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.

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 1 Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson
33
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Consett, County Durham, England

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
27
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

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 Russell Brand

Russell Brand
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grays, Essex, England

British comedian and actor, Russell Brand, has had a successful career working in several stand-up comic shows, television projects and movies. He is also known to be a social activist and a political commentator. However, he has generated controversies multiple times for his divergent views, offensive behaviour and outspokenness. He has also been in the news for drug use and promiscuity.

 4 Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brockworth, England

Simon Pegg is a British actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter. Simon Pegg achieved popularity and is best known for playing nerdy characters. Apart from being a popular actor, he is also an ardent supporter of HeForShe, a feminist campaign. In 2020, he signed an open letter urging the wealthiest to pay more tax to help fight inequality.

 5 John Cleese

John Cleese
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare
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.

 6 Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry
18
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England

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.

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 7 Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whipps Cross

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.

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 8 Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Epsom, Surrey, England

Warwick Davis is an English actor, comedian, filmmaker, writer, and TV presenter. He is known for playing important roles in popular film series like Leprechaun, Star Wars, and Harry Potter films. Davis serves as an inspiration to those suffering from dwarfism. As the co-founder of a charity organization called Little People UK, Warwick Davis has touched the lives of many people.

 9 Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 8, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, England
Died: July 24, 1980
Best known for his Academy Award-nominated roles in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, and as Clouseau from the Pink Panther series, Peter Sellers was admired for his impeccable comic skills. He initially toured around Europe as a drummer and also participated in radio shows such as The Goon Show

 10 Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen
35
Famous As: Known for Portrayal of the Fictional Satirical Characters
Birthdate: October 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

An English comedian, actor, writer, and director, Sacha Baron Cohen, is the creator of many fictional satirical characters, including Ali G and Borat Sagdiyev. He adopts a variety of accents and guises while playing these characters. He has been criticized for passing sexist and sexual comments. He is a mildly controversial figure and has been involved in a few lawsuits.

 11 Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan
12
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: October 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Middleton

 12 James Corden

James Corden
31
Famous As: Actor, TV Host
Birthdate: August 22, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hillingdon, London, England

James Corden is a popular English television host, actor, and comedian. The winner of BAFTA Britannia Award and Tony Award, Corden was appointed Order of the British Empire for services to drama in the 2015 New Year Honours. Also known for his charitable work, Corden joined hands with the NBA to launch a fundraising campaign to benefit Feed the Children.  

 13 Greg Davies

Greg Davies
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: St Asaph

 14 Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant
14
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Radio personality, Film actor
Birthdate: November 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bristol

Known for co-writing The Office, British comedian Stephen Merchant was born to a nurse mother and a plumber father. He began his career with the radio and then stepped into stand-up comedy. Over the years, he has used his 6’7” frame to the best in his performances.

 15 Michael Palin

Michael Palin
9
Famous As: Comedian, Actor
Birthdate: May 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Broomhill, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
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.

 16 David Jason

David Jason
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edmonton, London, England, UK
David Jason is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and executive producer who is famous for his role in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses. His other popular works include TV series A Touch of Frost, Open All Hours and Still Open All Hours and The Darling Buds of May. He was knighted in 2005 for services to acting and comedy.

 17 Dudley Moore

Dudley Moore
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charing Cross, London, England
Died: March 27, 2002
Dudley Moore was a prominent figure of the 1960s’ British satire boom. He is best known for writing the stage revue Beyond the Fringe and was also part of the sketch comedy Not Only... But Also. He delivered an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in the comedy film Arthur

 18 Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stoneygate, Leicester, England
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.

 19 Benny Hill

Benny Hill
7
Birthdate: January 21, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Southampton, Hampshire, England
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.

 20 Sean Lock

Sean Lock
4
Famous As: Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 22, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chertsey

 21 Nick Frost

Nick Frost
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hornchurch, Essex, England, UK

Nick Frost is a British actor, screenwriter, author, comedian, producer, and painter. He is credited with co-creating a comedy horror streaming TV series titled Truth Seekers in which he played Gus Roberts. Frost is known for his frequent collaboration with his friend Simon Pegg; the two have co-written films like Paul (2011). Frost also supports charitable organizations like Humanists UK.

 22 David Mitchell (Comedian)

David Mitchell (Comedian)
9
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 14, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salisbury, England
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.

 23 Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate
12
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bloomsbury, London, England

 24 Jennifer Saunders

Jennifer Saunders
12
Famous As: Comedians
Birthdate: July 6, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, UK

 25 Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood
13
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prestwich, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Died: April 20, 2016

Multi-talented English comedian, Victoria Wood was also an actress, lyricist, singer, composer, pianist, screenwriter, producer, and director. Wood started her career with the TV show That's Life! and established herself as one of Britain's greatest stand-up comedians. She wrote sketches, dramas, and popular sitcoms and her self-deprecating humor got her 14 BAFTA nominations of which she won four. 

