, comfort food Britcoms are fine too.

I'll start. I found this new(ish) show The Other One very funny. In the US you can watch it on Acorn (or, I suppose, use a VPN and watch it on BBC's online services...)

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by Anonymousreply 96November 27, 2021 2:20 AM

I don't think "Beautiful People" quite worked. But Olivia Colman was a gem as the mother.

by Anonymousreply 1November 18, 2021 8:24 PM

"League of Gentleman" and "Nighty Night" are dark and hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 2November 18, 2021 8:24 PM

Simon Amstell's "Grandma's House" was quite good.

by Anonymousreply 3November 18, 2021 8:24 PM

I actually spent the first half of my childhood in the UK in the 80s, but this show was before my time. It's hardly revolutionary, but I find it to be enjoyable "comfort food" British comedy. And it's just three short seasons...

I saw it on Amazon Prime. To the Manor Born...

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by Anonymousreply 4November 18, 2021 8:27 PM

Hollyoaks is the gayest soap opera you will ever watch, available on Hulu.

by Anonymousreply 5November 18, 2021 8:30 PM

There used to be a really funny sci-fi comedy in the 90s called Red Dwarf. The first four series were well written and hilarious, with some great characters. But I recall it went downhill with the later seasons so I stopped watching.

by Anonymousreply 6November 18, 2021 8:31 PM

Gimme Gimme Gimme. Linda LaHughes.

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by Anonymousreply 7November 18, 2021 8:34 PM

The original "Queer as Folk" is funny.

by Anonymousreply 8November 18, 2021 8:35 PM

I appreciate the variety of humor in the Britcom "Bless Me Father." Arthur Lowe, well known to many for his long acting career, plays an old-fashioned Irish pastor(gruff, but with a heart of gold) who must deal with, among others: a handsome, young, keen, newly-ordained priest, a mocking but respectful housekeeper, a perpetually-soused physician, the local conman and a Mother Superior who brooks no impertinence or insubordination(Mother Stephen could/should be the next DL icon)

by Anonymousreply 9November 18, 2021 8:36 PM

R2's The League of Gentlemen is a great choice, but I avoid series 3 because it's much darker and has fewer laugh out loud moments. Inside No. 9 is generally even darker still, but every episode is cracking TV.

Allo Allo is retro fun - my Mum's got the DVD box set, which I borrow occasionally.

Speaking of retro, I caught The Good Life by accident on BBC iPlayer. It's got the same woman from To The Manor born in it and it's even funnier. She reminds me of my grandmother: tall, posh and lacking self-awareness. ♥️

by Anonymousreply 10November 18, 2021 8:42 PM

Here's one with Hugh Laurie, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi and Anna Chancellor that's so awful I could only watch it while shredding old tax documents.

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by Anonymousreply 11November 18, 2021 8:43 PM

Dinnerladies, a very engaging sitcom-soap written by and costarring Victoria Wood, set in a Northern England factory cafeteria around the turn of the millennium (or as Victoria's character calls it the Minnellium.)

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by Anonymousreply 12November 18, 2021 8:51 PM

I like [italic]To the Manor Born[/italic] too. Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles had chemistry. Love the episode with DL Icon Miss Rula Lenska.

by Anonymousreply 13November 18, 2021 8:59 PM

Peter Bowles did a show called "The Irish RM." I've never watched it, though. I know Beryl Reid was in it as well.

by Anonymousreply 14November 18, 2021 9:00 PM

Ones I have never seen mentioned on here are Only Fools and Horses and Last of the Summer Wine.

by Anonymousreply 15November 18, 2021 9:08 PM

“Back”, from the team the brought you “Peep Show” is a recent one that’s quite good. I guess it’s a sitcom by the standards of today.

PBS used to play “Butterflies” starring Wendy Craig in the 80s, which was one I’d probably appreciate more now I’m middle aged. This was one of a long line of Carla Lane sitcoms. She really cranked them out.

by Anonymousreply 16November 18, 2021 9:15 PM

"The Thick of It." Peter Capaldi as a political ombudsman to media. Hilariously inventive swearing! Recurring roles by Roger Allam, Thursday of "Endeavour," and Tom Hollander, late of "Us."

