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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
What is your favourite British sitcom?
Only Fools and Horses
Viewers have voted Only Fools and Horses as Britain's favourite sitcom.

The winner was announced in a live final on BBC Two, with Blackadder in second place and the Vicar of Dibley a surprise third.

Votes have been taken since January, when the BBC asked the public to nominate their favourite from a list of 10 including Dad's Army, Fawlty Towers, Open All Hours, The Good Life and Porridge.

Was Only Fools and Horses right to win? What is your favourite sitcom? What is the funniest sitcom moment?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your comments

It beggars belief that the Vicar of Dibley made the top 100, let alone came 3rd
Paul, Cardiff
Although Black Adder will always be my favourite, everyone knew '..Fools and Horses' would win. Despite the fact that some of the recent Christmas specials have been poor, there are so many classic moments from it, that it could never have been beaten. And whilst Fawlty Towers and Blackadder are fantastic, they seem removed and surreal, whilst Del and Rodders could be people from up the road. So many of the top ten though, display the wonder and originality of British comedy, that it beggars belief that the Vicar of Dibley made the top 100, let alone came 3rd.
Paul, Cardiff

I totally agree with Michael Samuel of Wolverhampton. Blackadder is by far the funniest sitcom. Only Fools & Horses is a classic, but really a classic soap/comedy. People love the Trotters, but just because they are popular it does not mean that they are the funniest. Anyone who is intelligent enough to understand sarcasm & appreciate truly great comedy will agree that Blackadder is the true winner, with Fawlty Towers a close second! As for the Vicar of Dibley, I would rather eat one of Baldrick's toe-nails than watch it - it simply is not funny.
Shaun, Stanwick, Northants, England

I wonder how many of you moaning about the result actually bothered to register your own vote? I don't like Only Fools and Horses myself, but the BBC wouldn't show endless repeats and Del Boy specials if nobody was watching them (or would they?). I'm amazed Fawlty Towers didn't fare better, and I'd watch repeats of Red Dwarf, Blackadder and Drop the Dead Donkey any day, but these appeal to a more limited audience than the likes of Only Fools and Vicar of Dibley.
Kat, Derby

What a stupid question! How can you possibly choose one? There's so many truly excellent ones: Only Fools and Horses, Dad's Army, Steptoe and Son, 'Til Death Us Do Part, Rise and Fall of RP, Rising Damp, The Good Life, Men Behaving Badly, etc. Sadly Open All Hours ruins itself by legalising making fun of people who stammer. It is not funny in any way to stammer.
Dave Deacon, England

Dad's Army cannot be beaten for the sheer genius of the script writing coupled with the brilliant cast. Every episode is a gem. It still appeals to young and old alike and is the best sitcom ever produced.
David Griffiths , Bexhill, East Sussex

My top 5:
1. Fawlty Towers
2. Only Fools and Horses
3. Porridge
4. Blackadder
5. Open All hours
Tim Nicholson, Herne Bay

I can accept Only Fools and Horses coming first it's a great comedy regardless of the more recent episodes although I think Blackadder really should have won.

But I'm still really blown away at Vicar of Dibley coming third, how did it beat classics like Dad's Army and Fawlty Towers? It's unbelievable that such an unfunny, crime against comedy got into the top ten let alone the third best British comedy of all time.
Michael Samuel, Wolverhampton, England

was dreading that Only Fools would win... it passed its sell by date about six specials and three seasons ago
Mike Toone, Derby, UK
I must be the only person in the country to find 'ofah' boring then. The jokes can be seen a mile off, and really aren't very funny at all. It's nice to see Blackadder coming so high, its truly intelligent writing, and brilliant comic performances deserve to be number one.

And surely it's time for a repeat of Yes Minister? With the current political landscape, we need some good satire.
Emma, London

I was dreading that Only Fools would win, not that I don't like it, but it passed its sell by date about six specials and three seasons ago. Consistence-wise it should have been either Blackadder; Porridge; Open all Hours or Dad's Army. I'm still bemused how The Vicar of Dibley made it to number 3 - divine intervention I think.
MikeToone, Derby, UK

I was honestly surprised when Fawlty Towers and Yes, Minister went out of the running quite so early on. I was still optimistic that my favourite - the hilarious, witty and comical Blackadder, stood a chance of winning. Alas, it was not to be!

