Top 20 British sitcoms revealed – but what’s your favourite?

Fawlty Towers has been named as the greatest British sitcom of all time, beating the likes of Father Ted, Blackadder and Peep Show.

A list of the 20 best British sitcoms has been compiled by a panel of television experts.

The TV boffins credited John Cleese’s performance as the highly-strung Basil Fawlty, proprietor of a sub-par Torquay hotel, for the success of the hit show.

David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce as Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad in Only Fools And Horses
Image: Only Fools And Horses was sixth

Speaking to the Radio Times, who commissioned the list, co-writer and co-star Connie Booth said: “Fawlty Towers succeeds, I think, because it allows infantile rage and aggression a field day in a buttoned down, well-mannered English society.

“It’s unique in being a farce, with all the plot surprises and precision that the style requires.

“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.”

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Cleese added: “I was very lucky to be working at the BBC when decisions were taken by people who had actually made programmes.

“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.”

Peep Show came in 13th
Image: Peep Show came in 13th

Absolutely Fabulous the movie
Image: Absolutely Fabulous was ninth

The BBC series enjoyed only a short run of two series of six episodes each in the 1970s.

Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted, penned by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, was beaten by the BBC hit and came second.

Image: Blackadder came fourth

Third and fourth places were held by I’m Alan Partridge and Blackadder.

Only Fools And Horses and The Office came in sixth and 12th respectively.

The list was voted for by 42 comedy experts – including Richard Curtis, Barry Cryer and Alison Graham.

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