"Rising Damp." Leonard Rossiter as Rigsby, a low-rent boarding-house landlord, with the awesome Frances de la Tour as Miss Jones, resident spinster.

"Rev." Tom Hollander as an Anglican priest newly assigned to an urban church. The much-honored Olivia Colman as his wife.

by Anonymousreply 17November 18, 2021 9:20 PM

Brenda Blethyn's new sitcom, "Kate and Koji" is pretty good.

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by Anonymousreply 18November 18, 2021 9:21 PM

R2 - Yes, the League of Gentlemen was hilarious and wonderfully dark. Doubt it could get made now. I tried an episode of their subsequent show Inside No. 9 and thought it fell flat. Nighty Night looks very good -- and even darker! Have to check that one out.

R3 - Yes, Grandma's House was great. Simon Amstell makes Larry David look like a great actor, but like Larry, he surrounded himself with fantastic comedic actors and sharp and funny writing.

I have a soft spot for Friday Night Dinner an out and out farce with, basically, the same premise every week. Two adults sons return home for Friday night dinner at their parents house and revert into childhood while chaos ensues. I'm still sad about Paul Ritter (the dad)'s death.

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by Anonymousreply 19November 18, 2021 9:23 PM

The Good Life is still really funny, despite being from a distant era now.

Margo Leadbetter really should be a D/L fave.

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by Anonymousreply 20November 18, 2021 9:34 PM

I like the first season of "Green Wing." I'm not sure if it ran much longer than that.

by Anonymousreply 21November 18, 2021 9:37 PM

How the hell did Benidorm last so long? I watched some episodes on Amazon. The first couple of seasons had a few laughs but it tanked after that. Still, they kept it on for 10 series!

by Anonymousreply 22November 18, 2021 9:49 PM

There's a market for really lowbrow bluer collar comedy in the UK. See also "Mrs. Brown's Boys."

by Anonymousreply 23November 18, 2021 9:51 PM

Murder Most Horrid (A comedy anthology where Dawn French plays a different character in a different murder story each episode.)

The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (I remember really enjoying Jennifer Saunders's darkly humorous takedown of trash tv.)

Rising Damp (I abhor and enjoy the main character so much. I wish this show had more episodes.)

Year of the Rabbit (Hysterical series set in 1890s London about a trio of unlikely detectives solving weird murders.)

Father Ted (Maybe this is more popular than I realize, but it's a hilarious show everyone should check out.)

by Anonymousreply 24November 18, 2021 9:55 PM

I used to watch this on PBS when I was a kid. Leonard Rossiter was excellent! From the Youtube comments: "Reggie Perrin, a reminder that a little eccentricity can be a valuable defence against a grey and depressing world"

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by Anonymousreply 25November 18, 2021 9:58 PM

Dear Ladies.

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by Anonymousreply 26November 18, 2021 9:58 PM

I think the Internet Archive has all the episodes of Murder Most Horrid streaming for free.

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by Anonymousreply 27November 18, 2021 9:59 PM

One Foot in the Grave.

Yes, (Prime) Minister.

Spitting Image.

by Anonymousreply 28November 18, 2021 10:02 PM

I hear you're a racist now, Father.

by Anonymousreply 29November 18, 2021 10:03 PM

R22, Benidorm was terrible, but very cheap to make, I think.

by Anonymousreply 30November 18, 2021 10:03 PM

[italic]Queenie's Castle,[/italic] starring Diana Dors as the matriarch of a trashy family living in council housing.

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by Anonymousreply 31November 18, 2021 10:04 PM

One foot in the Grave was immensely popular, with the type of viewing figures TV can only dream of nowadays…

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by Anonymousreply 32November 18, 2021 10:08 PM

You can appreciate it more as you get older and see your inner Victor emerging.

by Anonymousreply 33November 18, 2021 10:13 PM

I used to watch [italic]Men Behaving Badly[/italic] as a kid when my family lived overseas. I didn't understand anything about the show. I probably watched it because it was on before or after a different show I liked.

