100 Great British TV Shows

by glyntreharne-1 | created - 20 Dec 2010 | updated - 03 Dec 2016 | Public
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1. Play for Today (1970–1984)
Episode: Abigail's Party (1977)

102 min | Comedy, Drama

Beverly has invited her new neighbours, Angela and Tony, over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue, because Sue's fifteen year-old daughter, Abigail, was holding a ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Alison Steadman, Tim Stern, Janine Duvitski, John Salthouse

Votes: 1,721

2. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955–1960)

Approved | 30 min | Action, Adventure, Family

Robin of Loxley, otherwise known as Robin Hood, and his band of Merry Men protect England from the evil machinations of Prince John while King Richard the Lionheart is away fighting in the Crusades.

Stars: Richard Greene, Victor Woolf, Archie Duncan, Alexander Gauge

Votes: 620

3. Arena (1975– )

Documentary

Wide-ranging arts program.

Stars: Gavin Millar, Kenneth Tynan, Jonathan Miller, John Walters

Votes: 157

4. Are You Being Served? (1972–1985)

TV-PG | 28 min | Comedy

The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Stars: Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richard

Votes: 6,535

5. Armchair Theatre (1956–1974)

60 min | Drama

This show was a British television drama anthology series of single plays that ran on the ITV network from 1956 to 1974. It was originally produced by Associated British Corporation, and later by Thames Television from mid 1968.

Stars: Harry H. Corbett, Billie Whitelaw, Neil McCallum, Paul Whitsun-Jones

Votes: 114

6. The Army Game (1957–1961)

30 min | Comedy

The exploits of a bunch of army conscripts.

Stars: Harry Fowler, Frank Williams, Ted Lune, Alfie Bass

Votes: 67

8. The Arthur Haynes Show (1956–1966)

30 min | Comedy

Hobo Haynes and a series of other working class characters fight back against the authorities and anybody else who might look down on them. Many musical acts of the time also appear to add a little variety to proceedings.

Stars: Arthur Haynes, Nicholas Parsons, Leslie Noyes, Jack Parnell Orchestra

Votes: 32

9. The Avengers (1961–1969)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A quirky spy show of the adventures of eccentrically suave British Agent John Steed and his predominately female partners.

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson

Votes: 6,161

10. Big Brother (III) (2000– )

60 min | Game-Show, Reality-TV

Big brother is a television show made in the UK, where contestants take part in a challenge to see who will last the longest in the Big brother house, The winner will take home a large cash prize while the losers take home nothing.

Stars: Marcus Bentley, Davina McCall, Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace, Pete Bennett

Votes: 2,598

11. Blankety Blank (1979–2016)

30 min | Game-Show

Comedy game show with celebrity guests and cheap prizes.

Stars: Les Dawson, Terry Wogan, Paul O'Grady, Lorraine Chase

Votes: 140

12. Blockbusters (1980–1982)

TV-G | 30 min | Game-Show

Game show which sought to resolve the question, "Are two heads better than one?" A single contestant competed against a team of two (related in some way but not married) to answer general ... See full summary »

Stars: Bill Cullen, Bob Hilton, David Vito Gregoli, Jolene Rae Harrington

Votes: 77

13. Boyd Q.C. (1956–1964)

30 min | Drama

A barrister named Richard Boyd Q.C. is involved in a variety of cases in London.

Stars: Michael Denison, Charles Leno, Owen Berry, Weyman Mackay

Votes: 10

14. Brideshead Revisited (1981)

659 min | Drama, Romance

Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »

Stars: Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Roger Milner, Phoebe Nicholls

Votes: 6,297

15. The Buccaneers (1956–1957)

30 min | Adventure, Drama

Captain Dan Tempest was an ex-pirate who received a pardon from the King and turned privateer after his stronghold of New Providence was taken over by Crown soldiers. Tempest and Lt. ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Shaw, Paul Hansard, Brian Rawlinson, Edwin Richfield

Votes: 115

16. Candid Camera (I) (1960–1975)

30 min | Comedy, Reality-TV

Unsuspecting people are placed in confusing, impossible, embarrassing, ridiculous, and hilarious positions, while their reactions are recorded on a hidden camera.

