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Top 5 British Comedians


This is my personal countdown of 5 of the most popular British comedians on the circuit right now. Many of them are selling out big arenas, or appearing in popular television programmes and quiz shows. All of them are extremely funny! Take a look at my favourite 5 funny British comedians and see if you agree with my choices!

(Introduction picture was creating myself using this Television image and this Flag image from


1. Lee Evans

Lee Evans is a British writer, comedian, and actor. As well as appearing in many movies, including The Fifth Element, There's Something About Mary, and Mouse Hunt, he's also a very successful stand-up comedian, famous for his energetic performances and almost slapstick style in telling jokes. He's also a musician and singer, and has closed some of his live shows with a musical performance

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Lee Evans on Youtube


2. Michael McIntyre

Although only releasing 2 live DVDs, Michael McIntyre is often considered as one of the funniest recent comedians in the UK. His big break came from appearing on comedy shows such as Live At The Apollo and The Royal Variety Performance from 2006. He also appeared as a judge on the talent show 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2011. He embarks on a new stand up tour during 2012. Much like Lee Evans, he's also a very energetic performer, and his comedic style is very much observational comedy. He's also showed on Britain's Got Talent and various other comedy panel shows that he is a great improviser and a natural comedian.

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Michael McIntyre on Youtube


3. Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is a British actor, writer, comedian, producer, writer, and was even once a radio presenter! He started out working for British radio station XFM, but found mainstream success as writer, director, and lead role in The Office. He has gone on to write and star in other TV series, named Extras, Life's Too Short, and The Ricky Gervais show - an animated series based on podcasts he recorded with friends Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. He has released 4 stand-up DVDs to date, with a fifth in the pipeline.

Gervais is an incredible writer, and a sharp-witted comedian with a real smartness to his writing and comedy style as well.

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Ricky Gervais on Youtube


4. Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey is a comedian, actor, and talented musician. After being nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award in 2006, his profile began to rise, and appearances on several comedy quiz panels (and a part in the fantastic TV series 'Spaced' alongside Simon Pegg) led into a a part in the comedy 'Black Books'. His live concerts feature quirky jokes about kebab photographers and Glastonbury hippies, and a musical section which includes covers of famous songs performed as different genres, and original songs about punk singers selling butter and insects taking over the world...

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Bill Bailey on Youtube

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5. Peter Kay

Peter Kay is a writer and stand-up comedian from Bolton. He first got into comedy after studying a module in stand-up at the University of Salford. After winning a stand up competition in the late 90's, and several appearances on TV comedy shows, his career has gone from strength to strength. He's also written and starred in several TV series, including 'That Peter Kay Thing' and 'Phoenix Nights'. A lot of his comedy is based on real-life experiences, such as his childhood and family. Very often he makes jokes about things that his audience can relate to, for example, how your drunk dad acts at family weddings...

(Picture source: UnrealityPrimetime)

Peter Kay on Youtube

Comedy Based Quiz Shows

Comedy based panel shows are often where up-and-coming comedians get their first major jump into the mainstream. A line-up of comedians are chosen to appear and answer questions on various subjects, depending on the quiz show involved. More often than not, the panellists are given the chance to improvise while answering questions, and the best shows often feature several minutes of banter before a relatively easy question is even answered! I've provided a link list for several of my favourite comedy panel shows, just click to read more if the write-up interests you!

  • Mock The Week
    Hosted by Irish comedian Dara O'Briain, 'Mock The Week' is a panel show with questions based around the previous week's top news stories. Several rounds involve a 'stand up' element, where each panel member has several minutes to say something about
  • Have I Got News For You
    Another current affairs-based quiz show, panellists answer questions about the previous week's top news stories. Generally hosted by a different person every week, however Private Eye editor Ian Hislop and comedian Paul Merton are team captains every
  • Eight Out of Ten Cats
    'Eight Out Of Ten Cats' is a survey-based show hosted by Jimmy Carr, where the quiz revolves around the percentage of people surveyed answered in a certain way. The first round, the panellists must guess what news stories were most discussed by the p
  • QI
    QI (stands for Quite Interesting) is an unusual quiz show. Hosted by Stephen Fry (possibly one of the smartest Britons ever to appear on TV), each question is obscure and quite intellectual, making it quite difficult to answer. Often, questions are a

Vote For Your Favourite Comedians!

Here's my favourite comedians, as well as a few other fantastic British comedians that didn't quite make my top 5 but are definitely worth including as well! Why not vote for who you think is funniest!

Do you agree with my personal choices of Best British Comedian? Or is there someone who definitely worth a mention? Why not leave a comment and show the world your views!

Who is your favourite British comedian?

SteveKaye on July 08, 2012:

Great fun. Thank you for publishing this lens.

funbee lm on July 06, 2012:

Great lens, I like Michael Mcintyre, Jack Dee and Ian Hislop, Paul Merton are quite funny as well.

alexis84 (author) from Kent, UK on June 29, 2012:

@StewartClan: I like Micky Flannagan and Eddie Izzard, but not so fussed on Chris Addison. I think his unfunny appearances in the Direct Line adverts has ruined it for me! Thanks for visiting my lens!

StewartClan on June 29, 2012:

I don't agree with your choices, but your programmes are all great. How about Micky Flannagan? Eddie Izzard? Chris Adderson? All very funny. Anyway, liked the lens very much!

StewartClan on June 29, 2012:

@kerbev: Me too he is lovely!

IMKZRNU2 from Pacific Northwest on June 19, 2012:

Nice introduced me to some British comics I had not heard of....thanks for sharing!

John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on June 18, 2012:

I voted for Bill Bailey but Sarah Millican is great too.

JoolsObsidian LM on June 18, 2012:

I love Bill Bailey and Dylan Moran -especially in Black Books! Great lens!

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on June 18, 2012:

I like Eddie Izzard.

LouiseKirkpatrick from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on June 18, 2012:

Ross Noble cracks me up!

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