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by Anonymousreply 34November 18, 2021 10:16 PM

I *am* Victor Mildrew, R32.

by Anonymousreply 35November 18, 2021 10:18 PM

Yes, Minister was great, written with the aid of many political insiders, and is still the best explanation of British diplomacy…

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by Anonymousreply 36November 18, 2021 10:22 PM

[quote]Brenda Blethyn's new sitcom, "Kate and Koji" is pretty good.

It took me a bit to warm up to it. It's very much like a throwback sitcom.

I've enjoyed "Semi-Detached" which features Clive Russell as Lee Mack's sexed up gay father. "Ghosts" starring Mathew Baynton and other "Horrible Histories" actors. "Code 404" with Daniel Mays as a cop killed in the life of duty and is brought back as a robot to continue working alongside his friend played by Stephen Graham. Paramedic comedy "Bloods" with Jane Horrocks. "Maxxx" with O.T Fagbenle (The Handsmaid's Tale) as a former boybander trying to resurrect his career.

by Anonymousreply 37November 18, 2021 10:24 PM

[Quote] "Maxxx" with O.T Fagbenle (The Handsmaid's Tale) as a former boybander trying to resurrect his career.

That sounds interesting. They should get Declan Bennett to guest star. He actually was a boybander.

by Anonymousreply 38November 18, 2021 10:35 PM

Season 1 of 'Nighty Night' is amazing.

'This way up' is great too

by Anonymousreply 39November 18, 2021 10:40 PM

There was a hilarious sketch show called 'Ellie and Natasia', but i haven't been able to find any downloads of it.

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by Anonymousreply 40November 18, 2021 10:49 PM

I absolutely loved, and still adore The Smoking Room. It is sheer brilliance, and yet hardly anyone I know has heard of it, even here in the UK.

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by Anonymousreply 41November 18, 2021 10:51 PM

Paula Wilcox was in that, wasn't she? She's always good value.

by Anonymousreply 42November 18, 2021 10:56 PM

There was a show in UK a few years ago starring Hasselhoff playing himself trying to resurrect his career and he finds out he has a German nerd for a son from the time he sang at the take down of the Berlin Wall. It was funny as bloody hell then it was over. They have a great sitcom set in an airport called Borderline, ran one season deserved more . Any Ricky Gervais show is a home run (The Office , Extras, Life’s Too Short…)

by Anonymousreply 43November 18, 2021 10:59 PM

"The Royle Family:" is hilarious and subtle. Watch with subtitles on.

by Anonymousreply 44November 18, 2021 11:00 PM

'Human Remains' with Rob Brydon and Julia Davis is one of my favourite shows - it's hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 45November 18, 2021 11:01 PM

Fr. Ted

by Anonymousreply 46November 18, 2021 11:16 PM

I used to watch Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em when I was a kid. Michael Crawford plays Frank, who's very clumsy and causes all kinds of disasters

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by Anonymousreply 47November 18, 2021 11:18 PM

The original Spitting Image was great. The digs at Prince Andrew are now, in retrospect even darker, funnier.

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by Anonymousreply 48November 18, 2021 11:26 PM

Man About The House. It's pretty funny yet we ignore!

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by Anonymousreply 49November 18, 2021 11:29 PM

I’m going off on a tangent a little, but Cabin Pressure was a wonderful BBC radio comedy, with an absolutely stellar cast: regulars included Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole, Benedict Cumberbatch. The guest stars are wonderful too, including Prunella Scales, Timothy West, Anthony Head, Helen Baxendale, Alison Steadman

It’s a gem, and improves with every listen.

