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(upbeat music)
Hello everyone and welcome back to English with Lucy.
As requested and as promised here is, finally,
my lesson on the top TV shows that you can use to
learn British English.
I have got lots of recommendations
that are suitable for everyone.
And I'm going to work through them,
starting with programmes that are suitable for beginners,
moving to pre-intermediate, intermediate and then advanced.
Now I know that a lot of you
are hoping to use TV shows
in order to improve your fluency, your vocabulary,
your pronunciation, your listening skills.
Honestly watching TV shows in a second language
can work magic on your language skills.
However, it can be really, really stressful,
trying to find the right one for you.
Because you've got to get that mix
of something that you're interested in,
something that is at your level,
and something that is going to provide educational value.
Now another really frustrating point is,
when you finally find a TV show
that you would like to watch,
that you think will help you
and it's blocked in your country.
It's so annoying.
I really enjoy watching programmes in Spanish
and I find it really frustrating trying to
gain access to websites that are blocked in my country.
Well, a lot of you aren't based in the UK,
so how are you going to gain access
to these British TV shows?
Well, I highly recommend NordVPN.
Which is the sponsor of today's video.
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but also allowing you to overcome geographical restrictions.
So, by using NordVPN you can unlock access
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That is nothing when you consider all of the benefits
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The link and the code are in the description box.
Right, let's get started with the list
of TV shows that you can use in order to learn
and improve your British English.
Right, let's start with the beginners.
So, for people who are just starting to learn English,
or maybe people who've been learning English for a while
but are really struggling with their listening,
because listening is incredibly difficult.
It's a skill that some people are naturally good at,
but most people find very, very challenging.
Now, I've been teaching for many years
and when I come across beginners
or people who are really struggling
with their listening skills,
I recommend children's TV shows.
But you have to be really, really careful
because so many children's TV shows
are dumbed down, in order to entertain children.
And there aren't so many high quality
children's TV shows, where the characters speak well,
with good pronunciation
and they don't put on a stupid baby voice.
One programme that I think is excellent
for improving your English,
if you are a beginner, is Peppa Pig.
Now, if you have children,
you will probably know about Peppa Pig,
but it is a British TV show.
It's been translated into so many languages
across the globe.
It's about a little piglet who goes around
solving problems and causing problems.
And she speaks with a British accent.
She speaks quite clearly, but the best part is,
they cover the basics of English.
It's written in simple English, simple tenses,
and they cover the basic vocabulary
because they are hoping to teach a child its' first words.
Well, it's sometimes the same situation for us
when we're learning our second language.
- No George, I'm playing with Suzy.
You have to play somewhere else.
- Another cartoon I can recommend is, Sarah and Duck.
This is another children's cartoon
that actually now has quite a strong adult following
cause it is very entertaining actually.
I look forward to having a child so that I can
watch these programmes with them.
It's about a little girl, a little British girl,
who is best friends with a duck.
And it is quite funny and it focuses on problem solving.
- [Voice over] It's a bit early for bed isn't it?
- No, It's so tomorrow gets here quicker.
- [Voice over] Oh.
- All of the information for these programmes
will be in the description box,
I'll show you where you can watch them.
The next one is another one produced by the BBC,
it's Katie Morag.
And this one I've mentioned
because it's the Scottish accent.
It's about a little girl who lives
on a fictional Scottish island,
but it's not a cartoon, it is a real girl.
Now the Scottish accent, in my opinion,
is absolutely gorgeous, I love it.
And I know that it's a very desirable place,
so on the off chance that you are hoping to visit Scotland
or you just particularly like that accent,
this is a fantastic TV show.
And as I've said many times before,
it's really important to understand
and to listen to, a variety of accents.
The Scottish accent is considered to be fairly difficult,
so it's best to start
with a children's TV version of that accent.
- [Katie] And everyone looks out for me
when I'm out and about, having my adventures.
- Right, let's move on to pre-intermediate.
So we've covered the basics with children's TV programmes,
where they cover basic vocabulary
and they use simple grammar.
Now let's go a step higher to pre-intermediate.
What I recommend for my pre-intermediate students,
is nature programmes.
And there is one man in particular who I recommend.
I absolutely love him.
The nation adores him, he is David Attenborough.
This man is a national treasure.
He's a broadcaster, a natural historian,
he used to work for the BBC,
quite high up in the BBC.
And he is amazing and speaks with such
a beautiful RP accent.
He speaks quite slowly and he uses a variety
of adjectives as well,
which is perfect for pre-intermediate students.
And he has done so many BBC series' on nature.
Recent one's have been Blue Planet,
all about the sea.
