Best British web series and tv shows to improve English

10 great British web series and tv shows to improve English

Web Series Review

Watching TV shows is a great way to learn English because we get exposure to new and very interesting vocabulary. We get to hear different accents and we also get a great opportunity for listening practice. And I think it’s really important that you guys get exposed to modern English.

Here I have gathered ten great British TV shows that you can watch to improve your English. These shows are a bit old. But I hope it will be very helpful to improve your English language skills.

10 great British TV shows to improve your English

let’s straight to number one.

1. The Great British Bake Off

The great british bake off judges image. It is an amazing show to learn english
The great British bake off


This is a competition in which every week contestants have baking challenges and they are judged on the quality of the food they make. It’s fun, it’s light-hearted and it’s very funny. Three reasons that it’s a great program for you to learn English.

First of all, you have a variety of accents from all around Britain so that’s really interesting to see how people speak in different parts of Britain. It’s a very contemporary show which means that all the contestants and all the people in the show are using modern English.

And because it’s a competition they are using very natural English because they are reacting to things and they are giving their opinions and they are talking about their feelings. And it’s all very natural.

So you are going to be exposed to phrases and vocabulary and utterances that are very natural. It’s also quite an interesting insight into British culture and the kinds of foods that are popular in Britain and also just where people are from. So you’ll get to know people from different parts of Britain which I think is interesting.

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The next one is

2. Black Mirror

Black Mirror web series scene. It is a good series to improve english
Black Mirror web series scene


Now, this is a science-fiction TV series that looks at modern society and how technology is used and it’s pretty dark but it’s also really exciting. So this is maybe not one for kids, this is probably quite an adult TV series but it’s really good.

The reason why I think it’s great for learning English well because it’s so well-written there are some fantastic conversations and dialogues that I think are really worth listening to. I also think that it’s a really thought-provoking

TV series. It makes you think about topics to do with technology and the future and with that there’s lots of interesting topic vocabulary. So vocabulary relating to social media and technology, you are going to hear a lot of that so if that’s something you are interested in then this is the perfect TV series.

Now because each episode is totally different you are going to get exposed to a variety of accents as well so that’s again, a really big bonus, is the variety of different types of English you are going to hear.

Now because each episode is totally different you are going to get exposed to a variety of accents as well so that’s again, a really big bonus, is the variety of different types of English you are going to hear.

Another cooking program but this one is different! This is

3. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver in the kitchen.
Jamie Oliver in the kitchen.


Jamie Oliver is an internationally known British chef who is hugely popular around the world. The reason I think it’s great for you guys is, well a couple of things. He speaks really informally, his English is very informal so you are going to be exposed to a lot of British slang phrases.

Now he’s from Essex which is a county to the East of London and his pronunciation reflects that. So for example he won’t pronounce some / t / ‘s in the middle of words he’ll say water instead of water which I also sometimes do.

So you are going to hear that kind of pronunciation which I think is fascinating. You’ll also get a great amount of food vocabulary, you’ll get interesting verbs. He also uses interesting adjectives to describe his food. So there’s a variety of interesting English that you can hear when you are listening to Jamie Oliver.

Also, you get to learn how to cook some of the most delicious food so that’s kind of cool. Also, Jamie Oliver is a really good Ambassador for Great Britain and British culture so you are going to get a lot of that in his TV shows.

This one is

4. X-Factor

X-Factor show judges. It an amazing American show to improve your English
X-Factor show judges.


X-Factor is the most popular singing competition I think on British TV. Now why I think it’s so good for learning English is a couple of things. First of all, for each contestant, they always go and tell their story about how they got to this competition.

So where they came from, what they used to do as a job or what they still do as a job, and the story about how they came to X-Factor. Now in these stories, You are going to be hearing narrative tenses, lots of past tenses, past perfect, past simple and that’s a really great way to kind of pick up on how to tell a story.

How to bring emotion into your English as well. Now it is a very emotional TV program and you are going to hear lots of natural exchanges between the contestants and the judges so again lots of natural English, opinion phrases, adjectives. So there’s a lot of really interesting English that you are going to hear. Also, it’s a real insight into British culture so you are going to hear lots of British music, you’ll obviously see the fashion, the clothes of the contestants and you’ll also get again a variety of accents because the competition goes around Britain.

So sometimes they are in Liverpool, sometimes they are in Birmingham, in London so you are going to hear a variety of accents again. Plus it’s quite fun. It is quite a fun show yeah, I think you might enjoy it. Now just to remind you guys, you can find a lot of these shows on YouTube.

Even if it’s not the full episode you’ll get clips and I know for a fact that X-Factor has its own YouTube channel and there are loads of videos on there that you can watch and follow the show. So you don’t need to watch the whole episode you could just go on YouTube and check out their channel there.

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5. Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in dark image.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in dark image.


The world’s most famous detective Sherlock is played by Benedict Cumberbatch. This is a classic TV series and I’m sure you are probably familiar with it. So what you’ve got are fantastic vocabulary and conversations that are really funny so really playful with the language.

You’ve also got it set in modern London which is fantastic, so you get to see London and also again a variety of accents because different characters are coming in so yeah again, variety of accents that you are going to be exposed to. Plus it’s extremely thrilling so you are going to want to watch not just one episode but another one and another one and another one.

We call this binge-watching. If you just keep watching the same TV show just the next episode and the next episode it’s to binge-watch. So I’m going to predict that you will binge-watch Sherlock once you start watching it.

Another competition, this time a dancing competition.

6. Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing Professionals image. It is an amazing show to learn natural English
Strictly Come Dancing is an amazing show to learn natural English


The reason that I recommend this one is because it’s really fun. I mean it’s just a fun show. If you love music and you love dancing, you’ll love watching it. Secondly once again you’ve got natural reactions to the things that are happening in the show. So you’ll be exposed to natural English once again.

So whether that’s the judges giving their opinions or the contestants saying how happy they are at dancing. Whatever the reaction is you’re going to hear it as being quite natural. Maybe they are going to stumble upon their words, maybe they don’t think of the right words, maybe you might even hear some grammatical mistakes but that’s natural English.

So that’s why I think it’s really great for you guys to watch these kinds of reality TV shows because yeah, you are going to hear really everyday English.

7. Peep Show

David Mitchell and Robert Webb of peep show. This show is a great choice to learn and improve English speaking
David Mitchell and Robert Webb of peep show.


Peep Show is a really good program for several reasons. First of all, it is funny, I think it is funny and I think that humor can translate, you know, to different cultures. The idea is that it’s two men in their thirties that live together and they have very different personalities and it’s their lives and how they interact with the world.

They get into all kinds of adventures and mishaps, it’s the relationships they have with other people, and yeah it’s a good program. The English that you’ll hear are pretty clear. I mean they are very clear in the way that they speak so that’s really good. I think you’ll be able to understand them pretty well. The vocabulary that they use it’s contemporary, it’s modern English. Now it can be a little bit rude so you want to be careful if you are watching it with children you maybe want to think about that.

But yeah, it’s very clear English and it’s very modern and contemporary English as well. And I think it’s quite funny, maybe you’ll disagree with me, I don’t know, check it out. It’s on YouTube, it’s on Netflix. It’s from Channel 4 so yeah check it out, see what you think. It also kind of shows the boring side of living in London.

They live in a London suburb and their lives are pretty boring so it’s kind of interesting to see that side of Britain as well. Britain and London aren’t just Big Ben and Tower Bridge, it can be boring suburban lives as well.

The complete opposite to Peep Show is

8. Downton Abbey

Downtown Abbey Tv series cast's in image. It was a famous tv series
Downtown Abbey Tv series cast’s in image.


Downton Abbey is hugely popular around the world. I’m sure you have seen it or probably heard of it at least. So Downton Abbey is set in the early 1900s. It’s a historical drama, so it’s the life of this aristocratic family in their home and then it’s kind of compared. So you have this aristocratic family, a very rich family living upstairs and then the servants living downstairs. So you have these two different worlds and how they interact. It’s obviously not contemporary English so in that respect some of the vocabulary and the way they speak maybe isn’t how we speak now.

However, it is a really interesting show and you’re going to get lots of interesting dialogue, conversations and again a variety of accents you’ll hear as well. So I think it’s worth watching and certainly, it’s a very popular TV program so even if you just watch it because you love it, more than anything else then that’s perfect.

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9. Planet Earth

Animals of Planet Earth show in image.Planet Earth is, I think, one of the greatest TV programs of all time. It is a very good show to learn and improve English
Animals of Planet Earth show in image.


Now specifically I want to talk about the narrator of Planet Earth David Attenborough, or sorry Sir David Attenborough. Now he is considered in Britain to be a national treasure. He is someone that everybody respects and everybody loves. 

I’ve been listening to his voice every since I was a child, he narrates, well he has narrated every wildlife program I’ve ever listened to and his voice is so comforting and soothing. It’s like the grandfather that you never had.

Now Planet Earth is, I think, one of the greatest TV programs of all time. And it looks at different aspects of the world and the nature that lives in each one so it could be the jungle, the desert, the seas. And David Attenborough, sorry Sir David Attenborough narrates the stories of these places just absolutely beautiful. His vocabulary is incredible. The way he delivers his sentences is so clear and it’s with such grace and charm about them.

Yeah, it’s worth watching Planet Earth just to listen to David Attenborough. Now I think the vocabulary can be quite difficult sometimes so subtitles are a really good idea and you don’t need to understand every word with this because he uses a lot of technical vocabulary to do with the animals and to do with wildlife. I don’t understand a lot of them but that doesn’t matter, that’s not what we are doing. We are matching some of the most incredible sorts of cinematography with his voice and the way he speaks. And I think that’s worth watching just in itself.

And my final one.

10. The Only Way is Essex

The Only Way is Essex Cast's in Image. It is one of theBest web series and tv shows to learn and improve English.
The Only Way is Essex Cast’s in Image


Now, this is structured reality shows so it can be presented as being a reality but it is not. Why do I think this is really interesting for you guys to watch? A couple of reasons.

First of all, in The Only Way is Essex you have a group of young, good-looking people from Essex, which is, as I said before, to the East of London. And they are very different social groups so that’s a really interesting thing, to begin with.

Is that you are going to get an interesting insight into British culture and these different types of people. Also, you’re going to get really fascinating vocabulary. So the difference in vocabulary they use, it’s very modern but it’s not something you are going to find in your English language coursebook.

So I think that’s great, to expose you to really fascinating vocabulary, phrases, idioms, slang, all that kind of stuff, it’s going to be there. You’re also going to get very different accents. So in The Only Way is Essex you’re going to get Essex accents which is very different.

So the variety is fascinating to watch. So I think it’s an interesting way to look at British culture and the language as well, in two very different shows.

Wrap Up

Now, I’m going to say now I don’t watch either of them but I know that if I did start watching one of them I might get a little bit addicted. So that’s maybe why I don’t watch it so I don’t get addicted to them. But you must have a try.

So those are ten of the best British TV shows that you can watch to help you learn English. Now of course there are so many more. But these are the best on my list. I hope you have enjoyed the article. Don’t forget to share it and put your feedback in the comment box below.

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