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Friday, 7 December, 2001, 10:56 GMT
Del tops Christmas TV poll
The 1996 episodes were the last - until this Christmas
The 1996 episodes were the last - until this Christmas
A classic scene from TV comedy Only Fools and Horses has been voted the nation's favourite Christmas show of all time.

The 1996 Christmas Day episode, in which Del Boy and Rodney are seen running through the streets of Peckham dressed as Batman and Robin, beat episodes of Morecambe and Wise, One Foot in the Grave and Wallace and Gromit.

Morecambe and Wise's 1976 show came second
Morecambe and Wise's 1976 show came second
The episode, called Heroes and Villains, was one of the final shows to date - but fans are now awaiting the first new programme for five years, which will be broadcast this Christmas.

Heroes and Villains got 35% of the vote in the survey of 1,500 viewers, carried out by cable TV company NTL:Home.

In the episode, Del Boy and Rodney go to a fancy dress party in the superheroes' costumes, saving a local councillor from a mugging along the way.

Another legendary Only Fools and Horses special, the 1989 Christmas episode in which Del Boy falls through a gap in the bar of a pub, came fourth in the poll.

Wallace and Gromit were also in the top 10
Wallace and Gromit were also in the top 10
Morecambe and Wise's famous dance with former newsreader Angela Rippon - part of their 1976 Christmas special - was voted second favourite.

Top of the Pops, The Simpsons, One Foot in the Grave and Wallace and Gromit were among the other shows in the top 10.

"It seems that, at Christmas, we all prefer the slapstick of Hookey Street to the gloom of Albert Square," Rod Henwood, director of NTL:Home's TV division said.

"Sitting round the family TV with the family on Christmas Day is a well-loved British tradition, up there with wearing paper hats, eating turkey and pulling crackers."

Del Boy and Rodney were seen making their fortune in 1996
Del Boy and Rodney were seen making their fortune in 1996
Del Boy and Rodney are odds-on favourites to top the Christmas TV ratings again this year, with a new episode that will follow on where 1996's specials left off.

In the final show, which attracted more than 22 million viewers, the Trotters were seen finally making their fortunes after discovering a rare watch, which they sold for 6.2m.

Dispute

Three new episodes have been made - but only one will be shown this Christmas, with the other two being screened over the next year or two.

This year's programme will be shown on Christmas Day evening, up against a Stars In Their Eyes Christmas Special on ITV1.

It had been hoped that Del Boy could be seen winning a place on quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? during the new edition, but that plan fell through after a row over repeats between the BBC and ITV.

A replacement scene has now been shot in the south of France.

Del Boy was voted the best male TV comedy character of all time in a recent Radio Times survey.

See also:

21 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy in the hot seat
26 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy returns for Christmas
19 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Del Boy museum planned
29 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy is Christmas ratings favourite
02 Aug 01 | Scotland
Del Boy's dead end street
21 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Del Boy's Millionaire hopes ended
17 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Award triumph for Del Boy
08 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
In pictures: Only Fools And Horses
08 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Only Fools barman Mike dies
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