So here we are. After nine weeks of counting down through some of the very best British sitcoms, it is almost time to reveal my number one. It has been a long journey, but an enjoyable one all the same. Researching and writing about these programmes has made me appreciate British sitcoms even more than I did before I started this list. Click below to find out which British sitcom has claimed the top spot.
Number one – One Foot in the Grave
One Foot in the Grave begins as Victor Meldrew is replaced at work by a computer. Being in his 60s, Victor is forced into retirement. Having worked as a security guard for many years, the prospect of having nothing to occupy him comes as quite a shock. This sets the tone for all six series, with Victor desperately trying to find fulfilling ways to spend his many long hours of leisure. Kind at heart, Victor Meldrew does however have a tendency to be rather sensitive and outspoken about the things he see as wrong; whether that be litter thrown onto his front garden or other people’s apparent lack of common sense. This can makes him appear to others as being rude, insensitive and grumpy. Ultimately, it is Victor’s willingness to stand up for what is right that, through misunderstanding or bad luck, leads him to be seen in this light. This is his downfall and the tragedy around which the programme revolves. Margaret is Victor’s long-suffering wife. Whilst not as outspoken as her husband, Margaret is usually sympathetic to his plight and the only one that really understands that, despite appearances, Victor means well.
I think that many people will be surprised that One Foot in the Grave has made it to my number one spot; especially since I will openly admit that I find some of the other British sitcoms on this list funnier (Blackadder and Red Dwarf spring to mind here). The reason that I have placed One Foot in the Grave at number one is that, in my opinion, it has something else, something special, that no other British comedy has. At its heart, One Foot in the Grave is not really a comedy at all, it is a tragedy about one man who is just trying to do the right thing. Against this sombre backdrop, the moments that make us laugh, whilst few and far between, really shine.
You can buy all six series of One Foot in the Grave here.