On a positive note, the night showed what a wonderfully varied repertoire of situation comedy we have the joy to watch in Great Britain!
Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard, Edinburgh

All I can say is where was Steptoe and Son?
Andrew Burns, St Marys, USA
Blackadder not winning was as poor a choice as bad as butch Oscar Wilde, father of 20 children and author of the pamphlet 'why I like to do it with girls' being sent down for being a whoopsie
Ed, London, UK

What about The Thin Blue Line? - excellent comedy. Of the 10, I would have voted for Blackadder.
Thomas Wirshup, Portland Oregon USA

All I can say is where was Steptoe and Son?
Andrew Burns, St Marys, Georgia, USA

I believe Fawlty Towers is consistently the best British sitcom. OFAH is brilliant but FT filmed 12 nuggets of gold while latterly OFAH has been hit and miss.
Paul Reid, Hamilton, Scotland

The early years were great, but spare us another Christmas special! It should have been off to the glue factory years ago. The Beeb are the only fools flogging us dead horses. Dave.
Chris Giles, Reading, England

How Drop the Dead Donkey did not make it into the top ten is beyond me. I am surprised that no-one has picked up on the fact that only BBC comedies made it into the top ten. Hmmmm!

Given a choice of one programme or another to watch, you all know you'd pick a Blackadder episode over an Only Fools every time
Chris Comben, Redhill, UK
For sheer characterisation, topical plot and excellent humour, Drop the Dead Donkey should have been there.
John Harding, Lancaster, England

Dibley, Grave and Good Life shouldn't have been in the top 10 (dibley not in the top 20) Steptoe, Red Dwarf and Father Ted are so much better. Yes M/PM and BlackAdder are examples of brilliant writing, they transfer to radio just as well as TV and that's the sign of superb writing.

Rowan Atkinson is one of the best comedic actors of all time, only he can make 'Bob' sound funny. When it comes down to it, given a choice of one programme or another to watch, you all know you'd pick a Blackadder episode over an Only Fools every time.
Chris Comben, Redhill, UK

Bring back the Goodies!!
Elwood Herring, Birmingham, UK

Only fools and hoses should have won this by a mile, not by just 22% of the vote. It portrayed the aspirations of everyone. It gave us sadness it gave us births, deaths and marriages but above all it gave us comedy by the bucket load. A well deserved winner.
Brian Lee, Bolton

Que? I don't believe it. Don't be stupid man. O-o-o-o-only F-f-f-f-fools and Horses at Number One?
Ian Butt, Maldon, UK
In my opinion, the women of Britain have the title for best British sitcom. Absolutely Fabulous is the winner hands down in my book!
Sarah, KC, USA

I agree with the first two choices, though my own personal favourite sitcom is Father Ted, and I was disappointed that it just missed out on the top ten. However, I think its humour is lost on the majority of the population, whereas Fools & Horses has a more universal appeal.
James Judge, Altrincham, England.

Que? I don't believe it. Don't be stupid man. O-o-o-o-only F-f-f-f-fools and Horses at Number One? Nah, sorry. Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister should have won it by a mile. But credit to all of them. Great British comedy at its best.
Ian Butt, Maldon, Essex, UK

How Dibley can come above Yes, Minister or Porridge is utterly beyond me. I love fools and horses, but it cannot compete with the emotional integrity and brilliance of Blackadder. And on a lighter note, what about non-BBC sitcoms i.e. Rising Damp and Father Ted?
Grace, Barcelona, Spain

Although my favourite sitcom is Blackadder, I voted for Only Fools as I think it is a better example of how a sitcom should be, i.e appealing to the widest possible audience, although I agree the specials set in other countries were poor. Out of the top 10 I agreed with all of them apart from The Vicar of Dibley, which was only commissioned (in my opinion) because Dawn French is in it. In my opinion the jokes are bad, with the only saving grace being Roger Lloyd Pack reprising his role as Trigger, but as a farmer rather than a road sweeper.
John, Chesterfield, UK

This poll is a sad reflection of the effect of dumbing down
Micky, Saltburn, UK
I'm shocked Vicar of Dibley got as far as it did. Top three should have included Fawlty Towers, simply because everyone can see where Basil is coming from, but can also see how rude he is, plus as was said, no catchphrases (except 'Basil!' or 'I am from Barcelona'). And Blackadder.. surely Only Fools and Horses went on for too long and lost some of what made it funny?
Stuart Gardner, UK

I think everyone is basing that "Only Fools" is "BEST" purely on the never ending xmas specials that are thrown at us when there is no viewing competition and a guaranteed bored audience. I get really annoyed with all the harking back to how good the old days were, "they don't make shows like that anymore". We have now got reality TV and endless shows telling us how ill and at risk we all are. I would rather be down the pub to be honest, making the most of my last pleasures these shows tell me I will soon lose.
William, France

This poll is a sad reflection of the effect of dumbing down. That a show as mindless and banal as Only Fools And Horses can be considered better than Fawlty Towers is beyond belief. 'Lite' entertainment indeed.
Micky, Saltburn