Stars: Allen Funt, Durward Kirby, Sid Ramin, Dorothy Collins

Votes: 351

17. Cluedo (1990–1993)

45 min | Crime, Drama, Game-Show

A unique game show in which celebrities try to deduce which of the classic characters commited a murder by watching a short film and interviewing the suspects.

Stars: Chuck Foster, Richard Madeley, James Bellini, Leslie Grantham

Votes: 94

18. Coronation Street (1960– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Drama, Romance

The U.K.'s longest-running television soap, Coronation Street focuses on the everyday lives of working class people in Manchester, England.

Stars: William Roache, Helen Worth, Sally Dynevor, Simon Gregson

Votes: 4,554

19. Cranford (2007–2010)

TV-PG | 469 min | Drama

In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip, and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.

Stars: Judi Dench, Julia McKenzie, Imelda Staunton, Lisa Dillon

Votes: 8,117

20. Crimewatch UK (1984–2017)

50 min | Documentary, Crime

Looking at the range of criminal activity that plagues the United Kingdom, giving vital information on unsolved cases.

Stars: Nick Ross, Kirsty Young, Chris Cowlin, Rav Wilding

Votes: 118

21. Crown Court (1972–1984)

TV-14 | 30 min | Drama

Courtroom drama, each case takes three episodes. At the end of the third episode, a jury of "ordinary people" comes to a verdict on the evidence presented.

Stars: Peter Wheeler, Joseph Berry, Richard Colson, David Ashford

Votes: 165

22. Dad's Army (1968–1977)

30 min | Comedy, War

A ragtag group of Home Guard volunteers prepare for an imminent German invasion during World War II.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn, John Laurie

Votes: 5,231

23. Dinnerladies (1998–2000)

34 min | Comedy

Comedy about the workers in a factory canteen.

Stars: Victoria Wood, Thelma Barlow, Andrew Dunn, Shobna Gulati

Votes: 1,609

24. Dixon of Dock Green (1955–1976)

45 min | Crime, Drama

Constable George Dixon and his colleagues at the Dock Green police station in the East End of London deal with petty crime, successfully controlling it through common sense and human understanding.

Stars: Jack Warner, Peter Byrne, Geoffrey Adams, Arthur Rigby

Votes: 185

25. Dr. Finlay's Casebook (1962–1971)

50 min | Drama

Dr. Finlay is a member of a medical practice in the Scottish town of Tannochbrae during the late 1920s.

Stars: Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruickshank, Barbara Mullen, Eric Woodburn

Votes: 83

26. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.

Stars: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker

Votes: 33,997

27. Double Your Money (1955–1968)

30 min | Game-Show

Quiz show in which every time a contestant answers a question correctly on their chosen subject their prize money doubles, starting at £1 upto £32. If they get a question wrong however they... See full summary »

Stars: Hughie Green, Barbara Roscoe, Monica Rose, Julie De Marco

Votes: 12

28. Downton Abbey (2010–2015)

TV-PG | 58 min | Drama, Romance

A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early twentieth century.

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Brendan Coyle

Votes: 151,274

29. Emergency-Ward 10 (1957–1967)

30 min | Drama

Set in Oxbridge General Hospital, this soap opera focused equally on the lives and loves of its medical staff and the pressure of their work.

Stars: Jill Browne, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Frederick Bartman, Desmond Carrington

Votes: 34

30. Patrol Car (1954–1956)

30 min | Crime, Drama

Dramatization of murder investigations and other criminal cases that Detective Superintendent Robert Fabian, a real-life Scotland Yard Inspector and the host of the show, worked on.