Planet Earth, which is about the globe as a whole.
Frozen Planet, which is about the colder
parts of our world.
And a really good documentary called,
A Plastic Ocean, where he talks about the pollution
of plastic in the seas.
Now, I recommend his programmes
if you want to learn new vocabulary,
if you're interested in the environment
and in animals,
and if you also want to watch something quite relaxing.
It can be quite stressful
to try and listen to English,
but if you just relax, watch nature,
and listen to this man's beautiful voice and accent,
it shouldn't be an arduous task.
- The tropics, as a naturalist,
I yearn to see it and I had already
manned programmes with people from London Zoo.
- Right, let's move on to intermediate.
And what I recommend to my intermediate students,
is cooking programmes.
And I recommend that they follow
a handful of chosen celebrity chefs.
There are three that I'm going to recommend to you.
Two speak with an RP accent
and one speaks Estuary English,
sometimes with a bit of Cockney,
quite Cockney sometimes actually.
The first one is somebody that I'm sure
you will fall in love with.
She's amazing, she's called Nigella Lawson.
And she is known for doing really
indulgent recipes, high calorie.
Not particularly good for you.
She's here for a good time, not a long time.
And she speaks with the most beautiful, low RP accent.
All of her series are very visually pleasing.
So, again, like with the nature programmes,
it's something that you can watch whilst relaxing.
- With this sauce which, ends up to be quite thick.
Sort of doesn't run all over it,
it just sits on top and you have to mix it in.
- Similarly, we have Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall,
again somebody who speaks with an RP accent
and he has a wonderful series, called River Cottage.
This was started many years ago.
He has a small holding, where he grows organic food
and cooks it, and talks about the local industries
and just how food is put on the table.
So, it's not just watching somebody cook,
it's so much more than that
and it gives you a real opportunity
to understand British culture and what we eat.
Because I hear from a lot of people,
British food is so bad.
And, yes, sometimes it is really bad,
but I think Hugh can show you that it's not always so bad.
Again, it's a really relaxing programme.
He speaks quite clearly.
He speaks slightly more quickly than Nigella does.
Nigella is, very alluring with the way she speaks.
She's quite slow,
emphasises words very, emphatic,
and very, very relevant for English learners.
She really pronounces things beautifully.
Hugh speaks a little more quickly
and shows you a little more than just cooking.
- These lovely duck eggs
are gonna be the final flourish for that.
But underneath, there's gonna be all sorts
of delicious things going.
- And then finally we have Jamie Oliver.
You may have heard of him before.
He has a great YouTube channel actually,
and he's speaks with a more Cockney accent.
So he's not as posh as the other two.
And he's really good if you're short on time.
He has a really great series,
called 15 Minute Meals.
He actually has a book that goes along
with it as well, and he teaches great,
healthy meals that you can do
with a few ingredients and if you're short on time.
- [Jamie] The whole thing, to temper,
turn it down and that mozzarella
is just gonna reach around the bowl, and that.
- Now maybe cooking isn't really your thing.
Or you don't find it helps you,
so I have some other recommendations.
One is sitcoms, situational comedies.
These programmes are quite light-hearted
and will introduce you to British humour,
which can be quite complex for learners of English,
it can be really hard to understand British humour.
I have a whole video where I talk about,
what British humour is and the elements of it.
To start off, it would be good to watch a sitcom.
And I have various recommendations.
The first on is one I think I have recommended
before in a previous video.
And I'll recommend it again
because I think it's fantastic.
It is, The Vicar of Dibley.
And this follows a female Vicar who moves
to a very small village
and starts running the church there.
And she encounters all sorts of problems
and the protagonist is Dawn French.
Who is a fantastic comedian here in the UK.
She's wonderful.
She speaks with a beautiful clear accent, RP again.
But, the programme has a variety of accents.
Especially more southern accents.
It's incredibly funny and I watch it
every Christmas with my family.
- No, can't it go to something people can
feel passionate about?
- Like what, for instance?
- Now, another RP recommendation
and this is very, very posh,
it's absolutely fabulous, also known as Ab Fab.
This features two female comedians,
Jennifer Saunders, and Joanna Lumley.
I'm pretty sure you will fall in love
with their accents, especially Joanna Lumley.
She speaks with just the most incredible,
RP accent and this is a funny sitcom
about parodies of posh Londoners.
So we have Edina, who is a ridiculous
PR Agent who falls for every fad diet
and every trend going.
And then we have Patsy,
who runs a fashion magazine.
They're very eccentric, they do a lot of silly things,
get themselves into a lot of trouble.
And it is wonderful.
I have watched the entire series.
I binge watched it.
