Mrs Brown’s Boys has topped a new poll of the greatest British sitcoms of the 21st century – beating the likes of The Office and The Thick Of It.
The BBC1 show, starring Brendan O’Carroll as foul-mouthed Irish matriarch Agnes Brown, has never enjoyed critical acclaim but regularly attracts millions of viewers.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s influential workplace comedy The Office was second in the Radio Times poll, while last year’s BBC hit Peter Kay’s Car Share came third.
Ricky Gervais in The Office
Here’s the top 20 in full:
1. Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC1 (started 2011)
2. The Office, BBC2 (2001)
3. Peter Kay’s Car Share, BBC1 (2015)
4. Count Arthur Strong, BBC2 (2013)
5. The IT Crowd, C4 (2006)
6. The Thick Of It, BBC4 (2005)
7. Gavin & Stacey, BBC3 (2007)
8. Miranda, BBC2 (2009)
9. Raised By Wolves, C4 (2015)
10. Outnumbered, BBC1 (2007)
11. Peep Show, C4 (2003)
12. Black Books, C4 (2000)
13. Green Wing, C4 (2003)
14. The Inbetweeners, C4 (2008)
15. Bad Education, BBC3 (2012)
16. Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, C4 (2001)
17. Yonderland, Sky1 (2013)
18. Twenty Twelve/W1A, BBC2 (2011)
19. Benidorm, ITV (2007)
20. Detectorists, BBC4 (2014)
Predictably, the fact that Mrs Brown’s Boys came out on top wasn’t well received by all, with several on Twitter writing: “First Brexit, now this…”
Mrs Browns Boys best sitcom of the century. UKIP 4m votes. Tories swept to power. Brexit. Dogs win BGT. Twice.
Stop letting people vote.
— PF (@PeterFearns) August 23, 2016
The truth, of course, is that if you have a public vote, you can’t complain when the most populist option wins.
And like most polls of this type, it reveals that people tend to have short memories, with the majority of 21sts century sitcoms in the top 20 having screened in the past ten years. Which explains why Peter Kay’s Car Share was 13 places higher than the comedian’s acclaimed Phoenix Nights.
The BBC and Channel 4 dominate the poll, with only one ITV show, Benidorm, in the mix at 19.
The poll was cast from 14,000 votes from a shortlist compiled by Radio Times critics and experts from the British Film Institute.
So how about those omissions?
Of course, there are some superb 21st century British sitcoms that aren’t included…
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Channel 4 (2004)
The Mighty Boosh, BBC2 (2004)
Extras, BBC2 (2007)
Rev, BBC2 (2010)
Still Game, BBC Scotland (2002)