The Royle Family

Watch The Royle Family

  • 1998
  • 4 Seasons
  • 8.2  (8,964)

The Royle Family is a popular British television sitcom that aired on BBC One from 1998 to 2012. It was created and written by Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, who also starred in the show alongside Sue Johnston. Set in Manchester, the show revolves around the daily lives of a working-class family, the Royles, who spend most of their time gathered in their living room, watching television and discussing current events. The show was shot in a single camera style and features a number of close-ups and long takes, giving it a naturalistic feel.

The main characters are Jim, the father (played by Ricky Tomlinson), his wife Barbara (played by Sue Johnston), and their two children, Denise (played by Caroline Aherne) and Antony (played by Ralf Little). In addition, there is Jim's mother, Nana (played by Liz Smith), who is confined to her chair and bickers with her daughter-in-law Barbara, and Denise's husband, Dave (played by Craig Cash), who is unemployed and spends most of his time lounging around the house along with the rest of the family.

The show is known for its wry, observational humor and its ability to find humor in the mundane - from arguments over the television remote to complaints about the weather, the show's humor is often generated by the characters' reactions to everyday situations. The show also features a number of recurring gags and catchphrases, such as Jim's constant refrain of "my arse!" and his habit of farting loudly and without apology.

Despite its reputation for being a comedy about "nothing," The Royle Family often tackles more serious topics, such as unemployment, illness, and death. For example, in one episode, Barbara is diagnosed with breast cancer, and the family rallies around her as she undergoes treatment. In another episode, Nana dies, and the family struggles to come to terms with her passing.

Over the course of its run, The Royle Family won numerous awards and became a beloved cultural touchstone in the UK. It was praised for its authenticity and relatable characters, as well as its ability to find humor in the everyday struggles of ordinary people.

In recent years, the show has been criticized for its use of racial and homophobic slurs, which were considered more acceptable at the time of its original airing but have since fallen out of favor. However, the show's legacy as a groundbreaking comedy about the lives of working-class people in the UK remains secure.

The Royle Family is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (28 episodes). The series first aired on September 14, 1998.

The Royle Family
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Christmas Special 2012
6. Christmas Special 2012
April 2, 2017
Barbara goes overboard on Christmas gifts. The family makes room for a buxom new neighbor on the sofa. Dave preps an entrepreneurial sales pitch.
Christmas Special 2010
5. Christmas Special 2010
April 2, 2017
Jim's out of commission on Christmas Day, so Barbara is overwhelmed. Dave and Denise fret that Antony's lavish gift outshines theirs: a fridge magnet.
Christmas Special 2009
4. Christmas Special 2009
April 2, 2017
Friends and family plot a surprise party for Jim and Barbara's 50th wedding anniversary. A celebratory getaway isn't quite all the couple hoped for.
Christmas Special 2008
3. Christmas Special 2008
April 2, 2017
Baby David's first birthday comes around and the Royle's sit down as they did last Christmas. This time they are joined by Darren and Emma, including her parents. Emma's father, Roger can't seem to stop boasting which annoys Jim. When they leave, an unhappy and mad Jim gets the best present of them all
Special 2006: The Queen of Sheba
2. Special 2006: The Queen of Sheba
April 2, 2017
Whilst times have moved on, not much has changed in the Royle household except for one major thing - finally after years of hints Nana has got her way and has moved in with the Royles. Nana, now bedridden, has Barbara waiting on her hand and foot, and has even come between Jim and his beloved TV, but just how long will her reign as 'The Queen of Sheba' continue?
We Love the Royle Family
1. We Love the Royle Family
April 2, 1998
In 2006, the BBC commissioned a talking heads programme, Why we Love the Royle Family, which included celebrity fans such as Noel Gallagher, Paul Heaton and J.K. Rowling.
Where to Watch The Royle Family
The Royle Family is available for streaming on the BBC One website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Royle Family on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    September 14, 1998
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (8,964)