 26 Terry Jones

Terry Jones
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: January 21, 2020
Starting his career as a comedy writer, actor-director Terry Jones later soared to fame as part of the Monty Python comedy team. An avid historian, too, he wrote several books and presented TV documentaries on the topic. In his later years, the BAFTA Cymru award winner struggled with dementia. 

 27 Peter Serafinowicz

Peter Serafinowicz
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Liverpool, England

 28 Matt Berry

Matt Berry
5
Famous As: Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: May 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bromham

 29 Eric Idle

Eric Idle
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: South Shields

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.

 30 Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman
10
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Slough, Berkshire, England, UK

British-American actor Tracey Ullman began her career with sketch-comedy shows such as Three of a Kind and later had her own Fox show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured 30-second segments of The Simpsons in between, making the latter a hit, too. She rose to become the third-richest comedian from Britain.

 31 Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard
24
Famous As: Comedian, Voice actor, Stage actor, Film actor
Birthdate: February 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Aden, Yemen

Although best known for her surreal and digressive stand-up comedies, Eddie Izzard is also a popular film and television actor. Born as Edward John Izzard, she began her career as a street performer, eventually making her first stage appearance at the age of twenty-five, quickly drawing larger and larger audience with her stream-of-consciousness delivery, achieving fame both home and abroad.

 32 Dawn French

Dawn French
15
Birthdate: October 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Holyhead
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.

 33 Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sedgefield, County Durham, England
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.

 34 Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr
10
Famous As: Actor, Comedian, Television presenter
Birthdate: September 15, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Jimmy Carr is one of the biggest selling live comedians of Britain. The award-winning performer is best known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats and jokes about everything from politics to sex. He has gained fame for his signature deadpan delivery, his high-pitched laughter, and his dark humor.

 35 James Acaster

James Acaster
7
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: January 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kettering, Northamptonshire, England

English comedian James Acaster is best known for his shows such as The Island and We the Jury. While he initially studied music and played drums for various bands, Acaster found fame with stand-up comedy. He has penned bestsellers such as James Acaster's Classic Scrapes and also has a Netflix special.

 36 Richard Osman

Richard Osman
9
Famous As: Television Presenter
Birthdate: November 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: BBillericay, Essex, England, United Kingdom

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.

 37 Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon
7
Famous As: Actor, Television actor, Film actor, Comedian, Autobiographer
Birthdate: May 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baglan, Neath Port Talbot

Best known for his roles in Supernova and Gavin & Stacey, actor/comedian Rob Brydon dropped out of drama school to work with Radio Wales. As an impressionist, he has mimicked stars such as Sean Connery and Al Pacino. He was made an MBE for both his comedy and his charitable efforts.

 38 Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall
7
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harlow, Essex, England
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.

 39 Ben Miller

Ben Miller
6
Famous As: Film director, Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film actor
Birthdate: February 24, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

 40 D'Arcy Carden

D'Arcy Carden
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Danville, California, U.S.

D'Arcy Carden is an actress and comedian best known for her starring role in the NBC sitcom The Good Place. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Southern Oregon University and began her career performing improvisational comedy. Eventually, she moved on to TV shows and has also appeared in a few films. 

 41 John Oliver

John Oliver
20
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: April 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erdington, Birmingham, England

John Oliver is a British comedian, political commentator, and TV host whose work in the American talk show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has influenced the US culture, policymaking, and legislation since 2014; the influence has been called the John Oliver effect. Also a philanthropist, Oliver forgave a medical debt of over $15 million owed by over 9,000 people.

 42 Emily Atack

Emily Atack
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Luton, Bedfordshire, England

English actress and comedian Emily Atack is best known for her role in the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners. The daughter of an actress, she developed an early interest in acting and made her debut in a TV show. After establishing herself on TV, she moved to films. She began hosting her own show, The Emily Atack Show, in 2020.

 43 Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins
25
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England
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.

 44 Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne
11
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
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. 

 45 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 46 Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
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.

 47 Tamsin Greig

Tamsin Greig
8
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Maidstone, Kent, England, UK

 48 Richard Beckinsale

Richard Beckinsale
5
Famous As: TV & Film Actor
Birthdate: July 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Carlton, Nottinghamshire, England
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.

 49 Lee Mack

Lee Mack
4
Famous As: Television actor, Autobiographer
Birthdate: August 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southport

 50 Russell Howard

Russell Howard
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 23, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bristol, England, United Kingdom

English comedian, TV presenter, radio presenter, and actor Russell Howard is best known for hosting the TV show Russell Howard's Good News. Though he studied economics at the University of the West of England, Bristol, he had no interest in pursuing a career in the field and shifted to performing comedy and hosting TV shows instead.