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by Anonymousreply 50November 18, 2021 11:34 PM

Love “Red Dwarf.” The early eps are uneven, the late ones more so, but oh that middle. The Cat is a Datalounger in space.

by Anonymousreply 51November 18, 2021 11:36 PM

I used to love Doctor in the House

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by Anonymousreply 52November 19, 2021 12:03 AM

I thought the IT Crowd had a lot of extremely funny moments. Another show that had one of the same actors, Moone Boy, was also very funny, I think it was an Irish show though.

by Anonymousreply 53November 19, 2021 12:16 AM

Butterflies with Wendy Craig about a wife who has a Brief Encounter friendship with a local divorcé. Added bonus are Andrew Hall and a baby Nicholas Lyndhurst as her teenage sons.

by Anonymousreply 54November 19, 2021 12:19 AM

I am so jealous! The Other One is the only show on this thread available stateside on Acorn. Father Ted hooked me on British comedies way back when: one of the funniest and, in the end, most heartbreaking of its time.

by Anonymousreply 55November 19, 2021 2:58 AM

No love for MUM with Lesley Manville or W1A with Hugh Bonneville, Monica Dolan and DL Fave Johnny Bailey??

by Anonymousreply 56November 19, 2021 3:11 AM

The Young Ones

Fawlty Towers


The Royale Family

by Anonymousreply 57November 19, 2021 4:46 AM

The mother of them all, that historical comedy with everyone in tights. Where Mr Bean got his start.

by Anonymousreply 58November 19, 2021 4:59 AM


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by Anonymousreply 59November 19, 2021 5:10 AM

Gameface is hilarious. I wish it had gotten a third season.

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by Anonymousreply 60November 19, 2021 5:13 AM


Waiting For God

Father Ted

Last of the Summer Wine

Vicar of Dibley

by Anonymousreply 61November 19, 2021 5:16 AM

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. Matt Berry, Richard Ayoade on Amazon. Weird and wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 62November 19, 2021 5:47 AM

Peep show

by Anonymousreply 63November 19, 2021 6:05 AM

Victoria Wood as seen on TV

by Anonymousreply 64November 19, 2021 7:20 AM

No one talks about Mum, Peep Show, The Vicar Of Dibley, Father Ted?

Come on now.

by Anonymousreply 65November 19, 2021 8:17 AM

[quote] The Young Ones. Fawlty Towers, Extras, The Royale Family

Everyone talks about these. FFS.

by Anonymousreply 66November 19, 2021 8:19 AM

W12A and it's predecessor Twenty-Twelve were brilliant. From the past, The High Life, with the staff or Air Scotia

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by Anonymousreply 67November 19, 2021 8:57 AM

Yes, R60! Gameface was brilliant.

It's a shame that Matt Berry denigrated the trans episode of The IT Crowd, as it was one of the funniest that series.

by Anonymousreply 68November 19, 2021 8:57 AM

Stella Street

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by Anonymousreply 69November 19, 2021 9:04 AM

Smack the Pony

by Anonymousreply 70November 19, 2021 9:05 AM

What was that show that took place in a health spa/gym from the early ‘90s? I remember it was on PBS for a short time after Are You Being Served? and Monty Python.

by Anonymousreply 71November 19, 2021 9:08 AM

The Day Today, which accurately forecast where television news was going.

R71 The Brittas Empire

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by Anonymousreply 72November 19, 2021 9:10 AM

Gimme Gimme Gimme was one of the worst bits of shit ever.

by Anonymousreply 73November 19, 2021 9:11 AM

I loved the one off “mirrorball“ starring the cast of absolutely fabulous.

I wish they had made more

by Anonymousreply 74November 19, 2021 9:25 AM

Man Down--with Greg Davies (who's SMOKING hot)

The Kennedys

The Goes Wrong Show

It Crowd--actually popular

Toast of London--love anything with Matt Berry

by Anonymousreply 75November 19, 2021 9:28 AM

The first series of Staged was great. The second wasn't bad, but not a patch on the first.

by Anonymousreply 76November 19, 2021 9:36 AM

So y'all just gonna ignore me?

