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17 Hilarious British Comedies On Netflix

From 'Derry Girls' to 'Chewing Gum' and 'Peep Show,' these shows never get old.

Derry Girls characters Claire, Orla, Erin, Michelle and James pose in their green school uniforms
Channel 4/ Derry Girls
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A good dose of British comedy on Netflixnever fails to lift the mood. Thankfully, there’s always a great selection to stream. In fact, British comedies on Netflix are probably top of my most-watched list.

From classic sitcoms like Absolutely Fabulous to sketch shows like Monty Python, and newer favourites, including Derry Girls and Sex Education, Netflix features some of the best British comedies ever made.

In need of something reassuringly familiar to help you switch off? Looking for a few guaranteed laughs? For those times when a good British rom-com just won’t cut it (although there are plenty of those to choose from on the platform, too) – Netflix has curated quite the British comedy library for your amusement.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, I’m pretty well versed in the best British comedies on Netflix. So, pour yourself a cuppa, sit down, and indulge in some highly therapeutic comedy viewing.

1

Bad Education

Terrible teachers might make us cringe in real life, when when they’re on TV and at a safe distance, they make for a cracking good watch. Comedian Jack Whitehall plays posh boy Alfie Wickers, “the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system”.

The series even spawned its own film and stars veteran comedians like Harry Enfield and Matthew Horne.

Watch on Netflix

2

After Life

Dark comedy more your thing? After Life is the perfect series for you. Created by Ricky Gervais, After Life follows newspaper writer Tony who is dealing with the recent death of his wife to breast cancer. To cope, he decides to take on “a gruff new persona in an effort to push those away trying to help”, by saying and doing what he wants without thinking about the consequences. Wit and emotion in equal measure.

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3

The IT Crowd

The beauty of British comedy is its intrinsic relationship with the nation. The IT Crowd is a perfect example, where one phrase — “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” — is relatable no matter where you live in the UK. Yes, we’ve all spent nights marathoning the show to oblivion on All 4. But, it’s still just as good every watch. Who knew a group of ITV nerds – including Chris O’Dowd, Noel Fielding, and Richard Ayoade – would steal our hearts so successfully?

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4

Chewing Gum

Written by and starring the brilliant Michaela Coel, Chewing Gum follows the Beyoncé-obsessed 24-year-old Tracey Gordon as she leaves her strict religious past behind and enters womanhood.

Consistently breaking the fourth wall, and seriously demonstrating Coel’s writing and comedic chops, Chewing Gum is a must-see for those who appreciated her work in the BBC drama I May Destroy You.

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5

Sex Education

Everyone loves a teen comedy, and Sex Education delivers on that front. It’s also a show that successfully traverses the awkward sexual awakening all teens experience, and the problems they’d much rather keep to themselves (in a very British way, ofc).

While Sex Education “finds the sweetness in the awkward and under-discussed parts of human sexuality”, and has its fair share of drama, it’s an absolute delight to watch — and is thankfully returning for a third series in the near future.

Watch on Netflix

6

Derry Girls

Derry Girls has been on the top of my British comedy list since it first debuted. From it’s stellar female cast to the hilariously unique writing and setting, it’s hard to put the humour of Derry Girls into words. It’s one of those series you just have to see for yourself – writing down the lines that these girls come out with doesn’t do them justice.

Watch on Netflix

7

Man Like Mobeen

One British comedian you should totally be following is Guz Khan. The dude has me in hysterics whenever he does stand-up, and the same goes for his sitcom Man Like Mobeen. While the third series isn’t available on Netflix at the moment (it’s on BBC iPlayer, though), the first two are ready and waiting for you to enjoy.

Watch on Netflix

8

The Duchess

Comedian Katherine Ryan might be Canadian, but her British comedy is on point. In this comedy-drama she plays a single mum navigating raising a tween daughter while also focusing on a career. Oh, and the fact that she’s considering whether it’s a good idea to have another child with her daughter’s father, a.k.a. her insufferable ex-boyfriend. Trust me, it plays out hilariously.

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9

Fresh Meat

The perfect follow-up to Bad Education, Fresh Meat focuses on a group of freshers navigating the complexities of uni life. You remember the drill: partying, making friends, maintaining relationships, and trying not to succumb to the pressures of endless essays and exams. It stars Jack Whitehall as lead, aka one of the best British comedians around (see his Brit Awards 2021 hosting skills for evidence of how he’s progressed since).

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10

Flowers

We know Olivia Colman does surreal comedy well, and Flowers demonstrates her talent perfectly, through the misadventures of a rather eccentric family. Starring alongside Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh), writer and creator Will Sharpe combines British and Japanese dark humour seamlessly. I’d argue it’s one of the most unique British comedies on Netflix.

Watch on Netflix

11

Monty Python's Flying Circus

When Netflix announced it would be uploading the entire Monty Python collection to stream in 2018 I, for one, rejoiced. The British comedy collective is probably best known among millennials for its films The Holy Grail, and The Life of Brian – but the group’s foray into television with Monty Python's Flying Circus is definitely some of their best work. If you want to laugh until your sides hurt, half an hour of Flying Circus will certainly do the trick.

Watch on Netflix

12

The End of the F***ing World

There’s a reason why everyone raves about this show, it’s just so cool. From the American road trip aesthetics to the pretty messed up storyline, everything about The End of the F***ing World screams good television. It’ll have you in stitches one minute, and in tears by the next.

It’s the perfect companion show to Sex Education in terms of setting. Both are definitely based in England, but the settings look so otherworldly that it’s become part of the charm of these shows.

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13

Motherland

Loosely based on the true experiences of creator and writer Sharon Horgan’s at the school gates, Motherland is an unabridged insight into what it’s really like to have kids.

Cue the chaos of organising a young family, maintaining social commitments, working from home in the school holidays, and all the additional dramas that come with becoming a parent. Quintessential British comedy that’s very IRL – you just have to laugh.

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14

The Windsors

When you want a gripping, quasi-factual retelling of royal history, there’s The Crown. But when you want fiction and farce, The Windsors will satisfy that craving. The series puts a soap-opera-meets-sitcom spin on the lives of the British royals.

Camilla, Diana, Pippa, Kate and even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II all feature in the comedy, which sends up real-life political events like Brexit. If a show can make Brexit funny, you know you need to tune in.

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15

Still Game

This BBC Scotland sitcom centres on pensioners and best friends Jack and Victor and their hilarious reminiscences about their Glasgow youth. The laughs between the two main characters are enough to keep anyone entertained, making it a good one to watch with the grandparents or on your own.

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16

Peep Show

Long before Olivia Colman was heading for Oscar-winning success (or maybe we knew it all along), she played Sophie in Peep Show. The cringe-worthy British comedy follows the dysfunctional lives of Mark and Jeremy, through point-of-view shots that give the series its name.

The cult favourite became Channel 4’s longest running comedy after nine seasons, all of which are available on Netflix. So buckle up, and get ready for the awkwardness to sink in.

Watch on Netflix

17

Shameless

Manchester-set sitcome Shameless, ran for almost a whole decade. The show focuses on the escapades of a British working-class family, mising comedy and tragedy against the backdrop of the fictional Chatsworth estate. Expect quality telly that explores infidelity, sexuality, and so much more. And once you’ve streamed the UK series, you can check out its US counterpart.

Watch on Netflix

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