The Top 10 GREATEST British television shows


AT The Sun we like to celebrate what makes Britain great – and our TV shows do
just that.

We’re responsible for some truly iconic small screen programmes.

So, here’s what we think our the ten best.

From gritty dramas like Prime Suspect to long-running soaps like Corrie, which
is your favourite home-grown telly show?

Let us know in the comments, below.

Prime Suspect

Helen Mirren’s arresting performance as DCI Jane Tennison is one of her most
iconic roles of all time.

She starred in ITV’s gritty crime drama Prime Suspect from 1991-1996, and then
returned in 2003-2006.

Set primarily in London, the show moved up to Manchester for its fifth

Mirren — and the show — won multiple awards for the
hard-hitting programme.

Only Fools And Horses

Lovely jubbly, innit! Not many Brits are unfamiliar with Del Boy’s antics —
played to perfection by David Jason — ably aided by his brother
Nicholas Lyndhurst (Rodney), Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) and the late
Lennard Pearce (Grandad).

The programme was responsible for some of the most iconic moments in British
TV history – including the side-splitting moment Del took a tumble in the
wine bar.

It ran on BBC1 from 1981 to 1991 and then returned for sporadic Christmas
specials until 2003.

All together now: “Rodney, you plonker!”

Fawlty Towers

John Cleese was perfect in his role as hen-pecked hotel owner Basil Fawlty.

His wife Sybil (Prunella Scales) was the bane of his life as he tried to keep
the hotel in order while under her watchful eye.

The BBC show only ran for 12 episodes — in 1975 and 1979 —
but was still voted the Best British TV show of All Time, in a list drawn up
by the British Film Institute.

Coronation Street

Coronation Street richly deserves its place in our iconic shows list, not
least because it’s the world’s longest-running soap.

The magical, quirky sense of humour that Corrie brings to its storylines makes
the programme a firm favourite across the nation.

The ITV show was first broadcast in 1960 and went out live for one hour-long
special in 2010.


Classic BBC show Blackadder featured a who’s who of British comedy including
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie
and Rik Mayall.

Each series was set in a different historical period — following the
mishaps of Edmund Blackadder (Atkinson) and his hapless sidekick Baldrick
(Robinson) — including the Middle Ages, the Elizabethan times, the
Regency period and WWI.

The final episode of the fourth run was especially touching as the main
characters were finally seen leaving the trenches to charge into no man’s

Doctor Who

A cult favourite, this science-fiction classic produced by the BBC first hit
screens in 1963.

It follows the adventures of the Time Lord, a time-travelling alien who
explores the universe in his TARDIS, which happens to look like a phone box.

Eleven actors have taken on the role of the Doctor with Matt Smith set to
depart from screens at Christmas.

The Doctor usually has one or more companions, his latest being Clara Oswald
played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

David Tennant, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darville,
Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Alex Kingston have all appeared in the

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

This masterclass of surreal comedy was broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974.

It starred Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones,
Michael Palin and Carol Cleveland.

Its off-beat nature cemented its place in the heart of the nation.

Absolutely Fabulous

The exploits of Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna
Lumley) were documented in this classic BBC comedy that ran from 1992 to
1996, before returning in 2001 to 2004, and again in 2011.

The best pals boozed like troopers, weren’t shy about taking lots of drugs,
dreaded getting old and were obsessed with fashion.

Patsy hated Edina’s sensible daughter Saffron, played to perfection by Julia
Sawalha, while Eddie struggled to be a kind mother to her brainbox

But at the heart of this comedy was a tale of female friendship, being
frustrated with your overbearing mother (June Whitfield took on the role of
Edina’s mum)… and just generally being fabulous sweetie darling.

The Office

Ricky Gervais gained global fame thanks to The Office, which he wrote with
Stephen Merchant.

The mockumentary, which first broadcast on BBC2 in 2001, was the first of its
kind, and followed the daily lives of four main characters – David Brent
(Gervais), Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman), Gareth Keenan (Mackenzie Crook)
and Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis).

Gervais’ character Brent has been so enduring, he is set to release an album
of songs in character.

Blue Peter

First aired in 1958, Blue Peter is the world’s longest-running children’s
television programme.

It has stood the test of time due to its eclectic subject matter, interesting
and predominantly live format and the fact that it doesn’t patronise its
audience, as it aims to educate and inform.

Konnie Huq, Anthea Turner, John Leslie, Katy Hill, Matt Baker and Richard
Bacon have all fronted the show.