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22 British OTPs More Relatable Than Ross And Rachel

A selection of British telly couples you can use to illustrate your connection to another human being without resorting to American imports. You’re welcome.

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There are couples, and then there are OTP (one true pairing) couples. They are the most essential; the ones YouTubers make endless fan videos about, scored by the most plaintive emo-pop ever written. More often than not, though, the TV couples we look to when we want to describe a love supreme are American. It's not your fault, America's greatest export is cultural imperialism, so of course you're going to reach for Ross and Rachel (Friends), or Diane and Sam (Cheers) or Hathaway and Ross (ER) over a homegrown alternative. Enough! Why don't you look to your own backyard and "ship local" (oh, lol) when it comes to your OTPs?


22. Steve and Susan - Coupling

Steve Taylor (Jack Davenport) and Susan Walker (Sarah Alexander) were arguably the budget Ross and Rachel, a bit more silly and definitely more relatably British. The OTP for borderline hysterical middle class boys who've managed to pull women significantly out of their league.

21. Darcy and Elizabeth - Pride and Prejudice

You know why Fitzwilliam Darcy (Colin Firth) and Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) are on this list. Because Jane Austen write a masterpiece. Because of the way he looked at her when she played pianoforte, like his face would physically become the heart eyes emoji. Because for many of us, this love was an... awakening.

20. Mark and Johnson - Peep Show

The photo is of only Alan Johnson (Paterson Joseph) because truly, who could love Johnson as much as Johnson? Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell) would at least try. "If he got accused of a crime he hadn't committed I could come to his aid," he mused once. That's love.

19. Jamie and Sooz - As If

Remember them? For those of us of a certain vintage, this was the main reason to watch T4 on a Sunday morning/afternoon. The group of six friends tooks on different couple configurations but the one that stuck - and struck a chord - was between Sooz and Jamie. An unlikely romance between a prickly girl and a silly boy? Only the best love stories have those! (Sooz, you may recall, was the inspiration behind the McFly song, Five Colours In Her Hair.)


18. Ricky and Bianca - EastEnders

Ricky (Sid Owen) and Bianca (Patsy Palmer) were magical. The soundtrack to their love was a hurled insult, a snarled rebuke or the curiously beautiful call of love, "Rickaaaaaaay!" Rejoice in their (twice-married) passion.

17. Del Boy and Raquel - Only Fools and Horses

Del Boy Trotter (David Jason) and long term girlfriend Raquel Turner (Tessa Peake-Jones) are the couple to shoot for if you're a wheeler-dealer type who speaks fluent French. In a modern twist, they met via dating agency (fancy for 1988) before losing touch and getting back together a year later. A model OTP for those who have dreams and hopes, pushed aside to live real life.

16. Denise and Dave - The Royle Family


Denise Royle (Caroline Aherne) and Dave Best (Craig Cash) are the OTP for telly-loving people everywhere. We can only hope to find a love this pure and true (and dedicated screentime).

15. Annie and Mitchell - Being Human

What happens when a ghost and a vampire fall in love? HE GOES TO PURGATORY TO GET HER BACK. The love Annie Sawyer (Lenora Crichlow) and John Mitchell (Aidan Turner) shared had everything you could ever want from a paranormal love affair: forgiveness, redemption, fingerless gloves and utter selflessness. "You were the love of my long life," Mitchell told Annie. You're crying at your desk, aren't you?

14. Kev and Veronica - Shameless

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Kev Ball (Dean Lennox Kelly) and Veronica Fisher (Maxine Peake) were very much the beating heart of Shameless. As the drunken but sincere wedding proposal shows, they may have been poor, and a little bit daft, but they had all the love in the world, plus all the booze they could carry. It's what we all want, deep down.


12. Johnny Vaughn and Denise Van Outen - The Big Breakfast

Ken McKay / Rex Features

Okay, they're not technically a fictional (or were they?) pair. But if life were fair and kind, these two would be married with a brood of loudmouthed, TV-presenting kids now.

11. Martha and The Doctor - Doctor Who


It was a meeting of minds between the best Companion of all time - don't argue - Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and the Doctor (David Tennant). Then there was that pretty hot kiss they shared (it was a "genetic transfer", but whatever). I shipped them so hard.

10. Gary and Dorothy - Men Behaving Badly

REX USA/FremantleMedia Ltd

Gary Strang (Martin Clunes) and Dorothy Bishop (Caroline Quentin) were a hot mess for a long time. But they were also genuinely in love, in a wonderfully warm, entirely British way.

9. Steve and Fiona - Shameless

Channel 4

Steve McBride (James McAvoy) and Fiona Gallagher (Anne Marie Duff) were technically no good for one another. He was a slick, posh conman, she was a working class lass trying to keep her family together. But they worked. And thanks to the chemistry between real life spouses McAvoy and Duff, it was spectacular.


8. Daisy and Tim - Spaced

Daisy and Tim were not a couple - they insisted, and we accepted. They were good friends - the best of friends, even - and nothing more. But here we are, and this is the epilogue my little shipping heart wanted all along.

7. Adam and Rachel - Cold Feet

Before it all ended in beautiful tragedy back in 2003, Cold Feet's Adam Williams (James Nesbitt) and Rachel Bradley (Helen Baxendale) traversed a path that was bumpy with infidelity, surprise pregnancy and "we were on a break"s. But they loved another through it all, and that's why they're on this list.

6. Kieren and Simon - In The Flesh

BBC / Via

The BBC just shot itself in the foot by not renewing this, one of the finest British dramas of recent years, but the smouldering chemistry between Kieren and Simon lives on forever in our reanimated zombie hearts.

5. Mick and Pam - Gavin and Stacey


Mick (Larry Lamb) and Pam Shipman (Alison Steadman) are just great. Clearly still in love with each other after decades, theirs is a warm and easy love, filled with laughter. Also, it's quite obvious they're still at it.

4. Jack and Vera - Coronation Street

Granada Television

Jack (Bill Tarmey) and Vera Duckworth (Elizabeth Dawn) were together for 50 years. FIFTY. It wasn't always pretty ("don't you love me any more, Jack?"), and they had had their ups and Bet Lynch-shaped downs, but their longevity is to be admired, and aspired to.

3. Rae and Finn - My Mad Fat Diary

Channel 4

Rae (Sharon Rooney) and Finn (Nico Micallegro) are better than almost every other love story on television. They are a ship for the ages. An epoch-defining OTP. The way he looks at her? The way she looks at him? God. They are love.

2. Tim and Dawn - The Office

Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman) and Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davies) put the audience through hell in their will-they-won't-they-oh-does-that-charity-kiss-count-nope-well-here's-the Christmas-special-THANK-GOD relationship. They shared in-jokes and furtive, longing glances for years, until Dawn hesitantly leaned in at the Christmas party while Yazoo's "Only You" played. They walked into the sunset holding hands, a nation exhaled tearfully and OTP status was cemented.

1. Simon and Alisha - Misfits

Channel 4 / Via

God bless Simon Bellamy (Iwan Rheon) and Alisha Daniels (Antonia Thomas). Theirs was a love that transcended time and space, locked in an infinite loop for all time. It was perfect, from the Superhoodie reveal to the tender romance that unfolded, to that scene (NSFW), soundtracked by Foals' Spanish Sahara (which you can't listen to without blushing now), they are perfect. The ship that launched a million gifs, fan art doodles and endless fanfics. This is the OTP of OTPs.