The best classic British TV shows streaming now on BritBox
There’s nothing like a good dose of TV nostalgia to brighten the cloudy days, of which, in Britain, there are many. Perhaps that’s why we’re so good at making TV.
It’s hard to make a list of the best British TV classics, because there’s almost too many TV shows to name. BritBox, the streaming service bringing together the best of British from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, puts all of that timeless content in one place. Better yet, it’s available with a 30-day free trial.
Here are 10 classic British TV series that you can start watching today on BritBox:
1. Only Fools and Horses
Who can forget the Peckham market trader brothers, Del and Rodney? For more than twenty years, the rags to riches (to rags again) adventures of the Trotter boys kept us laughing, even spawning two spin-offs, The Green Green Grass and Rock & Chips.
2. Prime Suspect
Helen Mirren’s turn as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison is as memorable today as when Prime Suspect premiered in 1991. Mirren bagged three BAFTAs for the role of the uncompromising Jane Tennison, a role that catapulted her to widespread fame.
3. One Foot in the Grave
The unique exploits of Victor Meldrew, an early retiree, and his long-suffering wife Margaret are the subject of this BAFTA Award-winning comedy. One Foot in the Grave ran for six series between 1990 and 2000, as well as multiple Christmas specials, and even inspired radio and novel adaptations.
4. Classic Doctor Who
The timeless stories of an alien Timelord and their many companions are just as vibrant today as they have been for decades. From William Hartnell to Sylvester McCoy, Doctor Who maintained the intrigue and eccentricity that fuels the success of this science-fiction show.
It’s worth noting for Doctor Who fans that BritBox has the largest selection of Classic Who episodes of any streaming service.
5. The Thick of It
What better way to examine the workings of the British government than through cutting edge comedy (and not a small amount of profanity). Peter Capaldi stars as Number 10’s feared communications director in the series that led to the Academy Award-nominated spin-off film In The Loop.
6. The Office
The revolutionary British mockumentary series made Ricky Gervais a household name, as well as spawning such success in America that their adaptation of the series ran for nine seasons. Workplace comedy was never more painfully real, and hilarious, as in The Office.
7. Father Ted
The ragtag band of three Irish Roman Catholic Priests, each in the doghouse for different reasons on the fictional Craggy Island, was a comedy set up that struck gold. Father Ted won two BAFTAs for Best Comedy, while the Aran islands in Ireland continue to argue over which of them is the real life Craggy Island.
8. Keeping Up Appearances
Patricia Routledge’s unforgettable performance as ambitious social climber Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’), while being constantly hampered by her family, made Keeping Up Appearances one of Britain’s biggest ever comedy hits. The series spawned five seasons in the early 1990s, as well as a 2016 prequel Young Hyacinth.
Half a history lesson, half a comic farce, Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson endured the Middle Ages, Queen Elizabeth’s reign, Regency Britain and the First World War. Blackadder‘s ability to combine comedy with some of British history’s tumultuous moments is a stroke of genius.
10. Midsomer Murders
Midsomer Murders has had people asking the question ‘but why would anyone ever go to Midsomer?’ for more than twenty years. The show’s lasting success lies in its clever combination of crime drama, nostalgia and dark humour, as well as some excellent casting decisions. In fact, it’s as great today as it ever was.
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BritBox has the biggest collection of British boxsets compared to other SVOD services. Verify at britbox.co.uk/help. 30-day free trial. Auto renews @£5.99/month unless cancelled.