Stars: Bruce Seton, Robert Raglan, Philip Dale, Jack Melford

Votes: 14

32. Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

Votes: 79,897

33. Fifteen to One (1988–2003)

30 min | Game-Show

Quickfire elimination general knowledge quiz show.

Stars: William G. Stewart, Anthony Hyde, Tony Bianchi, Ron Chalmers

Votes: 96

34. The Forsyte Saga (1967– )

50 min | Drama, Romance

The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon ... See full summary »

Stars: Eric Porter, Margaret Tyzack, Nyree Dawn Porter, Kenneth More

Votes: 871

35. Larry Grayson's Generation Game (1971–2011)

60 min | Comedy, Game-Show

Making a fool of the contestants as they try to copy professionals who have strange jobs. To win some prizes the contestants play for points until there is a winner. They then watch prizes ... See full summary »

Stars: Bruce Forsyth, Anthea Redfern, Jim Davidson, Melanie Stace

Votes: 143

36. George & Mildred (1976–1979)

30 min | Comedy

George and Mildred Roper are forced to leave their home in South Kensington (as the landlords in Man About the House (1973)) when they receive a compulsory purchase order from the council. ... See full summary »

Stars: Yootha Joyce, Brian Murphy, Norman Eshley, Sheila Fearn

Votes: 1,150

37. Give Us a Clue (1979– )

25 min | Game-Show

A British TV show where every week a team of celebrities would play Charades

Stars: Una Stubbs, Lionel Blair, Michael Aspel, Michael Parkinson

Votes: 28

38. Hancock (1961)

25 min | Comedy

Comedian Tony Hancock stars, in this BBC situation comedy TV series, as Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, a down-at-heel comedian living in East Cheam.

Stars: Tony Hancock, Hugh Lloyd, June Whitfield, Gwenda Ewen

Votes: 130

39. Happy Valley (2014– )

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama

Catherine Cawood is the sergeant on duty when flustered and nervous accountant Kevin Weatherill comes into her West Yorkshire station to report a crime.

Stars: Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, Shane Zaza, Charlie Murphy

Votes: 30,575

40. Have I Got News for You (1990– )

29 min | Comedy, Game-Show, News

Hilarious, totally-irreverent, near-slanderous political quiz show, based mainly on news stories from the last week or so, that leaves no party, personality or action unscathed in pursuit ... See full summary »

Stars: Ian Hislop, Paul Merton, Angus Deayton, Alexander Armstrong

Votes: 4,178

41. Hi-de-Hi! (1980–1988)

60 min | Comedy

Comic goings on in this series set in an English holiday camp called Maplins. The title comes from the camp's greeting, which the staff are meant to say with enthusiasm but all too often ... See full summary »

Stars: Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Jeffrey Holland, Felix Bowness

Votes: 1,160

42. The Human Jungle (1963–1964)

60 min | Drama

This is a British television series in which Dr. Roger Corder (Herbert Lom) is a psychiatrist who is able to treat and cure any patients' mental disorders through Freudian and contemporary approaches.

Stars: Herbert Lom, Michael Johnson, Sally Smith, Mary Yeomans

Votes: 110

43. The Invisible Man (1958–1960)

30 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

British scientist Dr. Peter Brady (Tim Turner), while working on an invisibility formula, suffers a tragic accident which turns him invisible. Unfortunately, there is no antidote, so, while... See full summary »

Stars: Tim Turner, Lisa Daniely, Deborah Watling, Ernest Clark

Votes: 316

44. It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–1981)

30 min | Comedy, War

The comic adventures of a group of misfits who form an extremely bad concert party touring the hot and steamy jungles of Burma entertaining the troops during World War II.

Stars: Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Donald Hewlett, Don Estelle

Votes: 1,146

45. Ivanhoe (1958–1959)

30 min | Adventure

The adventures of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a noble knight and champion of justice during the rule of the evil Prince John.

Stars: Roger Moore, Robert Brown, Andrew Keir, Martin Wyldeck

Votes: 272

46. The Jewel in the Crown (1984)

778 min | Drama, History, Romance