12 Britcoms That Should Be Movies

British television is known for many things. EastEnders, Wossy, late night movies on Five starring Shannon Tweed.

It's also received a fair few nods for its high concept sitcoms - Britcoms, if you will.

So what if Hollywood suddenly took note and embarked on a mass remake-athon of the best of British? We dare to dream...


Dream Director: Quentin Tarantino

The Plot: Potboiler drama in which a group of canteen workers at a high rise insurance company debate the laws of love, lust and popular culture amidst the beef stew and pan scrubbing (“ Twilight is all about sexual repression in an age when having an STD is akin to getting a tattoo,” know-it-all Brenda (Page) blathers).

Then, when a criminal mastermind raids the 50-storey building, it falls to this clan of cleaners to use their initiative (and all manner of bladed kitchenware) to escape with their lives – and their hair nets.

The Cast: Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Amy Adams, Ellen Page

One Foot In The Grave

Dream Director: Sam Raimi

The Plot: Victor (Caine) and Margaret Meldrew (Dench) have been married nigh on five decades and have the war wounds to prove it. But when Victor kicks the bucket, Margaret realises that she can’t live without him.

In desperation, she attempts to raise him from the dead using a cursed mummy hand she got down Spitalfields market. Miraculously... it works! But Victor comes back not quite right...

The Cast: Michael Caine, Judi Dench

Next: Spaced, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme [page-break]


Dream Director: JJ Abrams

The Plot: Infuriated with Hollywood’s inability to make anything other than remakes or sequels, jobless comic book geek Tim Bisley (Gordon-Levett) packs his bags and heads to LA on a one-man renegade mission.

En route, he collects a band of like-minded geeks, including Thundercats -loving mechanic Charley (Mays) and Red Dwarf -devotee Bam-Bam (Eisenberg). Together, they do battle with 20th Century Fox in a blaze of action-flick-referencing scuffles. But not before partaking in a Star Wars all-nighter.

The Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levett, Jayma Mays, Jesse Eisenberg

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Dream Director: Gus Van Sant

The Plot: Tom Farrel (Steve Carell) is a washed-up queen with delusions of grandeur. Linda La Hughes (Kate Winslet) is his sozzled, booze-hound fag hag. He’s thick. She’s thicker (yes, just like a McDonald’s milkshake).

Sharing a gaudy flat in Soho, they’re both on The Dole, and fritter their meagre income on cheap rosé and Marlborough Lites. But when Tom and Linda inevitably find the honey jar is empty, a late night showing of Bonnie and Clyde (and a few bottles of Lambrini) gives them just the inspiration they need.

Get a gun, hit a few banks and Bob’s your very rich uncle. What could possibly go wrong?

The Cast: Steve Carell, Lisa Kudrow

Next: Only Fools & Horses, Absolutely Fabulous [page-break]

Only Fools & Horses

Dream Director: Guy Ritchie

The Plot: Wheeling dealing brothers Del Boy (Jones) and Rodney (Fox) are always on the look-out for cheap money-making schemes, especially in the current credit crunch climate. But when Del Boy meets a nefarious character known only as Big Bird, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Lured into a business deal that could make him and Rodney millionaires before the year’s out, Del Boy finds himself in a gritty underworld of gangland crime, where the law of the gun rules. Can Uncle Albert (Nicholson) save the day?

The Cast: Vinnie Jones, Jack Nicholson, Laurence Fox

Absolutely Fabulous

Dream Director: John Waters

The Plot: Botox, booze and anti-depressants. Eddie (Tilly) and Patsy (Lynch) are ex-media luvvies used to the high life. But when the free champagne dries up and the phones stop ringing, what are they supposed to do with their lives? Open a hair salon? Become daytime chat show presenters?

Realising that they missed out on a misspent youth while pawning themselves as models, Eddie and Patsy decide to re-take high school. And this time get it right. Cue crushes, champagne lunches and, yup, more botox and anti-depressants.