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by Anonymousreply 77November 19, 2021 9:36 AM

I liked Beautiful People, r1. I think that show was good right up until they gave the main character a cheesy coming out story. A big part of the appeal was that he was obviously gay and no one, including himself or his mom, gave a shit. Having a plot where he makes a big deal out of being gay and his mom reacting negatively was out of character for both of them. I think they didn't know how to end it. I also loved Olvia Coleman as well as the upbeat, New Labour, Cool Britannia setting.

Fresh Meat is good escapism. It follows the lives of four people going through university, the series only lasted four years. It had 30 episodes but no one ever talks about it. I watched it right after I graduated college and it made me regret how anti-social I was.

by Anonymousreply 78November 19, 2021 9:42 AM

Is The Windsors popular?

by Anonymousreply 79November 19, 2021 9:53 AM


That would be The Brittas Empire starring gorgeous Chris Barrie.

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by Anonymousreply 80November 19, 2021 10:00 AM

Posh Nosh is a parody of pretentious cooking shows starring Richard E. Grant. Each episode is about 10 minutes long, the first one starts out a bit odd and then every one just gets funnier and funnier, and it's all available on You Tube. But don't take my word for it, here's the first episode. Beleive me, you will not regret it.

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by Anonymousreply 81November 19, 2021 10:01 AM

Can't say way, but developed quite a thing for Chris Barrie.

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by Anonymousreply 82November 19, 2021 10:01 AM

Forgot to add most if not all the series episodes are on YT IIRC.

by Anonymousreply 83November 19, 2021 10:04 AM

Chris Barrie in Red Dwarf...unexpected hotness!

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by Anonymousreply 84November 19, 2021 10:06 AM

It may not have been intended as a comedy, but Fanny Cradock's Christmas series is hilarious

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by Anonymousreply 85November 19, 2021 10:21 AM

Waiting For God

I do so hope to be like Diana "Foul Mouth" Trent when I'm older...

I've been studying DL for practice....

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by Anonymousreply 86November 19, 2021 10:30 AM

The IT Crowd episode "The Work Outing" kills me every time.

by Anonymousreply 87November 19, 2021 10:53 AM

R65 - Mum - YES! Very funny. Lesley Manville and Peter Mullan are brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 88November 19, 2021 11:14 AM

Have we forgotten DL legend Elaine Stritch in Two’s Company? Basically she played herself, but as an American author living in London and the show was centered around her relationship with her rather stuffy butler. It played constantly on A&E in its early days went it was trying to be a sophisticated arts-centered channel.

Other sitcoms I remember appearing on PBS that didn’t really catch on are Executive Stress (Penelope Keith), The Fainthearted Feminist (Lynn Redgrave), Solo (Felicity Kendall), Hot Metal, and Ever Decreasing Circles.

by Anonymousreply 89November 19, 2021 11:16 AM

Hot Metal was never quite as funny as it should have been, but it had it's moments, especially the mock headlines ('Atom Test Mum in Boy George Mercy Dash' is one I remember). Drop The Dead Donkey was a better news-oriented comedy.

by Anonymousreply 90November 19, 2021 11:20 AM

R85: I love Fanny Cradock! I first heard about her here on DL.

by Anonymousreply 91November 19, 2021 2:44 PM

Steptoe and Son, which splits opinion between those (my sister) who think it is a classic, real and brutal and hilarious, and those(me) who think it is squalid and massively depressing!

Of course, it was remade for the American audience…

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by Anonymousreply 92November 19, 2021 4:27 PM

R47 I love Some Mothers. Michael Crawford (aka, the best and only Phantom) was hilarious. He also played against type in this short lived but funny sitcom "Chalk and cheese" in the early 80's

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by Anonymousreply 93November 27, 2021 1:09 AM

The majority of Britcoms are horrible.

by Anonymousreply 94November 27, 2021 1:30 AM

Mitchell & Webb, the team behind "Peep Show," had a couple sketch shows that were brilliant. This is from one called "That Mitchell & Webb Look."

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by Anonymousreply 95November 27, 2021 1:43 AM

Not Going Out starring Lee Mack. I think I'm the only person who watches it.

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by Anonymousreply 96November 27, 2021 2:20 AM
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