- Darling, they couldn't even find any decent furniture.
- Darling if you wanna talk bullocks
and discuss the meaning of life,
you're better off downing a bottle of whiskey.
- Right, now I have two recommendations
for sitcoms if you aren't so interested in the RP accent.
The first one focuses more on Estuary English
and that is The Office.
The British version of The Office.
Although, the American version of The Office
is fantastic as well.
I don't often say that about American remakes
of British comedies,
but the Americans did a very good job.
Now this is a mockumentary,
so it's like a documentary, but it's a parody.
It's a fake documentary, a mockumentary.
And it follows the daily lives,
the daily, boring lives, of office employees.
And, it introduces you to a lot of mundane daily vocabulary,
which can be very, very useful.
Including a lot of small talk.
It's very funny, the humour is very British.
There are a lot of subtleties
and there are just a plethora of things to learn,
if you are learning English as a second language.
And it will also teach you
a lot about British culture.
- And, I've always been in the paper industry,
haven't I, yeah.
My parents owned a paper shop,
until it blew away.
Paper, that one's a no, okay.
- If you want something a bit more in your face,
again, with a mix of Cockney,
Estuary, and RP accent,
then we have The Inbetweeners.
This is a British sitcom.
There was an American remake and it was absolutely dreadful.
And I don't feel mean for saying that.
Because, it just, it was awful.
Everyone knows it was awful.
We watched it and just laugh because it was so bad.
This is a coming of age sitcom about four teenagers,
four teenagers, who are in their final years of school
and they're just so awkward and awful.
Trying to meet girls, trying to do well at school,
trying to be cool and go to parties.
Honestly, hilarious.
Will and I have watched this over,
and over, and over, and over.
It's over ten years old now,
it was on when I was at school
and it's still so relevant and funny.
And it reminds me, of me when I was young and awkward.
This will be a great one if you want to learn
more British English slang,
because it's just absolutely full of it, it's brilliant.
(upbeat music)
- I'm not waiting any longer.
- Right, we're still on intermediate,
but if you're not looking for a comedy,
because it's not everyone's thing,
then I also have a list of good dramas,
mainly crime dramas.
There is a sci-fi one in there.
That you can use in order to
improve your British English.
They're all dramas that I have watched myself.
I've watched all of these,
but I really, really enjoyed these ones.
So they're not only great for improving
your British English speaking skills,
listening skills, and vocabulary,
they're also just great TV programmes
that I think you should watch.
The first one, I have mentioned this one before,
it's Broadchurch.
This is a crime drama set in a town, not a village,
a town in the south of England, by the sea.
A boy is murdered and everyone in the town
seems to be involved in some way.
And there is a great variety of accents,
we've got Scottish in there, northern, southern,
RP, it's really, really fantastic.
And the story line and the writing of it is brilliant.
You will be addicted, I warn you.
(tense music)
- Yeah.
- [Woman] Do you understand what it'll do
to that family, to this town, if it was Mark?
- What are you looking for?
- [Man] You know.
- It's blood.
- [Man] Don't look for the person who.
- Another one, which is similar,
it's a crime drama,
but it's actually based in the north of England,
in West Yorkshire.
It's called Happy Valley.
It's brilliantly written and brilliantly acted.
Again, it's about a female police sergeant
who struggles with managing her personal life
and her professional life.
And it features James Norton,
who is one of my favourites, in it.
- By the way, I'm forty-seven,
I'm divorced, I live with my sister,
who is a recovering heroin addict,
I have two grown-up children, one dead, one.
- Now, another one is the Informer.
This one's not as well known as the others.
But we watched it, I thought it was excellent,
I also thought it was incredibly good
for anyone who's planning to move to London
or who wants to see a programme set in London,
but that's showing off the true London,
not necessarily the shiny exterior.
It's a crime drama about a British Pakistani,
who is coerced into becoming a police informant
for the London Counter Terrorism Force.
It's excellent, it's excellent.
A variety of different accents,
not just RP, there's Cockney,
there is the British Pakistani accent as well,
which is very prevalent in the UK.
And it's important that you understand it as well.
- I'm not sitting in the corner
like a weirdo neither.
No, for real, I think I've made a legit.
- Another one, which is slightly
more between intermediate and advanced,
just because sometimes the protagonist
can speak so quickly, it's Sherlock.
I'd be surprised if you hadn't heard of this before.
It's a crime drama based on the stories of Sherlock Holmes.
It has Martin Freeman, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
It's set in London.
It's not as gritty as, The Informer,
it's showing a sort of nicer side of London.
Most of the time actually, not always,
and it's just a fantastic drama.
