25 Best British TV Shows Of The Last Decade

Television has undergone something of a revolution in recent years. Gone are the days when the public were limited to...

Alex Antliff

Contributor

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Television has undergone something of a revolution in recent years. Gone are the days when the public were limited to just a handful of channels, replaced by the present scenario where viewers have access to hundreds and the option to watch shows from around the world online through streaming services.

Because of this, there is more pressure than ever on channel controllers to provide high quality programming in an attempt to obtain as many viewers as possible. Thankfully, they have succeeded, and British television now has its own share of programmes comparable in excellence to their high-budget American counterparts, which themselves have been forced to improve dramatically in recent years due to the rapid emergence of cable networks such as HBO, Showtime, FX and AMC.

The following article lists twenty-five contemporary British gems, from period drama to sci-fi, which any telephile should strongly consider immersing themselves within.

This article defines contemporary as the last ten years, meaning that any scripted show which has either debuted or aired the majority of its episodes since 2004 is eligible. Factual programmes (ranging from Top Gear to the output of David Attenborough), reality shows, sketch shows and shows that have aired just one series are ineligible, due primarily to the fact that the sheer volume of high quality documentaries, miniseries and one-off dramas that the UK is renowned for, ranging from State Of Play and Boy A to Red Riding and Bleak House, would force me to turn this list into at least a top 100 in order to include them all.

So, now the criteria for inclusion has been defined, let us begin…