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Mar 18, 2020

17 Eclectic British Shows That I Bet You Haven't Seen — But Should Watch Right Now

You telling me you've never seen Nighty Night?

If you're currently stuck inside in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic you have my sympathies, and well done for doing your bit!

BBC One

By this time, you may be starting to feel like you're running out of things to watch and perhaps even Friends is getting a little repetitive?

NBC

Well, the good thing is there are a lot of great British shows out there on good ol' All4 and iPlayer that you could be watching instead! Here are the ones you should check out.

1. Inside Number 9

BBC Two

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

What it's about: This super spooky anthology series changes every episode and is packed full of delightfully familiar faces from the annals of iconic British TV. Each instalment focuses on a new setting, a new group of characters, and always features an amazing twist you didn't see coming. Horror fans will absolutely love!

See it if you like: Black Mirror, Psychoville, The Mighty Boosh.

2. This Country

BBC Three

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer.

What it's about: This breakout series from comedy up-and-comers and real-life siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper portrays rural English life in a familiar but innovative mockumentary style. Full of incredible one-liners and endearingly awful characters, this show hilariously blows the lid off of provincial British living.

See it if you like: Parks and Recreation, The Vicar of Dibley, Gavin and Stacey.

3. Raised By Wolves

Channel 4

Where to watch: All4 and Amazon.

What it's about: A brilliant and hysterical familial drama with a yesteryear vibe that follows two young girls living in Wolverhampton with their wayward siblings, their hopeless grandfather, and their terrifying yet hilarious mother. This series is loosely based on the teenage life of journalist Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline Moran, who both co-write the show.

See it if you like: Sex Education, Derry Girls, The Inbetweeners.

4. Friday Night Dinner

Channel 4

Where to watch: All4 and Netflix.

What it's about: This hilarious series follows a Jewish family living in London who get together every Friday for Shabbat dinner. Each episode is packed full of gentle comedy from a highly relatable family who love nothing more than ripping into each other – including the long-suffering son, his prankster brother, the out-of-touch mother, and lowkey gross father.

See it if you like: My Family, Green Wing, The Royle Family.

5. Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends

BBC Two

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

What it's about: Join everyone's favourite documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux as he delves into subjects like pornography and body-building, exposes groups like the Black Nationalists, and generally sheds light on some of the world's more random and specific subcultures. Each episode tackles something new, so this series is worth watching if you love to learn!

See it if you like: Gaycation with Ellen Page, The Simple Life, anything else by Louis Theroux.

6. Fresh Meat

Channel 4

Where to watch: All4 and Netflix.

What it's about: During fresher's week at Manchester University, six completely different students are dumped to live on the outskirts of campus and must find a way to get along. Cue wild parties, complicated hook-ups, and lots of drama. This character-based comedy is consistently hilarious and incredibly relatable.

See it if you like: The Inbetweeners, Campus, Peep Show.

7. The Mighty Boosh

BBC Three

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

What it's about: A beyond surreal comedy grounded in the curious friendship of an insecure Jazz aficionado and ditzy fashion vanguard. Set in London, this infinitely quotable series features multiple strange settings, a host of hilarious supernatural characters, and some incredible musical numbers like you've never seen before!

See it if you like: Flight of the Conchords, Broad City, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

8. The Thick of It

BBC Four

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

What it's about: A hardline satirical look at British politics and the many many blunders that can be made when it comes to running this country. Featuring some incredible British comedy talent, this series is renowned for its foul-mouthed humour and dark-sided take on interpersonal relationships.

See it if you like: Black Books, W1A, The West Wing.

9. Two Doors Down

BBC One Scotland

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer.

What it's about: A charming family comedy set in Scotland that follows a pretty normal couple as they battle with, and ultimately run around after, their zany neighbours. Packed full of hilarious and addictive characters, this comedy is super relatable and definitely heartwarming.

See it if you like: The Royle Family, Gavin and Stacey, My Family.

10. Seven Worlds, One Planet

BBC One

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Amazon.

What it's about: This dynamic series explores all seven of the world's continents and compares them to each other, highlighting the vast differences in climate, wildlife, and geography that our planet encompasses. Get ready for some incredible photography and more astonishing wildlife facts that you can handle.

See it if you like: Planet Earth II, The Hunt, March of the Penguins.

11. The Windsors

Channel 4

Where to watch: All4 and Netflix.

What it's about: A totally bonkers and not factual snapshot of the daily lives of the British royal family. This series follows the Windsors from around the time that William met Kate, and features larger-than-life caricatures of all your favourite royals by some wicked talent British comedians.

See it if you like: The Catherine Tate Show, Dead Ringers.

12. Cucumber

Channel 4

Where to watch: Amazon, (Banana and Tofu on All4).

What it's about: A super fun, sometimes racy, and sometimes darkly poignant series about a gay man living in Manchester and struggling with his identity. This series is wonderfully written, incredibly well portrayed, and diverse in its storytelling. It also has two spin-off series – Banana (a web series focussing on some of the younger cast of Cucumber) and Tofu (an IRL sex education series).

See it if you like: Queer As Folk, Tales Of The City, The L Word.

13. My Left Nut

BBC Three

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer.

What it's about: A heartwarming and playful comedy drama about a young guy who may or may not have something seriously wrong with one of his balls. This Belfast mini-series takes your classic high school drama and mixes it with heartfelt personal monologue and touching scenes of familial love and loss.

See it if you like: Fleabag, The Inbetweeners, Derry Girls.

14. W1A

BBC Two

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Amazon.

What it's about: This metafictional mockumentary follows on from another brilliant series of the same style – Twenty Twelve – and is both set in the BBC and is about the BBC. Featuring a myriad of staggeringly incompetent co-workers, each more hilarious than the next, this show perfectly apes the trials and tribulations of working life and corporate responsibility.

See it if you like: The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Thick Of It.

15. Miranda

BBC Two

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

What it's about: A socially incompetent yet uniquely hilarious middle-aged woman decides to buy a joke shop in her native Surrey, but then avoids running it by cooking up a new hair-brained scheme every episode! Between looking for love, working on her self-esteem and making new friends, Miranda always has an one-liner or new funny perspective to insight.

See it if you like: Fleabag, My Family, Friday Night Dinner.

16. Nighty Night

BBC Three

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer and Amazon.

What it's about: A brilliant series about a seriously narcissistic and ruthless beautician living in the south-west of England. Renowned for its dark comedy, this show pushes the boundaries of black humour. The main character of Jill is certainly not likeable, but somehow you can't look away from all the chaos she causes for her friends, neighbours, and colleagues.

See it if you like: Kath and Kim, Gavin and Stacey, Absolutely Fabulous.

17. Afterlife

Netflix

Where to watch: Netflix.

What it's about: A charming black comedy created by Ricky Gervais about a man of the edge of oblivion after the love of his life passes away. It swings from very dark to super uplifting, and features a host of beloved British comedians and actors, as well as several of Gervais's frequent collaborators.

See it if you like: The Thick of It, Extras, Nighty Night.