The Cast: Jane Lynch, Jennifer Tilly

Next: The Royle Family, The Vicar of Dibley [page-break]

The Royle Family

Dream Director: Wes Anderson

The Plot: An intimate drama set entirely in the dingy, downtown apartment of the Royles. Here, matriarch Barbara (Weaver) attempts to comfort her heavily pregnant daughter Denise (Kristen Stewart), whose older boyfriend Craig (Christian Bale) has run off with another woman.

Meanwhile, patriarch Jim (Alec Baldwin) attempts to ignore the histrionics by concentrating on the baseball, but erstwhile son Antony (Damon) is in need of fatherly advice. It all culminates in Denise giving birth on the living room floor as her family draw together in support.

The Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, Kristen Stewart, Christian Bale

The Vicar of Dibley

Dream Director: Nancy Meyers

The Plot: Newly appointed vicar Geraldine Granger (Najimy) has a love of two things: chocolate and Jesus. Oh, and Justin Timberlake. When she is allotted to a small village in North Carolina, she finds herself facing a community groaning with sin and scandal.

Not only that, but the village’s influential mayor David Horton (Keaton) doesn’t like her one bit. Only dippy Alice (Hannigan) is welcoming. With a bit of luck, and a heck of a lot of praying, Geraldine attempts to turn the village around.

The Cast: Kathy Najimy, Michael Keaton, Alyson Hannigan

Next: Fawlty Towers, Dad's Army [page-break]

Fawlty Towers

Dream Director: Woody Allen

The Plot: Basil Fawlty (Allen) runs a guest house in Manhattan with the help of his long-suffering wife Sybil (Keaton). Hampered with an ineffectual staff – including catastrophe-magnet bus boy Manuel (Starr) – Basil bemoans his sorry existence while secretly pining for chamber maid Polly (Anniston).

When, after a misunderstanding, Basil ends up scantily-clad and serenading the object of his affection in the guest house’s bar, an irate Sybil packs her bags and goes off to stay with her mother (Bacall). Can Basil find a way to win her back?

The Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Martin Starr, Jennifer Anniston, Lauren Bacall

Dad’s Army

Dream Director: Steven Spielberg

The Plot: Comprised of men too old or unhealthy for service, the Home Guard are stationed on the coast of Oregon, USA during a fictionalised Third World War. The pompous Mainwaring (DeVito) makes up for his diminutive stature by attempting to boss around the likes of mild-mannered Sergeant Wilson (Freeman) and hysteria-prone Walker (Hoskins).

When they realise that the instigators of the war [insert terrorist group of your choosing here] are attempting to stage a quiet takeover starting with their very own Oregon, the Home Guard must step up against a deadly enemy and defend their country to the bitter end.

The Cast: Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Danny DeVito, Bob Hoskins

Next: Black Adder, The IT Crowd [page-break]


Dream Director: Ridley Scott

The Plot: Sweeping, dramatic epic imagining a fictionalised fall-out after the end of the War of the Roses. The year is 1485, and cowardly Prince Edmund (Downey Jr), also known as the ‘Black Adder’, is plotting to seize the throne from his father, King Richard IV (Gambon). Assisted by idiotic noblemen Percy (Hopkins) and Baldrick (Serkis), Edmund attempts to increase his social standing, but his dastardly plans are often ineffectual and slipshod.

Then, a mysterious messenger from the future arrives bearing knowledge of the whereabouts of Excalibur. Could this be the end of history as we know it?

Possibilities for sequels limitless.

The Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Gambon, Andy Serkis, Anthony Hopkins

The IT Crowd

Dream Director: The Wachowski Brothers

The Plot: New Head of IT, the gorgeous but distant Jen (Morrison), is rubbish with computers. Attempting to rally her team of techie support geeks – Roy (Pegg), Maurice (Hoult) and Richmond (Frost) – she is more of a relationships manager.

When Jen discovers the lads playing computer games when they should be working, she pulls the plug on the power. But a short circuit creates an electromagnetic wormhole that sucks the tech geeks into a computer game. It's up to Jen to play the game and try to save her colleagues' lives.

The Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Morrison

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Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.