Del Boy and Doctor Who top viewers' poll

Only Fools and Horses, Doctor Who and Trevor McDonald The shows were chosen by Radio Times readers over the summer

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Del Boy, Sir Trevor McDonald and Doctor Who are the companions most TV viewers would like to spend an evening with.

The Radio Times conducted a poll to find people's "ultimate TV schedule" for its 90th birthday.

Almost 30,000 votes were cast - with Blue Peter chosen as the top children's programme and Morecambe and Wise as the best entertainment show.

Of the six winners, only Blue Peter and Doctor Who are still on the air, with both running for several decades.

The full schedule comprised the following programmes:

  • Children's: Blue Peter
  • Entertainment: The Morecambe & Wise Show
  • Comedy: Only Fools And Horses
  • Drama: Doctor Who
  • Documentary: Around the World in 80 Days
  • News: Sir Trevor McDonald

"It's a pretty good representation," said Boyd Hilton, TV critic from Heat Magazine. "They're all solid, hugely influential shows."

"Doctor Who is absolutely unique. It's an incredible achievement that it's lasted for 50 years and been entertaining families for that long."

Wallace and Gromit, Downton Abbey and Fawlty Towers Wallace and Gromit, Downton Abbey and Fawlty Towers all received nominations, but failed to win their categories

However, Hilton said he wouldn't have chosen Blue Peter as the best children's show.

"I would have gone for Grange Hill, personally. It was a much bolder thing to commission for children - a drama that tackled lots of incredibly difficult issues."

'Very safe'

Kevin O'Sullivan, TV critic at The Daily Mirror, said it was a "fascinating insight into the tastes of Middle Britain".

Start Quote

Am I the only person wondering how Wallace and Gromit and Fawlty Towers didn't win a place in Radio Times Hall of Fame”

End Quote Ben Preston Editor, Radio Times

"What I find interesting is that even people like me, writing for the masses, gather around what you might call cutting-edge programmes like The Inbetweeners instead of, say, My Family.

"And in a way our instincts are wrong in terms of what the public likes."

"These are all very conventional, very safe, and that is in no way to denigrate them. They're very well-produced, mainstream programmes - and there's your secret."

The poll saw former ITV newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald win almost as many votes as the next four most popular nominees combined,

Moira Stuart came second, followed by Kenneth Kendall, Reginald Bosanquet and Fiona Bruce.

In the drama category, Downton Abbey, Sherlock and Coronation Street all lost to Doctor Who, which turns 50 this year, and will soon welcome a new Doctor, in the guise of Peter Capaldi.

Michael Palin topped the documentary section with his 1989 series, Around The World In 80 Days, in which he tried to recreate Phileas Fogg's fictional jaunt around the world.

The programme beat Sir David Attenborough's Life On Earth into second place, while Walking With Dinosaurs came third.

Michael Palin in 80 Days Around The World Michael Palin traversed the globe in 79 days and seven hours

Morecambe And Wise won the entertainment vote, followed by another comedy duo, The Two Ronnies, and thereafter Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear and I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Surprisingly, there was no place in the list for The X Factor.

In the children's programme category, Blue Peter easily outranked Thunderbirds and Wallace and Gromit, earning 17% of the vote.

John Sullivan's Only Fools And Horses, which introduced Sir David Jason as wheeler-dealer Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, received double the number of votes of its nearest rival, Fawlty Towers.

Blackadder, Dad's Army and Father Ted rounded out the top five shows in the comedy category.

"Our poll captured the imagination of our readers," said Radio Times editor Ben Preston.

"Everyone had their say," he added, "but am I the only person wondering how Wallace and Gromit and Fawlty Towers didn't win a place in Radio Times Hall of Fame?"

O'Sullivan, meanwhile said the public's choices should send a message to the people who commission shows.

"If you're a TV producer or scheduler, you're always trying to be groovy - casting someone like Alex Zane instead of Bruce Forsyth," he said.

"But that won't get you many viewers. Brucie's where it's at."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    35. UsuallyRight:

    '90% BBC programmers with a few token ITV ones?

    This is nothing but shameless advertising!!!'

    It could be worse: remember The 'Best' Sitcom poll a few years back? ALL BBC with 'The Vicar of Dibley' supposedly more popular than the great 'Father Ted' - you couldn't make it up (but I think they did!).

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Dr Who was and still is to my mind a schedule filler.The only way to compare programmes if that is possible is to vote decade by decade.Tastes change,Who now would vote for On TheBuses,love thy neighbor etc.Michael Palins series are a poor second to any Alan Whicker did.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    The Dave channel's been mentioned here with the endless repeats, TV is saturated with endless channels that keep repeating the same programmes over and over again. Just how many times can you watch repeats of Top Gear, Only Fools, One Foot in the Grave, Keeping up Appearances etc. I have to pay for the priviledge of finding most of my TV channels have endless repeats and nothing new.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    The beeb have got a cracker coming up on beeb 3, it features a woman blowing her nose with a sanitary towel. Funny that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    I've only watched one of the mentioned programmes, Dr Who & that got annoying with Matt Smith's daft behaviour. Period drama's & most British comedy do nothing for me, still there's a lot of American comedy that I don't find funny either, but prefer some programmes, Hawaii Five 0, Criminal Minds, CSI Los Angeles, Game of Thrones and NCIS are among my favourites. Uk stuff, not much.


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