When one thinks of British reality television, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the X-Factor or Celebrity Big Brother, but not every British reality series involves a singing competition or a group of strangers living in a house.
Although we had to go digging a bit, Netflix has a surprisingly solid collection of British reality TV shows involving baking, house hunting, traveling, and more! Let's delve a little deeper into Netflix and see what they have to offer, shall we? Here are 10 of the best British reality TV shows on Netflix, as of February 2019.
10 The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Baking Show (also known as The Great British Bake Off to the rest of the world), is a British television baking competition/reality show that pits a bunch of amateur bakers against each other as they go through a series of rounds before reaching the final bake-off.
Whether it's the deliciously decadent treats or the judges' soothing British accents, the show has somehow become an international success and a significant part of British culture. The series has also been credited with "reinvigorating interest in baking throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland." Impressive.
9 The World's Most Extraordinary Homes
If you're a low-key voyeur who enjoys looking into other peoples' fabulous homes, then The World's Most Extraordinary Homes is the show for you! In addition to having a peek at some of the most incredible examples of home architecture across the world, you also get to enjoy the lively banter between award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress and "property enthusiast" Caroline Quentin.
Yes, some of their cheesy one-liners are clearly scripted, but the awestruck reactions to some of the homes they explore are 100% real.
8 Embarrassing Bodies
The show's title might sound a little harsh, but Embarrassing Bodies is a British BAFTA Award-winning medical reality show that invites members of the public with a variety of different medical conditions to consult the show's doctors for advice. The show has been praised for its willingness to shed light on and de-stigmatize many "taboo" and embarrassing body issues/conditions that plague people all over the world. Debunking myths while helping people at the same time? Sounds good to me.
7 Grand Designs
Similar to The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, Grand Designs is a British television series featuring unusual and architecturally impressive homes. The series follows the building process from start to finish, and British designer and show host Kevin McCloud isn't afraid to talk budget and question the homeowners' plans every step of the way.
Unlike some home design shows, Grand Designs doesn't bother to put any rose-colored glasses on the home-building experience; it's messy, time-consuming, and stressful (not to mention almost all homeowners go over budget). Kudos to the British for keeping it real!
6 Million Pound Menu
Restaurant reality TV shows are all the rage right now, and Britain's Million Pound Menu is one of the best ones out there. The Million Pound Menu is presented by Fred Sirieix, manager of the Michelin-starred restaurant Galvin at Windows, and features participants who try to convince a jury that their new restaurant ideas could work (almost like Shark Tank, restaurant edition). Two restaurant teams run an all-expenses-paid pop-up for three days, and on the third day, they offer a full-service meal to interested investors. If the investors are impressed, they receive an investment offer. If not, it looks like they just wasted three days of their lives.
5 Mary Portas: Secret Shopper
Mary Portas: Secret Shopper is (unsurprisingly) hosted by Mary Portas, an English retail consultant and broadcaster, known for her popular retail/business television shows.
In the series, Mary works with well-known retailers and brands to help give the pubic the shopping experience they deserve. Very similar to Undercover Boss, there are secret cameras everywhere and Mary manages to shockingly expose what's really going on behind the counter before confronting the store managers with her findings. Will they take her much-needed advice? Watch and find out.
4 The Bionic Vet
Pet lovers, you're going to love this. The Bionic Vet follows the life and work of Noel Fitzpatrick, a veterinarian in Surrey with a team of over 100 vets, nurses, and support staff who are all united in their quest to discover new, out-of-the-box solutions for pets with problems that typically end in euthanasia. The Bionic Vet is so renowned that many pets are flown in from all over the world in the hopes of finding a solution to their pain or discomfort (the first episode features Oscar the Cat from New Jersey). Pet love is for real.
3 Age Gap Love
If big age gaps between couples weirds you out, then you might want to avoid Age Gap Love, a British TV series that tells the love stories between couples with extreme age gaps. While men have been dating much younger women for years (particularly in Hollywood), there is still quite a bit of social backlash for older women who find love with younger men.
This show, however, proves that age is just a number. In one episode, a 68-year-old woman unabashedly goes on the hunt for a boy-toy, and another episode features a happy couple with 38 years between them. Hey, whatever makes you happy.
2 Escape To The Country
Escape to the Country is a British reality TV series that helps potential buyers find their rural dream home by presenting them with three separate properties (plus a mystery property) and asking them to guess the sale price. The houses and settings in this show are truly beautiful, and often the potential homeowners have trouble agreeing on which property to pick. For viewers who are tired of the UK, another version of the series, entitled Escape to the Continent, takes the show to other European countries, such as France and Italy.
1 Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
Fans of Ricky Gervais' An Idiot Abroad will love Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father, a travel documentary/road trip comedy presented by comedian Jack Whitehall and his father, Michael Whitehall.
Season one follows the father/son duo as they travel to South East Asia on a popular "gap year route," where it soon becomes clear that Jack Whitehall's very posh father is not a big fan of roughing it. The pair bickers over what to eat and where to stay, but Jack Whitehall's goofy antics and Michael Whitehall's dry humor keep viewers entertained as the pair journeys through Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.