An impossible task!
Richard Avery, Seville, Spain
What an impossible task! Every one of the top ten (with the exception of Vicar of Dibley) is a gem in its own right. Characters with personality, depth and predictable interaction with the other characters mark the apex of British television comedy. As Sir Winston said; "We shall never see their like again". Of course Dell and 'Dave' will win.
Richard Avery, Seville, Spain

Anything that hasn't been repeated constantly on BBC America. Dad's Army and Open All Hours.
Kat, UK/US

Only Fools and Horses is quality comedy, which is timeless, highly entertaining and has memorable characters that have stood the test of time. You're guaranteed to laugh every time you watch an episode. It appeals to all and is without a doubt Britain's best sitcom!
Jassi, Birmingham, UK

David Jason is a national treasure
Dorothy Williams, Montreal Canada
Open All Hours with the great comedic talents of Ronnie Barker and David Jason combining to give us such a wonderful show. Only Fools and Horses will win though because it appeals to all people - young and old, rich and poor. David Jason is a national treasure.
Dorothy Williams, Montreal Canada

I think that Only Fools and Horses will win, but my favourite has to be Dad's Army; it is timeless, clean humour. I only regret that so many of the cast did not live to see how popular it would become!
Michael Buchanan, Bolton, UK

The characters, script, timing, every detail of Fawlty Towers have stood the test of time, a recommendation in itself. Yes, we know each and every episode off by heart, but believe it or not, that just seems to make it funnier.
Vanessa Macdonald, Valletta, Malta

How I miss seeing Hyacinth Bucket and her slob of a brother-in-law, Onslow. Keeping Up Appearances gets my vote
Linda Carthew, Gravenhurst Ont, Canada

Everyone knows it's Blackadder
Ben Woodhouse, Norwich, UK
This effort to find the best British sitcom is a waste of time. Everyone knows it's Blackadder, and if they don't, well they're just wrong.
Ben Woodhouse, Norwich, UK

My fave is Dad's army, but I fear the awful Only Fools.... will win. I think Dibley was good but not top ten material!
Su, Britain

Am I the only one who thinks that Only Fools and Horses should have been retired after a couple of series? It is dated and tired, the 'specials' never worked when they changed locations and it became popular for being popular. My vote goes to The Vicar of Dibley which never ceases to make me laugh and at the same time does not insult my intelligence.
Phil, Devon, UK

Although I saw Fawlty Towers about 20 years ago, I did not really appreciate the comedy sitcom, until I watched the two series again recently at home on DVD. I believe that this is best British sitcom I have ever watched, and in my opinion should be voted the best. A close second would be Dad's Army.
John Weightman, London

I reckon that Faulty Towers will win, but my vote personally goes to Blackadder. Unlike a number of sitcoms, this one got better and better as more of them got made. A true classic!
Nathan James, Liverpool

My favourite is Fawlty Towers for its sheer enthusiasm
Barry P, Havant, England
Whichever entry wins it is noticeable that the finalists are from that dreaded group of 'family shows'. Apart from parts of Blackadder 2 the humour is based on intelligence rather than crudity, perhaps aspiring writers for the future will note this. My favourite is Fawlty Towers for its sheer enthusiasm and some of the funniest action. Unlike most other shows FT does NOT work in audio only, it has to be seen as well as heard.
Barry P, Havant, England

I'd find it hard to choose one in particular. My personal favourites are Yes Minister, Open All Hours and Dad's Army. That said, it will also be difficult to describe the winner as Britain's favourite sitcom, as all the entrants are BBC programmes! Why is Father Ted not included?
Peter Larrad, Oldham, England

Every single one on this list is a comic gem and a testament to our unique and powerful sense of humour. The winner hands down for me is Only Fools and Horses. Never has a programme been able to keep coming back with the same characters and still make us smile
Ed, London UK

I will be astonished if Only Fools and Horses doesn't win. It's not my favourite, but it seems the only sitcom whose appeal transcends all barriers of fashion, age, class and political leanings. That said, my vote goes for Blackadder, and I still lament the fact that The Vicar of Dibley made the top ten when The Young Ones and Father Ted didn't, and Citizen Smith didn't even make the shortlist!
Ben, Liverpool

I find it difficult to choose the comedy which met its remit with most success - there have been many that provided me with near endless laughs. Timeless shows like Porridge and Blackadder can be just as fresh today as they were when first broadcast. Red Dwarf can make me laugh, even though I'm sure I know the scripts off by heart. Only Fools doesn't seem to hold up over time - perhaps because they dragged it on too long. Fawlty Towers is a classic farce but is a farce really intelligent enough?
Andrew, England

Fools and Horses is 'best sitcom'
28 Mar 04  |  TV and Radio



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