Feck: 'Father Ted' is pipped to crown of best ever sitcom
'Father Ted' has been voted the second greatest sitcom of all-time - after being pipped to the post by 'Fawlty Towers'.
The enduring Irish comedy, starring Dermot Morgan and Ardal O'Hanlon, was described as "nothing short of sitcom magic" in a new 'Radio Times' poll.
One of the publication's 42-strong panel of comedy experts said the much-loved 1990s sitcom "has it all - broad and accessible, but also surreal and utterly bonkers".
And Declan Lowney, who directed 17 episodes of the classic Channel 4 sitcom, said: "Even if I hadn't directed it, this would be one of my favourite TV shows of all time. Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews created something so special and beautiful."
The top 10 also included 'I'm Alan Partridge', 'Blackadder', 'Only Fools and Horses' and 'Porridge'.
But it was 'Fawlty Towers', the 1970s BBC classic that was set in a seaside hotel in Torquay that took the accolade as the funniest British sitcom of all-time. John Cleese, who both co-wrote the show with Connie Booth and starred as hotelier Basil Fawlty, said: "I was very lucky to be working at the BBC when decisions were taken by people who had actually made programmes."
Cleese (79) also paid a glowing tribute to his co-stars, including Prunella Scales who played his domineering wife, Sybil, and Andrew Sachs, who starred as clueless waiter Manuel.
Ms Booth, who played Polly in the 12 episodes, added: "'Fawlty Towers' succeeds, I think, because it allows infantile rage and aggression a field day in a buttoned-down, well-mannered English society.
"It's unique in being a farce, with all the plot surprises and precision that the style requires.
"And it doesn't hurt the star of the show is a six-foot-five comic genius. If he was shorter, I can't imagine how it would have worked."
20 greatest sitcoms ever
1. Fawlty Towers
2. Father Ted
3. I'm Alan Partridge
5. Dad's Army
6. Only Fools and Horses
8. The Royle Family
9. Absolutely Fabulous
11. The Thick of it
12. The Office
13. Peep Show
14. The Vicar of Dibley
15. The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
16. The Young Ones
17. Gavin & Stacey
18. The Good Life
20. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?