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British TV Shows to learn English

If you want to improve your English vocabulary and train your ear when it comes to different English accents then watching a British TV series is a great way to do that. It is important to keep in mind that if you are still at Beginner level then a British show might be a bit too difficult because of the vocabulary and of course the accents. For Beginners US shows are a lot better and will help you to build a very solid base to later move on to UK series.

Tips for using TV series to learn English

  • Choose shows with shorter episodes so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with all the new vocabulary.

  • Watch the TV shows with English subtitles NOT subtitles in your own language. Reading and listening to English at the same time is the best way to get your brain to absorb new vocabulary.

  • Try not to pause and look up words you don’t understand, as this will stop you from enjoying the plot. Instead, try and work out the word’s meaning from the show’s context.

The Crown

The Crown is a historical drama web television series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

This series follows the political rivalries, the romance of the Queen and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme. It ceased production in 1989, then resumed in 2005. It is based on the further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor and their companions from planet Earth.

Black Mirror

Black Mirror is a science fiction anthology television series. It examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is a drama television series based on a chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early twentieth century.


Sherlock is a crime drama television series based on Sherlock Holmes detective solving various mysteries in modern-day London. Holmes is assisted by his flatmate and friend, Dr. John Watson. Together they solve baffling, and often bizarre, murder mysteries. They also have to compete with Holmes’ nemesis, the criminal genius Moriarty.

Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a British period crime drama television series created by Steven Knight. Set in Birmingham, England, the series follows the exploits of the Shelby crime family in the direct aftermath of the First World War. The fictional family is loosely based on a real 19th century urban youth gang of the same name, who were active in the city from the 1890s, to the early twentieth century.


Luther is a British crime drama television series. A self-destructive detective, Luther is skilled but emotionally impulsive when solving cases. Idris Elba’s iconic portrayal of the morose detective creates a drama that is both thrilling and unnerving.

The IT Crowed

Deep in the sub basement of the ambiguous company of Reynholm Industries, are not one, but two socially awkward IT guys. Moss, an electronics wizard and overly naive man and Roy, a lazy disgruntled co-worker have to provide support for Reynholm Industries with their inept boss, Jen, who doesn't know the difference between hardware and software. The show revolves around Moss and Roy's antics both at work and out socially, which always ends badly.

The Great British Bake Off

This is a competition where twelve people come together to bake foods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries. Every week the weakest baker leaves the show until a contestant is crowned the winner. It’s a heart-warming show, as although it’s a competition the contestants all support one another and they’re all clearly enjoying themselves. The programme will certainly give you lots of delicious recipe ideas!

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