BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in March 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

2 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Britain's Best Sitcom

BBC Homepage
Sitcom Home
Top 10
Top 11-100
Fun & Downloads
Get Writing


Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

Johnny Vaughan Advocates...
Johnny Vaughan

"'Porridge' is set in the grimmest place imaginable - a prison. And yet still manages to be both gritty and witty".

"Why? The scripts of course… and it doesn't hurt that Fletcher - the most brilliant sitcom creation of all time - is played by the comedy guvnor himself Ronnie Barker".

"Fletch laid down the template for comedy rogues which Del Boy and 'Fools and Horses' followed shamelessly. David Jason even studied Ronnie Barker on the set of 'Porridge'".

"And who could be a better comedy foil for Barker than doe-eyed innocent Richard Beckinsale. The pair made episode 'A Night In' the best ever two-hander to ever appear in a British sitcom".

"'Porridge' had proper villains too! No sitcom has ever had a character quite as mean as the man who really runs Slade Prison - Harry Grout. And prison officer Mackay, played to neurotic perfection by Fulton Mackay, very nearly stole the show from under the convicts' noses".

"And the show was ahead of its time. 'Porridge' had straight, black, white and gay all living together relatively harmoniously. Slade was - strangely - a tolerant utopian vision of society. Except for Grouty, that is".

"'Porridge' is rich, satisfying, and packed with goodness. Never past its sell-by date, and guaranteed no artificial additives like labyrinthine plots, rubbish title music and stereotypical nagging wives."

About the Advocate
Johnny Vaughan is an actor, writer, producer and television presenter.
More about this Sitcom See Clip
What You Think

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Well done Johnny - that was the best case so far, Good arguments.
- Roger S., UK

Johnny put forward some convincing arguments for my favourite sitcom of all time. The subtlety of plot and characters being the most interesting. Why did the BBC let us down by not showing an episode of Porridge on the same night? All the other sitcoms were allowed this.
- Ian R., UK

Ronnie Barker is the ultimate comedy genius, a great man indeed. He shouldn't regret the voice over at the beginning, I think it’s appropriate that the UK’s greatest comedy wordsmith should introduce us to the UK’s greatest comedy. In the absence of The Young Ones, Blackadder is the only other contender.
- Ian M., UK

Marginally ahead of Open All Hours, both of which are by far away better than anything else. Even the good stuff. Barker is a genius and the finest British charactor actor of his generation. Knight him now.
- Rich L., UK

Back to top
Other Advocates
John Sergeant - Blackadder
Jack Dee - Fawlty Towers
David Dickinson - Only Fools and Horses
Clarissa Dickson Wright - Open All Hours
Armando Ianucci - Yes Minister
Ulrika Jonsson - The Good Life

Phill Jupitus - Dad's Army
Rowland Rivron - One Foot in the Grave
Johnny Vaughan - Porridge
Carol Vorderman - Vicar of Dibley

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy