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Top 10 British Sitcoms I love the most

31 May

Well this top 10 is all about the british tv sitcom, something we brits are very good at making, here below is what i call my best 10 ever i have viewed, these are all in my opinion. UPDATED

10.. CITIZEN SMITH – Citizen Smith is a British television sitcom. The show was written by John Sullivan, who later wrote Only Fools and Horses. The pilot was transmitted on 12 April 1977 in the Comedy Special series of one-off plays, and the series proper ran from 3 November 1977 to 31 December 1980. Citizen Smith starred Robert Lindsay as “Wolfie” Smith, a young Marxist “urban guerrilla” living in Tooting, South London, who is attempting to emulate his hero Che Guevara. ‘Wolfie’ is a reference to the Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone who used the pseudonym Citizen Smith in order to evade capture by the British. Wolfie is the self-proclaimed leader of the revolutionary Tooting Popular Front (the TPF, merely a small bunch of his friends), the goals of which are “Power to the People” and “Freedom for Tooting”. In reality, he is an unemployed dreamer and petty criminal whose plans fall through because of laziness and disorganisation.

09.. RISING DAMP – Rising Damp starred Leonard RossiterFrances de la TourRichard Beckinsale and Don Warrington. Rossiter played Rupert Rigsby (originally Rooksby in the stage play): the miserly, seedy, and ludicrously self-regarding landlord of a run-down Victorian town house who rents out his shabby bedsits to a variety of tenants. Beckinsale played Alan Guy Moore, a long-haired, naive, good-natured and amiable medical student who occupies the top room. Frances de la Tour was Miss Ruth Jones: a fey, whimsical spinster and college administrator who rents another room, with whom Rigsby is in love and to whom he proposes in the last episode.

In the pilot episode, a new tenant arrives. Philip Smith (Don Warrington) is a planning student who claims to be the son of an African Chief. As a black man, he brings out the ill-informed fears and knee-jerk suspicions of Rigsby. However, the landlord quickly accepts his new tenant and henceforth regards him with a wary respect… wary because of Philip’s intelligence and smooth manners, and especially because Miss Jones finds herself attracted to the handsome sophisticate. Of these four principal actors, only Beckinsale was a new recruit – the others had all played their roles in the original stage play.

In the first series, there was another tenant Spooner, a professional wrestler, played by Derek Newark. Rigsby gets on his bad side when he and Alan ‘borrow’ his clothes in the episode ‘A Night Out’. Spooner made only two appearances but is mentioned in other episodes in Series 1. Other tenants occasionally move into the house but never became permanent residents, often appearing only in a single episode. Peter Bowles and Peter Jeffrey were among the actors portraying these tenants. The series is in the British comedy tradition of having failure as a key underlying theme, each of the characters leading a life of quiet desperation.

Frances de la Tour temporarily left the series in 1975, after appearing in four episodes of the second series, because of theatre commitments. She was ‘replaced’ by Gabrielle (Gay) Rose for three episodes as new tenant Brenda (she also appeared in la Tour’s last episode of 1975 “Moonlight and Roses”), whilst Henry McGee also stood in for one episode as new tenant and conman Seymour. Frances de la Tour returned for the final two series.

Richard Beckinsale did not appear in the fourth series due to West End theatre commitments. Eric Chappell wrote some lines into the intended first episode ‘Fire and Brimstone’ to explain Alan’s absence (he had passed his exams to become a doctor) but these were cut when it was decided to broadcast the second episode ‘Hello Young Lovers’ as the first episode instead.

Eric Chappell defended Rigsby by saying he ‘was not a racist or a bigot, but he was prejudiced and suspicious of strangers. But he accepted Philip and his only concern afterwards was that he didn’t get a legover Miss Jones.’

08.. STEPTOE AND SON – Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about a father-and-son rag-and-bone business. They live on Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherd’s Bush, London. Four series were broadcast by the BBC from 1962 to 1965, followed by a second run from 1970 to 1974. Its theme tune, “Old Ned”, was composed by Ron Grainer. The series was voted 15th in a 2004 BBC poll to find Britain’s Best Sitcom. It was remade in the US as Sanford and Son, in Sweden as Albert & Herbert and in the Netherlands as Stiefbeen en zoon. In 1972 a movie adaptation of the series, Steptoe and Son, was released in cinemas, with a second Steptoe and Son Ride Again in 1973.

The series focussed on the inter-generational conflict of father and son. Albert Steptoe, a “dirty old man”, is an old rag and bone man, set in his grimy and grasping ways. By contrast his 37-year-old son Harold is filled with social aspirations, not to say pretensions. The show contained elements of drama and tragedy, as Harold was continually prevented from achieving his ambitions. To this end the show was unusual at the time for casting actors rather than comedians in its lead roles, although both actors were drawn into more comedic roles as a consequence.

07.. BLESS THIS HOUSE – Bless This House centres on life in Birch Avenue, Putney, where travelling stationery salesman Sid Abbott (note: the spelling of their surname varies; the opening credits of early series one episodes spell it “Abbot” while in the closing credits it is spelt “Abbott”) and his wife Jean live with their teenage children, Mike, who is fresh from art college and more pre-occupied with protests than finding a job, and Sally, a trendy schoolgirl. The children are 16 and 18 years old at the start of the series. Sid and Jean constantly battle to comprehend the permissive ways of the new generation and are usually out of touch. Their neighbours and best friends are Trevor and his wife Betty.

06.. LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR – The series was created and largely written by Vince Powell and Harry Driver, and was based around a suburban white working class couple in Twickenham attempting to come to terms with having a black couple as next-door neighbours. Love Thy Neighbour was hugely popular at the time of its broadcast; during an era in which Britain struggled to come to terms with its recently arrived population of black immigrants, Love Thy Neighbour exemplified this struggle. It aroused great controversy for many of the same reasons as the earlier Till Death Us Do Part had done.

