British comedies have long been at the forefront of primetime television. And while many of us have our own special favourites, a new survey has crowned Fawlty Towers as the best British sitcom of all time. In the poll, conducted by comedians, comedy writers and actors, also saw Steve Coogan's alter-ego Alan Partridge named the most popular TV comedy character.
Although there are only 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers, the beloved 1970s sitcom - which starred the late Andrew Sachs, John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Connie Booth - featured heavily in the most-loved list as voted for by comedians themselves.
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Fawlty Towers has been crowned the best British sitcom of all time
Other categories included best comedy scene, which saw Fawlty Towers take third position for Basil's argument with German hotel guests in which he says, "Don't mention the war." Dad's Army came top for its best one-line joke when Capt. Mainwaring says, "Don"t tell him, Pike" to the private after he is asked his name by a German.
Meanwhile, Steve, 51, was crowned the favourite male comedy actor, while Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley was named favourite female comedy actress.
Comedy critic Bruce Dessau said: "We are well-known across the world for our 'British sense of humour', which is shown at its best in many of our best-loved and timeless comedy classics. The art of comedy is almost impossible to define, but many of these characters, lines and sitcoms are brilliant examples of the very best in the history of British TV comedy – many of which can all be enjoyed again in a fresh take on the new series We Have Been Watching, as some of the top comedy folk share their views on the funniest moments telly has to offer."
Steve Coogan's alter-ego Alan Partridge has been named the most popular TV comedy character
The survey was conducted by TV network Gold ahead of the launch of We Have Been Watching - a new series which will take a look back at some of the greatest moments in past sitcoms and sketch shows. We Have Been Watching launches on Wednesday 4th January at 8pm on Gold.