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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Python 'most influential' comedy
The Monty Python team
The Monty Python team made 45 episodes of the Flying Circus
Monty Python's Flying Circus has beaten Only Fools and Horses to be named the most influential television comedy series of all time.

The show, which featured John Cleese and Michael Palin, topped a poll of 4,000 TV viewers to scoop the accolade.

Blackadder, Little Britain and The Royle Family rounded out the top five shows in the UKTV Gold survey.

The Morecambe and Wise Show, which regularly commanded massive viewing audiences, finished in sixth place.

Dead parrot

Satirical puppet show Spitting Image, 1980s comedy The Young Ones, Ricky Gervais' award-winning series The Office and The Vicar of Dibley starring Dawn French completed the top 10.

1 Monty Python's Flying Circus
2 Only Fools and Horses
3 Blackadder
4 Little Britain
5 The Royle Family
6 The Morecambe and Wise Show
7 Spitting Image
8 The Young Ones
9 The Office
10 The Vicar of Dibley
Source: UKTV Gold

James Hewton, head of comedy at UKTV Gold, said the list reveals "the massive breadth and depth of British comedy".

"This stellar top 10 is an indication of the sheer quality of British TV comedy and is a celebration of the abundance of UK talent," he added.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was first screened in 1969 and also starred Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman.

The dead parrot sketch was named the best alternative comedy sketch by the readers of Radio Times in 2004.

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