The views of the white male character (Eddie Booth, played by Smethurst) were presented in such a way as to make him appear stupid and bigoted, and were contrasted with the more tolerant attitude of his wife. His use of terms such as “nig-nog” to refer to his black neighbour attracted considerable criticism from viewers.

The male black character was, in contrast educated and sophisticated, although stubborn and also capable of using insulting phrases, such as the terms “Honky”, “Snowflake”, “Paleface” or “Big White Chief” to describe his white neighbour (often in response to being called “nig-nog” or “Sambo”). The series has since been repeated on satellite television stations in the UK, however, each episode begins with a warning about content. Repeats of the show are also shown in Australia on the Seven Network Digital channel. The theme song “Love Thy Neighbour” was composed by Mack Gordon & Harry Revel and sung by Stuart Gillies.

05.. ON THE BUSES On the Buses is an English sitcom created by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1969 to 1973. It spawned three feature spin off films based on the series. The writers’ previous successes with The Rag Trade and Meet the Wife were for the BBC, but the corporation rejected On the Buses, not seeing much comedy potential in a bus depot as a setting. The comedy partnership turned to a friend,Frank Muir, Head of Entertainment at London Weekend Television, who loved the idea; the show was accepted and despite a poor critical reception became a hit with viewers.

04.. MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE – Man About the House is a British sitcom starring Richard O’SullivanSally Thomsett, and Paula Wilcox with Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy, that was broadcast for six series on ITV from 15 August 1973 to 7 April 1976. It was created and written by Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer. The series was considered daring at the time due to its subject matter of a man sharing a flat with two single women. It was made by Thames Television and recorded at their Teddington studios.

Two spin-off series were later made: George and Mildred and Robin’s Nest. In 2004, it came 69th in a poll to find Britain’s Best Sitcom. The series was remade in the United States as Three’s Company in 1977. A film version was released in 1974.

03.. OPEN ALL HOURS – Open All Hours is a BBC television sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. It ran for 26 episodes in four series, which premiered in 1976, 1981, 1982 and 1985. The programme developed from a television pilot broadcast in Ronnie Barker‘s comedy anthology seriesSeven of One (1973). Open All Hours ranked eighth in the 2004 Britain’s Best Sitcom poll.  A sequel, entitled Still Open All Hours, was created in 2013.

The setting is a small grocer’s shop in Balby, a suburb of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The owner, Albert E. Arkwright (Ronnie Barker), is a middle-aged miser with a stammer and a knack for selling. His nephew Granville Arkwright (David Jason), is his put-upon errand boy, who blames his work schedule for his lacklustre social life.

Across the road lives Gladys Emmanuel (Lynda Baron), a nurse occupied by her professional rounds and her elderly mother. Arkwright longs to marry her, but she resists his persistent pressures. Though short-tempered with Arkwright, she is concerned for his and Granville’s welfare.

02.. PORRIDGE – Porridge is a British situation comedy broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977, running for three series, two Christmas specials and a feature film also titled Porridge (the movie was released under the title Doing Time in the United States). Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, it stars Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale as two inmates at the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland. “Doing porridge” is British slang for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in UK prisons.

Porridge is widely considered to be one of the greatest British sitcoms of all time. The series was placed 7th in a 2004 BBC poll of the 100 greatest British sitcoms. The series was followed by a 1978 sequel, Going Straight, which established that Fletcher would not be going back to prison again.

01.. ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES – Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003. Episodes are regularly repeated on Gold and occasionally repeated on BBC One.

Set in Peckham in south London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek “Del Boy” TrotterNicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney, and Lennard Pearce as their elderly Grandad. After Pearce’s death in 1984, his character was replaced by Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield). Backed by a strong supporting cast, the series chronicles the Trotters’ highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich.

After a relatively slow start, the show went on to achieve consistently high ratings, and the 1996 episode “Time On Our Hands” holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers (over a third of the population). Critically and popularly acclaimed, the series received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society, as well as winning individual accolades for both Sullivan and Jason. It was voted Britain’s Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll.

The series had an impact on British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language. It spawned an extensive range of merchandise, including books, DVDs, toys and board games. A spin-off series, The Green Green Grass, ran for four series in the UK from 2005 to 2009. A prequel, Rock & Chips, ran for three specials in 2010 and 2011. A special Sport Relief episode aired in March 2014, starring David Beckham.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS INCLUDE FAWLTY TOWERS, THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN, KEEPING UP APPEARANCES, THE LIVER BIRDS, IN LOVING MEMORY, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, `ALLO `ALLO, ARE YOU BEING SERVED, SOME MOTHERS DO HAVE EM, TIL DEATH US DO PART, HI DE HI, THE ROYLE FAMILY, MEN BEHAVING BADLY, THE GOOD LIFE, EVER DECREASING CIRCLES, LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE, ROBINS NEST, MIND YOUR LANGUAGE, PLEASE SIR, THE FENN STREET GANG, GEORGE AND MILDRED, YUS MY DEAR, ROMANY JONES, THE DUSTBINMEN, OH NO! ITS SELWYN FROGGITT, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE LIKELY LADS, SORRY, JUST GOOD FRIENDS, DEAR JOHN, BREAD, SYKES, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY, MY FAMILY, 2 POINT 4 CHILDREN, GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART, CURRY AND CHIPS, COWBOYS, THE LOVERS, THE BRITTAS EMPIRE, DAD`S ARMY, OUTNUMBERED AND MANY MORE I`VE PROBABLY FORGOTTEN.

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2 Comments

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Top Tens

 

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2 responses to “Top 10 British Sitcoms I love the most

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