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Fools and Horses is 'Best Sitcom'

From BBC News, March 29, 2004

Only Fools and Horses has been voted the public's favourite television sitcom in a BBC search.

The comedy set in Peckham, south London and starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason was revealed as winner on a live BBC show fronted by Jonathan Ross.

The public were first asked to choose their favourite sitcoms from a list of 100. The final 10 have been championed by celebrity fans in recent weeks.

Only Fools and Horses beat Blackadder and the Vicar of Dibley to the top slot.

Other finalists included Dad's Army, Fawlty Towers, Porridge and Open All Hours.

More than one and a half million votes were received for all 10 shows.

With 342,426 votes Only Fools and Horses gained 22.2% of the share well ahead of second placed Blackadder which received 282,106 votes (18.3%).

Only Fools and Horses, written by John Sullivan, first hit television screens in 1981 and features lovable market stall holders Del boy and Rodney Trotter.

Since then it has become a family favourite with its Christmas specials.

Del boy, with his catchphrases of "you plonker" and "luvverly jubberly", has become one of the best-known characters on television.

Actor David Jason, who plays Del boy, said after the result: "I am delighted that something which gave me some of the happiest times of my life still gives pleasure to so many people."

Writer John Sullivan said: "I started writing Only Fools and Horses in 1981 because I knew that in 23 years time there would be a Britain's Best Sitcom competition and I wanted to win it.

"I'm delighted for everyone connected with the series and my thanks to everyone who voted for us."

Best gag on TV

As well as moments of memorable comedy the show is also known for its poignancy with the relationship between Del boy and Rodney central to the sitcom.

The cause for Only Fools and Horses, the only top ten sitcom still being produced, was taken up by Bargain Hunt presenter David Dickinson.

In his defence of the show he said it featured the "the single best sight gag on telly" when Del Trotter fell through a pub bar.

Presenter Ross said: "British sitcoms have been pleasuring us for over 50 years, with more than 800 hitting our screens.

"To get to this top 10, we sifted through the sands of comedy to reveal 10 nuggets of pure gold," he added.

The final result was..
  • Only Fools and Horses (22.2%)
  • Blackadder (18.3%)
  • Vicar of Dibley (13.8%)
  • Dad's Army (11.3%)
  • Fawlty Towers (11.2%)
  • Yes Minister (8%)
  • Porridge (6.1%)
  • Open All Hours (4.4%)
  • The Good Life (2.6%)
  • One Foot in the Grave (2%)