A collage of some of your favorite British television stars: Jessica Gunning and Richard Gadd as Baby Reindeer's Martha and Donny Dunn, Imelda Staunton and Elizabeth Debicki as The Crown's Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, Theo James as The Gentlemen's Eddie Horniman, Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall as One Day's Emma and Dexter, Paapa Essiedu as Black Mirror's Gaap, BECKHAM's David Beckham, and Rufus Sewell and Gillian Anderson as Scoop's Prince Andrew and Emily Maitlis.


Celebrating the greatest television moments this year from the talented artists of the U.K. 

26 June 20247 min read

If you’ve watched TV in the last year, you’ll know one thing is true — the British are here. The Brits have brought the world tremendous shows that span genres and push the boundaries of storytelling to new, galvanizing places. From documentaries about pop culture icons to deeply personal dramas and depictions of life in the British upper crust, the world has tuned in to the United Kingdom. 

Here, Queue breaks down some of the latest and most highly acclaimed British hits with the help of the casts and crews that brought a piece of the U.K. to the screen this year. 


Few series are more identifiably British than Peter Morgan’s stately drama The Crown, which wrapped up its sixth and final series in December. The show, with 69 Emmy nominations and 21 wins (and counting) to its name, has chronicled the lives of the Windsors through the lens of their matriarch, Queen Elizabeth II, played in the final two installments by Imelda Staunton. With the real-life Queen Elizabeth’s passing in September 2022 as Season 6 began filming, the cast and crew found themselves grieving the loss of such a monumental British figure. “We carried on with as much dignity and grace as they have always done on The Crown,” says Staunton, “but obviously, there was a very different temperature in the world, in England, and even more so on The Crown.” 

When the series finale debuted more than a year later, the final episode brought closure to the story through its depiction of Elizabeth planning her future funeral, paying respect to a figure who represented Great Britain and its commonwealth for over 70 years. 

Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) stands across a bar from Martha (Jessica Gunning), who's laughing on her stool. He doesn't seem amused.

Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) and Martha (Jessica Gunning) in Baby Reindeer


Baby Reindeer is the epitome of an incredibly personal story that proved universal in its appeal, with the limited series drawing nearly 60 million views in its first month on Netflix. Inspired by the experiences of Scottish writer, comedian, and actor Richard Gadd, the story centers on Gadd’s aspiring comic Donny Dunn, who develops a warped relationship with his stalker, ultimately pushing him to reexamine his own buried trauma. Gadd first told his story in 2019 onstage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a launching pad for earlier British sensations including Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and Tony-winning shows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and SIX

However, it was a very different British heavyweight series that initially inspired Gadd to pursue a career in entertainment. “When The Office [U.K. version] came out, I just was obsessed with it,” he says. “I was like, That’s the dream now, to perform in a show that I’ve written, and be the lead, and that was what Baby Reindeer turned out to be. It’s been a crazy journey.” 


Guy Ritchie has long reigned king of British gangster films, and this year he took his talents to television with his dark comedy The Gentlemen. Leading a terrific cast of unruly characters are Theo James as aristocrat Eddie Horniman and Kaya Scodelario as Susie Glass, who come together when Eddie inherits his father’s estate and unknowingly the weed business being run on the property by Susie’s family. As James explains, in British history, the aristocrat doesn’t fall far from the gangster: “As it says in the show, the aristocrats, William the Conqueror, were all the original gangsters. They gathered money and power, then they filtered it into massive land grabs, so they seeded power and land within a family that could inherit it for generations. There’s something deeply corrupt about that.” 

As Susie, Scodelario says she especially relished the opportunity to channel her inner crime boss and have a go at Ritchie’s signature dry, sarcastic humor. “I hadn’t done a project in England for close to 10 years,” she says, “and I was really excited to be coming home and to be working on something that felt so fundamentally British.” 

David Beckham in BECKHAM goes for a big kick.

