Famous British Comedians

Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile’? Well, most of you must have had, but how many of you do actually go by it? Only a handful, must say. Laughter is the best therapy to get past the teensy-weensy dose of blue and lift yourself up from the sense of sadness being experienced, but it is hardly ever used. However, thanks to the comedians who have stampeded television and films alike, we now have a reason to not just smile but laugh heartily. It may look insignificant and petty but all those funny remarks, silly conduct and hilarious one-liners go under the knife umpteenth times before being creatively polished and refined to make the audience laugh. Comedy is an art and comedians artists who swish their magic wand of words aided by their facial expression, body language and perfect timing to extract that magical laughter out of their spectators. And just like science, it has it genres to - wordplay, satire, black comedy and so on. Amused, are you now? If yes, the go through this list of British comedians who through their quirky one-liners and laughter-inducing packed performance have given more reasons to smile and laugh than frown!

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Comedians

 1 Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

British comedian and actor Rowan Atkinson has entertained audience globally with his brilliant performance as the eponymous character in the Mr. Bean series and its film adaptations. Earlier, he established himself as a fine comedy actor with Blackadder and then went on to work in movies like Never Say Never Again, The Witches and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

 2 Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 3 Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 24, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

One half of the famous comedy duo Fry and Laurie, Stephen Fry is an English actor and comedian. Considered a living legend by many, Stephen Fry has made major contributions to the field of entertainment and literature. An openly gay man, Fry serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community. He is also known for his charitable activities.

 4 John Cleese

John Cleese
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Famous As: Actor & Comedian
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Before stepping into sketch comedy with Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese wrote scripts for Broadway and West End shows. A Cambridge law graduate, John has had a species of lemurs named after him, owing to his love for the animal. His dark humor is part of his signature style.

 5 Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

English comedian, film director, screenwriter, and actor Richard Ayoade gained international fame for his role in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd. Even though he studied law in college, he was more interested in working in the entertainment industry. He started working as a comedian and actor in the early 2000s and has since come a long way.

 6 Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Radio personality, Film actor
Birthdate: November 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
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 7 Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 16, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British, American
Died: February 23, 1965

Comedian Stan Laurel entertained audiences as part of the iconic duo Laurel and Hardy, along with Oliver Hardy, in over 100 films. He began his career with music-hall sketch comedy and worked as an understudy of Charlie Chaplin in Fred Karno's Army. He was known for his trademark bowler hat.

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 8 Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: October 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British

 9 Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Sue Perkins soared to fame as part of the comedy duo Mel and Sue, with Mel Giedroyc, and co-hosted The Great British Bake Off, with her. Sue has also hosted Insert Name Here and has also authored two autobiographical works. An LGBT icon, she is dating TV host Anna Richardson.

 10 David Jason

David Jason
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British

 11 Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr
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Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Television presenter
Birthdate: September 15, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Irish, British

 12 David Mitchell (Comedian)

David Mitchell (Comedian)
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
David Mitchell performs as part of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, along with Robert Webb. The duo gained fame with shows such as the BAFTA-winning Peep Show, and the sketch-comedy shows The Mitchell and Webb Situation and That Mitchell and Webb Sound. Mitchell also writes for popular dailies.

 13 Greg Davies

Greg Davies
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 14 Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
Died: June 9, 2014

Rik Mayall was an English comedian, actor, and writer. A pioneer of alternative comedy, Rik Mayall's approach to sitcom and creativity inspired a generation of comedians. Widely regarded as one of the greatest comedy performers of all time, Rik Mayall received several posthumous honors after sudden and untimely death at the age of 56.

 15 Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes
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Famous As: Actor, Voice actor, Comedian
Birthdate: May 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Australian, British

 16 Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 17 Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: October 4, 1989

Graham Chapman was an English comedian, author, actor, and writer. An important member of the popular comedy group Monty Python, Chapman was also a patron of the Dangerous Sports Club. An openly gay comedian, Chapman supported gay rights throughout his life. In September 2012, a blue plaque was unveiled at The Angel pub in North London to commemorate Graham Chapman.

 18 Michael Palin

Michael Palin
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: May 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Member of the comedy group Monty Python, Michael Palin received a CBE in 2000. His portrayal of Ken Pile in A Fish Called Wanda earned him a BAFTA award. He ranked 30th in The Comedians' Comedian poll, was a Royal Geographical Society president, and later turned into a travel documentarian.

