The Best British Crime Comedy TV Series

Who knew drug gangs, murder and front-line policing could be such a barrel of laughs? Featuring Matt Berry’s Year of the Rabbit, brand-new Black Ops and more

Freddie Fox, Matt Berry and Susan Wokoma in Year of the Rabbit
Photo: Channel 4

Getting caught up in a deadly kidnapping, being torn away from your loved ones and forced into witness protection, tracking down a serial killer of vulnerable young girls… none of the above exactly scream ‘LOL’, and yet they’ve all become the subject of British crime comedy-dramas in recent years. The “you’ve got to laugh” mentality is clearly in our national DNA, no matter how bleak the circumstances.

Attracting huge names in comedy, from Matt Berry, Stephen Merchant, James Corden and Joanna Scanlan, to the brilliant Gbemisola Ikumelo, Emer Kenny, Kerry Howard, and created by the writers behind People Just Do Nothing, Peep Show, Succession and more, here are some of the best darkly funny crime comedy series of recent years.

The Outlaws

The Outlaws has a simple but effective concept: seven questionable strangers doing Community Service in Bristol discover a huge bag of money, decide to keep it, then quickly discover its rightful owners are highly dangerous criminals.

What elevates it from good to great is the fact it’s created by and stars the effortlessly funny Stephen Merchant (Extras), alongside the casting coup that is Oscar-winner Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter).


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