David Beckham in BECKHAM


As Hugh Grant’s prime minister proudly proclaims in perennial film favorite Love Actually, among the things that make the United Kingdom great are Shakespeare, Churchill, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter, and David Beckham’s right foot. Not to mention his left. Two decades on, the Fisher Stevens-directed docuseries BECKHAM reminds us all just how correct Grant’s character’s assessment truly was. 

BECKHAM takes the audience through the life of one of the most famous Brits on the planet. The football legend himself sits down with Stevens to reflect on his illustrious career, from the moments that catapulted him into the pop culture canon to the tribulations inherent in that level of fame. The series showcases Beckham’s lifelong commitment to soccer that stretches back to his days as a young boy growing up in the U.K.: “The number one thing that I’d always wanted to do, above anything else, was play for England. That was a dream,” he says in Episode 1. “Playing at the national team’s stadium, playing at Wembley, is a very emotional moment for me.” 

He accomplished his dream for the first time in 1996, representing the country in a World Cup qualifier game. Nearly 30 years since he first stepped onto the pitch as part of the England squad, he now represents his country as a cultural superstar.

Gaap (Paapa Essiedu) in Black Mirror leans over behind an old lady.

Gaap (Paapa Essiedu) in Black Mirror


For six seasons, Black Mirror has dazzled viewers with sci-fi tales envisioning dystopian near-futures or imagining the unknown possibilities of technological evolution, exploring the fundamental contradictions and complexities of human nature. Created by British writer Charlie Brooker in 2011, the anthology series has set stories in different locations around the world and in space — though Brooker’s British sensibilities have never been lost in translation. The latest season features an episode steeped in British history and culture. Co-written and executive-produced by Bisha K. Ali (Ms. Marvel, Sex Education), “Demon 79” follows Nida (Anjana Vasan), a department store sales associate who unintentionally summons Gaap (Paapa Essiedu), a demon who informs her that she must commit three murders to stop a disaster from occurring. 

Ali, who won the BAFTA with co-writer Brooker in the Writer Drama category for the episode, thrived while working on “Demon 79.” “Being British, getting to work on a show that is so inherently British was wonderful after working in the U.S.,” she says. “We have an all-British cast, it was shot in Britain, and it is a British episode to the core. It felt like a homecoming.” 

Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell behind the scenes of Scoop

Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell behind the scenes of Scoop


Back in 2019, the world watched as Prince Andrew’s reputation crumbled after associations with sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell came to light, leading to the interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis on the news program Newsnight that unraveled the prince’s public image. Philip Martin’s television movie Scoop tells the story of how the interview came to be from the perspective of the women at the BBC who pushed the conversation forward to those on Prince Andrew’s team who unsuccessfully sought to own the narrative. 

“It’s about . . . this idea of bouncing between two huge British institutions, the BBC and the Palace,” says actor Billie Piper, who portrays Newsnight producer Sam McAlister. “But mostly, it’s about people. It’s about the unsung journalists behind the scoop itself.” Scoop presents a moment in not just British history, but also in journalistic history and serves as a timely reminder of the power of a free press. 

Dexter (Leo Woodall) and Emma (Ambika Mod) in One Day stand on a dock with their luggage.

Dexter (Leo Woodall) and Emma (Ambika Mod) in One Day


Detailing the relationship between British friends Dexter and Emma across the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, David Nicholls’s novel One Day was an instant bestseller when it hit shelves in 2009. When the series adaptation premiered in February 2024, it won over audiences with its unfailingly charming, utterly British characters, played by actors Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall. Mod, who perfected a Yorkshire accent to get into character, found much to connect to in Emma as a young British woman: “She does this very British thing of using humor to undercut any sense of sentimentality. I know that a lot of women and a lot of people definitely see themselves in Emma.” 

Thanks to not only Emma’s dry wit but also the Brit-pop-infused soundtrack and Dexter’s many memorable hairstyles, One Day provides a snapshot of an era of Britain that thrilled anglophiles around the world.