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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 01:21 GMT 02:21 UK
Tommy Cooper 'funniest Briton'
Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper died on stage in 1984
Comedian Tommy Cooper has topped a poll of the funniest Britons of all time, according to Reader's Digest magazine.

He beat the likes of Billy Connolly, Rowan Atkinson and Benny Hill to take the top spot in the 20-strong list.

The fez-wearing comic, with his "just like that" catchphrase and bumbling manner, suffered a fatal heart attack during a live TV broadcast in 1984.

Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay came second and Billy Connolly third in the poll of nearly 2,000 people.

1. Tommy Cooper
2. Peter Kay
3. Billy Connolly
4. Morecambe and Wise
5. Bob Monkhouse
6. Ken Dodd
7. Roy 'Chubby' Brown
8. (equal) Norman Wisdom
8. (equal) Les Dawson
10. Lee Evans
11. (equal) David Jason
11. (equal) Dawn French
13. (equal) Jim Davidson
13. (equal) Rowan Atkinson
15. Benny Hill
16. Jasper Carrott
17. Lenny Henry
18. Spike Milligan
19. John Cleese
20. (equal) Eddie Izzard
20. (equal) Freddie Starr
Reader's Digest poll

"Comedy fashions come and go but as far as the British public is concerned you obviously can't beat Tommy Cooper's classic one-liners," said a magazine spokesman.

"For Cooper to still be so popular, even among younger voters, is incredible."

TV duo Morecambe and Wise were fourth, followed by the late Bob Monkhouse, who died in December, 2003.

The rest of the top 10 was made up almost entirely of old-timers - Ken Dodd, Roy "Chubby" Brown, Norman Wisdom and Les Dawson - though Lee Evans made it to number 10.

Dawn French was the only woman to make the top 20, finishing at number 11, equal with David Jason.

Eddie Izzard and Freddie Starr came in at the bottom of the list.

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