07 July 2005, By BECI WOOD The Sun
ONLY Fools And Horses is the funniest British sitcom of all time – according to scientists.
Experts have spent the past two months creating a formula to make the perfect show.
According to the rule, Del Boy’s antics top the list with 696 points, followed by The Office, Father Ted, Fawlty Towers and Blackadder.
It also proves why shows like Babes In The Wood, starring Denise Van Outen and Frank Skinner's Shane were critically panned.
The boffins worked it out by multiplying the recognisable qualities of the main character (r) by their delusions of grandeur (d).
This is added to how witty the script is (v) and the total is then multiplied by the amount someone falls over (f).
The new total is divided by the success of any scheme during the show (a) and the difference in social status between the highest and lowest ranking characters is then added (s).
Dr Helen Pilcher, who carried out the research, said: “This formula shows why some sitcoms fail to make the grade while others are destined to make us laugh time and time again.”
The researchers, commissioned by satellite channel UKTV Gold, say their formula could help comedy writers revive the golden days of the sitcom.
Station controller John Keeling said: “Critics have been saying that sitcoms are a dying art-form and recent shows from Frank Skinner and Denise Van Outen would seem to suggest they have a point.
“We hope that this formula will provide aspiring future writers with all the tools they need to produce the next generation of classic TV comedy.”
The formula for the perfect sitcom was commissioned by the satellite channel to mark the launch of its Golden Rules Of Comedy season tonight.