Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Sunday, 30 November 2008

Peter Kay voted UK's top comedian

Peter Kay
Kay's autobiography has sold more than 1m copies

Phoenix Nights star Peter Kay has been overwhelmingly voted the UK's favourite comedian in an online poll.

The 33-year-old, whose observational comedy routines are rooted in his Bolton upbringing, was chosen by 63% of the 3,000 adults polled.

Slapstick star Lee Evans came second in the poll, with 19% of votes, followed by Alan Carr and Catherine Tate.

Jo Brand topped a list of the least popular comedians, which also included Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

1. Peter Kay
2. Lee Evans
3. Alan Carr
4. Catherine Tate
5. Dawn French
6. Rowan Atkinson
7. Al Murray
8. Jack Dee
9. Eddie Izzard
10. Frankie Boyle
The pair, who came under fire for their crude phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs last month, placed second and eighth respectively.

Victoria Wood was the third least-popular, followed by Ricky Gervais and TV Burp star Harry Hill.

Kay first came to notice after winning Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny competition in 1997, only a year after he started performing as a stand-up.

His comedy often revolves around familiar domestic scenes, such as the dangers of dunking biscuits in a cup of tea, and the bizarre dances seen at British weddings.

1. Jo Brand
2. Jonathan Ross
3. Victoria Wood
4. Ricky Gervais
5. Harry Hill
6. Jimmy Carr
7. Paul Merton
8. Russell Brand
9. Spike Milligan
10. Alan Bennett
He has been called "the Oasis of comedy" because his routines are "workaday, northern and so full of joie de vivre that you can't help but sing along".

Television success came in 2001 with his sitcom Phoenix Nights, which told the story of a struggling northern social club.

Kay played the club's owner, wheelchair-bound Brian Potter, as well as doorman Maxwell "Max" Bygraves.

In 2006, one of Potter's lines - "Garlic bread, it's the future, I've tasted it" - was named the best comic one-liner in an online poll.

He recently returned to television with reality show spoof Britain's Got The Pop Factor... And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice.

In the same poll, Only Fools And Horses was named best TV comedy, followed by Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Red Dwarf in that order.

The survey was conducted for the online bank Smile in November.

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