Though much has changed since the days when short-fused hotelier Basil Fawlty first graced our screens, it seems the nation’s sense of humour has not.
Forty years on, the cynical misanthropy of the John Cleese character continues to be a hit, with a panel of television experts naming Fawlty Towers as the greatest British sitcom of all time in a newly-compiled list, despite it running for just two series in the 1970s.
In fact, many of the classics proved popular, with 90s favourite Father Ted, 60s hit Dad’s Army and Blackadder, from the 1980s, all making the top five. As one member of the voting panel, Alison Graham, said: “When we find a comedy that does make us laugh, we treasure it forever.”
Undoubtedly catch- up television has made that easier. However, the longevity of these much- loved shows is testament to their writers and actors, for without their ability to make us laugh, they would not have stood the test of time.