Fawlty Towers has been named the greatest British TV sitcom ever.
The BBC’s comedy set in a Torquay hotel beat off competition from the likes of Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley and Dad’s Army to head the new list.
The Top 20 was compiled this month by a panel of comedy experts for Radio Times magazine.
John Cleese, who starred in Fawlty Towers as hotel manager Basil, commented: “What a cast! I’m proud we are up there with Porridge and Only Fools and Ab Fab and Blackadder and The Office and Reggie Perrin and The Thick Of It.”
Connie Booth, Cleese’s wife at the time who co-wrote the series and played Polly, added: “Fawlty Towers succeeds, I think, because it allows infantile rage and aggression a field day in a buttoned down, well-mannered English society.
She added: “It’s unique in being a farce, with all the plot surprises and precision that the style requires.”
Booth joked: “And it doesn’t hurt that the star of the show is a six-foot-five comic genius; if he was shorter I can’t imagine how it would have worked.”
Fawlty Towers only ran for two seasons, in 1975 and 1979.
Here’s the full Top 20:
- Fawlty Towers
- Father Ted
- I’m Alan Partridge
- Dad’s Army
- Only Fools and Horses
- The Royle Family
- Absolutely Fabulous
- The Thick of It
- The Office
- Peep Show
- The Vicar of Dibley
- The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
- The Young Ones
- Gavin & Stacey
- The Good Life
- Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
Radio Times writer Alison Graham said: “When we find a comedy that does make us laugh, that brings a quick hit of joy into our lives, and we treasure it for ever.
“In our memories, great comedies are pearls that become more burnished and beautiful through the years. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.”
The complete Blackadder box set, featuring every episode, is available on Amazon.