He does speak quite quickly sometimes,
so you may need to, either slow him down
or replay him, Sherlock.
- The risks, you give up more than that sunbathing.
Your limp's really bad when you walk
and you don't ask for a chair, then you stand,
like you've forgotten about it.
He's partly psychosomatic.
- And then my last intermediate recommendation,
is a sci-fi series.
It's Dr Who.
And this follows a time lord who is an,
well, an extra-terrestrial being.
Who explores the universe with various companions.
I recommend you watch the 2005 reboot onwards.
And this is absolutely perfect for English learners
because almost all of the roles
are filled by British actors, or native speaking actors,
with an unbelievable variety of different accents.
So you get all of the different slang,
all of the different pronunciation.
It's really, really wonderful.
(upbeat music)
- That's what you're going with?
- Yep, got any cash, empty pockets.
- Now, let's move on to advanced.
I've covered almost everything,
but there is one specific genre,
which I think should be saved for advanced listeners.
Because you'll be wasting your time,
if you don't properly understand the nuances of the language
when you're watching these shows.
And they are comedy panel shows,
but once you're able to understand them,
you should definitely listen to them
because they will make you a fun person to be around.
So, one I really recommend is, Have I Got News For You.
It's a panel show and it's basically a quiz,
a comedy quiz about the news.
So, it's all about current events,
which is great for you, especially if you work
with native English speakers or British people
and you want to be able to relate with them
and talk to them about things that are going on
in their country.
- So.
Ian, off anywhere nice for Easter?
- Another one is, Mock The Week,
and this is similar, but it's less about the news
more about just current affairs in general.
And it's slightly more light-hearted.
It's really, really difficult to understand comedy,
off the cuff comedy, when it's not your native language.
I experienced this first hand in Spain,
when I went to watch a comedian.
And I didn't get a single joke.
I think I got one and I felt really proud of myself.
This is why I placed it in the advanced category.
- [Man] The answer is 3.4 billion.
What is the question?
- Is this Prince Phillip's life expectancy?
- But, give it a go,
if you find yourself understanding things,
then you can feel really,
really good about yourself because,
remember, not all native English speakers can understand
all of the jokes on these panels shows.
So don't feel sad about missing a couple of them.
And the more you watch of these,
the more you will understand.
You will understand how each comedian works
and you'll get to know more and more about current affairs
and how we view different people who're in the news.
Another one, another comedy panel show,
which isn't about the news is, QI.
And until 2016, this was hosted by Stephen Fry,
who I think is an excellent example of somebody
that you should follow if you want to speak RP.
He has a wonderful RP accent and he's very intelligent
and uses wonderful vocabulary.
This show focuses on the panellist, Stephen Fry,
and now it's someone called Sandy,
but I would recommend watching
a couple of Stephen Fry's episodes.
He asks the guests incredibly obscure questions
and they get points for providing interesting answers,
and also correct answers.
It's really, really good, and you can learn a lot
and it will be very specific vocabulary.
- This week we are under doctor's orders
as we dissect a medley of maladies.
Joining me in the waiting room with a 1984 edition.
- Now, the last recommendation,
the final comedy panel show,
is one that will help you improve your story telling skills,
and also help you understand people's stories.
It's, Would I Lie To You?
Would I Lie To You.
And this is another panel show,
where two panellists invite two celebrity guests,
so, four celebrities in total, and each player reveals
embarrassing stories or unusual facts about themselves
and the other team has to work out or guess
whether they're true or not.
It's absolutely hilarious.
It's great for listening
to how other people tell interesting and funny stories
because that's what we want to do, to be interesting.
I love telling a story and making people laugh.
So if we watch someone else do it,
then it will help us develop our own skills.
It's hilarious, I think you'll really enjoy it.
- How fast is a hot,
or even quiet hot sausage roll, gonna be moving.
- No, no you're wrong, David, no, no.
- Right, that's it for today's video.
I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learnt something.
Don't forget that you can get 70% off NordVPN
and you can get an additional month for free,
if you use my code, Lucy or go to NordVPN.com/lucy,
all of this is in the description box.
Don't forget to connect with me on all of my social media.
I've got my Facebook, my Instagram, my Twitter,
and my personal channel, where I vlog.
I do fully sub-titled vlogs of my life,
here on the farm in England.
Please don't forget to share your recommendations
for British English TV shows,
and let me know if you enjoyed this video
and want another one on podcasts, books, films,
it would be cool to make this a series
but only if you like it.
Right, I will see you soon for another lesson.
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20 Best British TV Series to Learn English - Beginner to Advanced Level

47 Folder Collection
Summer published on April 24, 2020
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