15 Best British Panel Shows, Ranked | ScreenRant
British TV is known for its unique and compelling comedy panel shows. Across the myriad of British TV networks, there are a selection of different panel shows, each one having its own unique concept. While the most well-known British panel shows are satirical in nature, there is genuinely a panel show for every comedy fan. For those that are unfamiliar, a panel show is basically a game show, only celebrities are typically the players and comedy is almost always the focus.
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The vast number of high-quality, British comedy panel shows across British TV can often make it difficult to name any particular show as "the best panel show." That being said, one show from the past decade has definitely risen above the others, though all of the shows on this list are well worth watching whether you live in Britain or elsewhere.
Updated on March 25th, 2021 by Kristen Palamara: Although there are several revivals of American game shows that have been on the air in recent years–like Match Game–and countless competition shows where contestants show off their singing and dancing talents, nothing compares to the British panel shows on the air today. British panel shows see celebrity guests join in on challenging prompts and trivia where viewers can see them as they've never seen them before; in an atmosphere and environment that is more laid-back than a typical talk show.
15 Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here was a British panel show hosted by Sue Perkins who is a recognizable British comedian and former host of The Great British Bake Off. In Insert Name Here there are two teams that compete against each other in a trivia format.
The common factor between the questions is that they discuss famous figures who share the same name. The show provides hilarious commentary and quirky facts for an enjoyable panel show.
14 Room 101
There were multiple hosts of this long-running British panel show that had celebrity guests on each week in a talk-show set up. The guests would appear on the show and share their worst pet peeves with the host and competed against each other to see who could present the best pet peeve.
The host would decide who presented their pet peeve in the best way and vote who won the competition. It's a fast-talking and hilarious panel show where celebrities could talk about something more personal in a funny way compared to other talk shows.
13 Celebrity Juice
Celebrity Juice is a long-running show that has won multiple awards for it's fun and quirky setup. The show is hosted by comedian Leigh Francis as his rambunctious and over-the-top alter-ego Keith Lemon.
The panel show sees Lemon and two team captains, Laura Whitmore and Emily Atack, participate in various games and challenges that include pop culture references throughout the show. Celebrity guests join in on the fun each week.
12 Comedy World Cup
Although this panel show was only on for one season it was a fun series that brought together several comedians and let them do what they do best. David Tennant hosted the show that saw comedians participate in challenges and trivia to try to win the series.
The recognizable comedians always had a good time on the show and it is a delightful short-lived panel show.
11 What The Dickens?
Sandi Toksvig is another recognizable British comedian and former host of The Great British Bake Off who hosts and participates in multiple British panel shows including What The Dickens? as a team captain along with Chris Addison as the other captain, who bring on contestants to the panel show.
The series was a trivia show that was engaging and fun to watch with interesting contestants and always hilarious team captains.
The newest and freshest panel show to make this list, Hypothetical has only had two seasons so far, but it has certainly made its mark on British TV in the short space of time that it has been gracing British TV.
Hosted by the hysterical James Acaster and Josh Widdicombe, Hypothetical invites different comedians each week and gives them various hypothetical situations throughout, with the comedian having to give an answer to the situation.
9 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Never Mind The Buzzcocks was a musical-themed comedy panel show that started in the 1990s and ran up until the 2010s. During this runtime, the show had several hosts including Mark Lamarr, Simon Amstell, and Rhod Gilbert.
While the show ended in the mid-2010s, it has recently been announced that the show is coming back to the screens. Fans have been clamoring for a return, so this will be welcome news to those fans.
8 A League Of Their Own
A League of Their Own is a sports panel show that airs on Sky One in the UK. The series initially started with James Corden as host— but this has shifted over the years, with Romesh Ranganathan taking over as host for the current season.
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In addition to Romesh, the series also stars Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp as team captains, with the banter between the group being hysterical in every episode.
QI is one of the longest-running British panel shows of all time, with the series beginning in the early 2000s and continuing through to this day. While initially the series was hosted by Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig recently took over as the new series host.
The series is based around general knowledge, with each season focusing on a different letter of the alphabet and delivering themed episodes based on a different topic.
6 Big Fat Quiz Of The Year
Big Fat Quiz Of The Year has become a British institution. Around Christmas time every year, the Big Fat Quiz airs on TV, with a different group of guests answering questions about the past year.
The series has been responsible for some of the most memorable moments on British TV, from Jack Whitehall being terrified of Mr. Blobby, to Noel Fielding and Russell Brand as the "Goth Detectives."
5 8 Out Of 10 Cats
8 Out of 10 Cats is one of the most unique shows on this list. The reason for this is that, while the series started as a panel show about statistics, the show eventually started its own version of Countdown.
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8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown— the crossover of the two shows— has become a smash hit, even more so on the internet with clips from the series constantly going viral.
4 Have I Got News For You
Have I Got News For You is one of the longest-running panel shows of all time, with the show starting in 1990 and continuing through to the present day. The two team captains–Ian Hislop and Paul Merton–have remained throughout the entirety of the series’ run.
The show is the gold standard of British satirical TV, with the show even inviting prominent politicians on to the show to discuss the week’s events.
3 Shooting Stars
Without a doubt, Shooting Stars is the most underrated British panel show of all time. Hosted by the legendary Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Shooting Stars is a surreal panel show that takes glee in confusing and perplexing its guests with the unique brand of humor from Reeves and Mortimer.
While the series has ended, the effects can still be felt to this day. For instance, aside from the continuing genius of Reeves and Mortimer on TV, it was Shooting Stars that gave Matt Lucas (Little Britain, Bridesmaids) his big break on TV.
2 Would I Lie To You
Would I Lie To You is one of the most unique and enjoyable panel shows on British TV. Hosted by Rob Brydon with team captains, David Mitchell and Lee Mack, Would I Lie To You has its guests read out either a lie or a truth, with the opposite team having to work out the fact from the fiction.
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The show has been a runaway success around the world, with clips from the series going viral— particularly from the many surreal stories of Bob Mortimer.
Taskmaster may be a controversial inclusion as first place on this list, as it is far from the traditional panel show. The brainchild of Alex Horne, Taskmaster is hosted by Greg Davies, with each season bringing a new crop of comedians on the show to complete tasks for the titular Taskmaster (Davies).
The series is one of the most unique and hilarious British TV shows of the past few decades and is certainly worth a watch for anyone who enjoys the unique brand of British humor.
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Writer living in Adelaide, Australia. Long-suffering post-graduate student and lover of pop culture from Game of Thrones to DC. Twitter: @samchinsonMore From Sam Hutchinson