Comedy experts vote for top British sitcoms

Today I read that a panel of comedy have put together their list of top British sitcoms for the Radio Times. You can read about it here. I didn’t even know the Radio Times even existed these days. Here’s the list:

  1. Fawlty Towers (1975-9, BBC Two)
  2. Father Ted (1995-8, Channel 4)
  3. I’m Alan Partridge (1997-2002, BBC Two)
  4. Blackadder (1983-9, BBC One)
  5. Dad’s Army (1968-77, BBC One)
  6. Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003, BBC One)
  7. Porridge (1973-8, BBC One)
  8. The Royle Family (1998-2012, BBC One)
  9. Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012, BBC Two)
  10. Dinnerladies (1998-2000, BBC One)
  11. The Thick of It (2005-12, BBC Four and Two)
  12. The Office (2001-3, BBC Two)
  13. Peep Show (2003-15, Channel 4)
  14. The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007, BBC One)
  15. The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976-9, BBC One)
  16. The Young Ones (1982-4, BBC Two)
  17. Gavin & Stacey (2007-10, BBC Three and One)
  18. The Good Life (1975-8, BBC One)
  19. Detectorists (2014-17, BBC Four)
  20. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973-4, BBC One)

After writing my own list recently (in no particular order) I thought I’d give my thoughts on this one!

Fawlty Towers – I do love Fawlty Towers, to be fair. It does make me laugh. But I don’t feel like it has aged well. Bickering husband and wife; stupid waiter; misunderstandings… It’s all been done better since.

Father Ted and I’m Alan Partridge – absolutely awesome!

Blackadder – I remember watching Blackadder Goes Forth and loving it and feeling quite moved by the ending. All of the series of Blackadder are worth a watch and I don’t know why I didn’t have it on my list.

Dad’s Army – my dad found it funny. But how is it on the list of best comedies ever?!

Only Fools and Horses – Yes!

Porridge – I have watched Porridge a few times but don’t get why everyone raves about it. Sure, Ronnie Barker is funny in everything. But this is another nostalgic series from the Seventies. Oh, wait, now I understand the type of person who might have been on the panel!

The Royle Family – Fantastic

Absolutely Fabulous – I have tried really hard to get into this but I just don’t get why people rave over it. I really don’t.

Dinnerladies – I loved Victoria Wood. But I don’t think I’ve ever even watched this.

The Thick Of It – Somehow this has mostly bypassed me. But I don’t know why as I am sure I would have loved it.

The Office – I can’t believe this is so low on the list!

Peep Show and Vicar of Dibley – I love them both!

The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin – I remember coming home after swimming lessons to watch repeats of this. I remember loving it. I also remember not loving the Martin Clunes remake around ten years ago.

The Young Ones – I understand why people might like this as it’s a bit quirky and different. I don’t like it though.

Gavin & Stacey – Fantastic!

The Good Life – I used to enjoy this when I was younger. Put its inclusion in the nostalgia file.

Detectorists – What on earth is this? This was out quite recently but I have never heard of it! Hmm…

Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads – I don’t know what this is.

In short, I don’t agree with most of the list. Many of the programmes were very much of their time and haven’t aged well. A good comedy should be timeless and I honestly don’t think lots of these hold up well these days.

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