 19 Jennifer Saunders

Jennifer Saunders
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Famous As: Comedians
Birthdate: July 6, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 20 Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British
Died: April 20, 2016

 21 Nick Frost

Nick Frost
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 22 Cilla Black

Cilla Black
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 1, 2015
Priscilla Maria Veronica White, better known as Cilla Black, is best remembered for her chart-topping hits You're My World and Anyone Who Had a Heart. She had her own show, Cilia, and also acted as a comedy actor. She later presented shows such as Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.

 23 Peter Serafinowicz

Peter Serafinowicz
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 24 Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American

 25 Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Mark Gatiss is best known for both writing and appearing in Doctor Who, Dracula, and Sherlock. He is also part of the comedy group The League of Gentlemen and has appeared as Tycho Nestoris in Game of Thrones. He has written the Lucifer Box novels, too.

 26 Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 27 Terry Jones

Terry Jones
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British, Welsh
Died: January 21, 2020

 28 Dawn French

Dawn French
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Birthdate: October 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Golden Rose of Montreux-winning comedian Dawn French co-created the sketch comedy series French and Saunders and the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, both with Jennifer Saunders. The BAFTA Fellowship honoree is also known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Murder Most Horrid. She has also authored a bestselling autobiography.

 29 Ben Miller

Ben Miller
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Famous As: Film director, Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 30 Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British
Died: July 2, 2016
BAFTA-winning comedian Caroline Aherne is remembered for her portrayal of the character Mrs. Merton on various shows, such as Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show and The Mrs Merton Show. Fans also loved her as Denise Royle in the sitcom The Royle Family and as a narrator on Gogglebox. 

 31 D'Arcy Carden

D'Arcy Carden
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, American

 32 Benny Hill

Benny Hill
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Birthdate: January 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: April 20, 1992

Benny Hill was an English comedian, writer, singer, and actor. Best known for his TV program The Benny Hill Show, Hill remained an important figure in British culture for almost 40 years. The show is regarded as one of the greatest British comedy programs ever. In 2006, Hill was voted one of TV's 50 Greatest Stars in an ITV poll.

 33 Eric Idle

Eric Idle
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

Eric Idle is best known as a former member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. He was also part of the band The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles. Idle wrote the Tony-winning musical Spamalot and also performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

 34 Richard Beckinsale

Richard Beckinsale
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Famous As: TV & Film Actor
Birthdate: July 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: March 19, 1979

Richard Beckinsale was an English actor remembered for playing Lennie Godber in the sitcom Porridge and Alan Moore in Rising Damp. He also loved singing and playing the guitar and enjoyed playing football in charity matches. His sudden death at the age of 31 was met with great shock. His daughters—Kate and Samantha Beckinsale— went on to become actresses.

 35 Richard Osman

Richard Osman
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Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British

Richard Osman is an English writer, television presenter, comedian, and producer. He is credited with creating the popular British TV quiz show Pointless. He is also renowned for his work as creative director of the famous TV production company Endemol UK. Also an influential writer, Richard Osman's novel The Thursday Murder Club is expected to be adapted into a film.

 36 Peter Kay

Peter Kay
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Famous As: Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British

 37 Michael McIntyre

Michael McIntyre
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: February 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British

 38 Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon
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Famous As: Actor, Television actor, Film actor, Comedian, Autobiographer
Birthdate: May 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 39 Matt Berry

Matt Berry
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Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 40 Brian Blessed

Brian Blessed
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 9, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Brian Blessed has voiced popular characters on shows such as Family Guy and Peppa Pig and in films such as Star Wars: Episode I. A talented stage actor, he has appeared in productions of Macbeth and Hamlet, and the original Cats. The OBE honoree is also an avid animal lover. 

 41 James Acaster

James Acaster
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 42 Gemma Whelan

Gemma Whelan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 23, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: British

 43 Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 13, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 44 Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: British
Martin Clunes is best known as Martin Ellingham from Doc Martin and as Gary Strang from Men Behaving Badly, winning a BAFTA for the latter. The OBE honoree has also starred in the film Shakespeare in Love, voiced Kipper the Dog in Kipper, and narrated several animal-centric documentaries.

 45 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British

 46 Michael Crawford

Michael Crawford
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Famous As: Film actor, Singer, Comedian, Stage actor
Birthdate: January 19, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 47 Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 48 Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry
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Famous As: Television actor, Film actor, Comedian, Singer, Stage actor
Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British

 49 Kris Marshall

Kris Marshall
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British

 50 Patricia Routledge

Patricia Routledge
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British