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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK
Fawlty Towers is voted top sitcom
Prunella Scales and John Cleese
Fawlty Towers is a firm favourite in Germany, among other countries
Classic comedy Fawlty Towers has been voted the top BBC sitcom by foreign viewers - including those in Germany.

The show, starring John Cleese as a hapless hotelier, topped a poll carried out internationally by BBC Worldwide.

Germany was among the countries which voted for the 1970s sitcom despite the famous scene in which Basil Fawlty cries: "Don't mention the war!"

Keeping Up Appearances was second, closely followed by Blackadder Goes Forth in third.

Absolutely Fabulous came fourth.

Viewers around the world were asked to name their favourite BBC comedy in the poll.

Yes Minister and The Vicar of Dibley also featured prominently in the poll.

Coupling was the most up-to-date offering in the poll, in seventh place, although The Office failed to make the top 10.

Totally hysterical

Only Fools and Horses may have topped a recent poll of British viewers, but international audiences are not as fond of the show, only rating it eighth.

Some of the sitcoms are altered slightly in order to appeal to an international audience.

For example, many have different names when broadcast abroad.

In France, Coupling is known as Sexy Six, while in Poland The Vicar of Dibley is called The Vicar in Stilettos.

Meanwhile Absolutely Fabulous translates as Totally Hysterical in Sweden.

In Finland Fawlty Towers is called Pitkan Jussin Majatalo.

Mexican Manuel

This name translates as Tall John's Inn.

Incompetent Spanish waiter Manuel changes nationality when the show is broadcast in Spain.

He is Manuel the Mexican in most of the country, while in the Basque region he is an Italian called Manolo.

The sitcoms are shown in over 100 countries on the BBC Prime entertainment channel, which is part of BBC Worldwide.

BBC Prime boss David Weiland said: "Classic comedy is a big winner internationally and we are delighted Fawlty Towers has come up trumps yet again."

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