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12 British Sitcoms From The 90s You Completely Forgot Existed

Babes In The Wood, anyone?

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1. Just A Gigolo

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There was a time in the early 90s when you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing Tony Slattery. Already a favourite on panel shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Just A Minute, ITV decided that the best way to capitalise on Slattery's success as a suave, Cambridge-educated comedian was clearly to cast him as a male prostitute in this ill-starred sitcom. It ran for just six episodes.

2. Game On

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Criminally underrated during its three year run in the mid-to-late 90s, Game On focused on the lives of three frustrated twenty-somethings in a south London flatshare. Founding cast member Ben Chaplin left at the end of series one after finding fame in Hollywood, but the show's cult fanbase ensured it ran for another two seasons with Neil Stuke drafted in as a replacement.

3. Babes In The Wood

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After her role in Game On ended, Samantha Janus played a similarly dizzy blonde in ITV sitcom Babes In The Wood. Hopefully so-called because the three main female characters lived in St John's Wood and not after the famous 1970 murder case, Babes In The Wood struggled along for two critically-panned series' before sinking without trace in 1999.

4. The Thin Blue Line

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Proving that ITV didn't have a total monopoly on awful 90s sitcoms, the BBC commissioned two series of policing comedy The Thin Blue Line in 1995-6. A rare miss for Ben Elton (critically, it was poorly received), the show nonetheless launched the career of James Dreyfus, who went on to star in....

5. Gimme Gimme Gimme

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Undeniably - if frankly mystifyingly - popular with viewers, this London flatshare sitcom starring James Dreyfus and Kathy Burke appeared on the BBC across three series from 1999-2001.

6. Days Like These

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A rare British attempt at remaking an American show, Days Like These took That 70s Show, sucked out all the comedy and transferred the "action" to Luton in 1999.

7. Goodness Gracious Me

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Starring a core cast of four British Indian actors and comedians, Goodness Gracious Me was a sketch show that started its life on Radio 4, before transferring to the BBC in 1998 - 2001. The programme tackled issues surrounding the integration of Indian culture into British society and took humorous aim at outdated stereotypes. The "Go For An English" sketch was a famous feature of the show.

8. Drop The Dead Donkey

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Easily one of the best and certainly one of the longest running sitcoms of the 1990s, Drop The Dead Donkey was set in the chaotic newsroom of the fictional Globelink News. On air on Channel 4 from 1990 - 1998, the programme was heavily satirical, referencing both fictional and real, current news events. All six series are available on 4OD.

9. Barbara

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A simple premise, Barbara was a long-running ITV sitcom following the sharp-tongued eponymous protagonist, her family and neighbours. Although popular, it was scrapped in 2003 after a four year run, and has since been largely forgotten.

10. Next Of Kin

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A vehicle for BAFTA-winning actress Penelope Keith, Next Of Kin ran from 1995-1997 on ITV. Keith and her onscreen husband starred as retirees, dismayed that their dream life in France is ruined when their adult son and his wife are killed in a car accident and they gain custody of their grandchildren. The main gag was that they despised both their son and their grandkids, who perpetually inconvenienced them by selfishly being orphaned. If that sounds to you like a premise that's hard to love, you aren't alone - it was scrapped, to Keith's reported fury.

11. The High Life

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The High Life was a pretty funny Scottish situation comedy following the antics of fictional airline, Air Scotia. It was curtailed after just one series in 1995, as star Alan Cumming's film commitments got in the way.

12. Goodnight Sweetheart

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No one could claim to have forgotten Only Fools And Horses, the beloved BBC sitcom that made its stars, including Nicholas Lyndhurst, into national treasures, but not everyone remembers what happened when Lyndhurst made the jump to starring in his own show. The result was Goodnight Sweetheart, in which he played a time travelling salesman with wives in both the 1990s and the 1940s, because apparently it's not bigamy if it happens in different decades. It ran from 1993 to 1999.

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