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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 13:06 GMT
Fawlty and Trotter in sitcom vote
Prunella Scales and John Cleese
Cleese based the series on the Gleneagles Hotel's owner
A BBC Two vote asking viewers to choose their favourite sitcom from a list of 10 including Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses has been launched.

The list also includes Blackadder, Dad's Army, One Foot In The Grave, Open All Hours, Porridge, The Good Life, The Vicar of Dibley and Yes Minister.

The British public have already voted on their top 50 sitcoms, which were revealed in random order on Saturday.

Voters can ring 09011 986633, text 80024 or go to  

Fawlty Towers - 4/6
Only Fools and Horses - 11/10
Dad's Army - 16/1
Porridge - 16/1
Blackadder - 25/1
One Foot in the Grave - 33/1
Yes Minister - 50/1
The Good Life - 100/1
Open All Hours - 100/1
The Vicar of Dibley - 100/1

Odds supplied by Ladbrokes

The show's presenter, Jonathan Ross, said: "To get to the top 10, we've sifted through the sands of comedy to reveal 10 nuggets of pure gold."

So far Fawlty Towers, starring John Cleese as the dysfunctional hotel owner from Torquay, is odds-on favourite to win, with Ladbrokes putting it at 4/6.

It is followed by John Sullivan's Only Fools and Horses, with David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst playing the wheeler-dealer Trotter brothers, with odds of 11/10.

Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush said: "Our initial view was to make Only Fools and Horses favourite but Fawlty Towers gets the nod.

"We question whether the gloss has come off the John Sullivan classic as the latest Christmas special is regarded as disappointing by many."

Only Fools and Horses stars
A new episode of Only Fools and Horses was shown last Christmas
Each show on the list has a celebrity advocate, who will have one hour each to give their top 20 reasons on why their nominated programme is the best one.

Britain's Best Sitcom will be screened on BBC Two each Saturday at 9pm, with the winner of the vote announced live at the end of the series.

Jane Root, Controller of BBC Two, said the list covered "a real range of shows from different eras", adding "It's a credit to British comedy that the competition is so strong." 

Here is a list of the comedies that will not make the final vote:

11. Father Ted
12. Keeping Up Appearances
13. 'Allo 'Allo!
14. Last of the Summer Wine
15. Steptoe and Son
16. Men Behaving Badly
17. Absolutely Fabulous
18. Red Dwarf
19. The Royle Family
20. Are You Being Served?
21. To The Manor Born
22. Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
23. The Likely Lads
24. My Family
25. The Office
26. Drop the Dead Donkey
27. Rising Damp
28. Dinnerladies
29. As Time Goes By
30. Hancock's Half Hour
31. The Young Ones
32. Till Death Us Do Part
33. Butterflies
34. The Thin Blue Line
35. Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
36. Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights
37. Waiting for God
38. Birds of a Feather
39. Bread
40. Hi-de-Hi
41. The League of Gentlemen
42. I'm Alan Partridge
43. Just Good Friends
44. 2.4 Children
45. Bottom
46. It Ain't Half hot Mum
47. The Brittas Empire
48. Gimme Gimme Gimme
49. Rab C. Nesbitt
50. Goodnight Sweetheart

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