May 7, 2001
Homer's antics have endeared him to the nation
The loveable layabout Homer Simpson has topped a poll of greatest TV characters of all time. The Simpsons cartoon hero was voted for by the public as part of a Channel 4 programme devoted to TV favourites.
Homer beat off such memorable characters from television history as Miss Piggy, Inspector Morse and Ali G.
Basil Fawlty came in at number two, despite only 12 episodes of the sitcom ever being made.
Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson's historical comic incarnation, and Del Boy, from Only Fools and Horses, came in at three and four respectively.
The four-hour programme was hosted by comedian Ardal O'Hanlon, whose Father Dougal creation in Father Ted was voted the fifth favourite.
Of the top 10, eight were from British television programmes.
The paranoid hypochondriac Dr Niles Crane from Frasier was at number 10, despite the fact that his screen relationship with Daphne is being blamed for falling ratings.
Niles Crane is more popular than his brother Frasier His brother Dr Frasier Crane did not feature in the top 100.
Jim Royle, another layabout, this time from The Royle Family, was voted 12th favourite for his catchphrases and anti-social shenanigans.
The characters voted for spanned all generations of screen history.
Dixon of Dock Green, Steptoe and Son, The Prisoner and Dr Who all figure in the chart.
A handful of soap stars were also remembered long past their on-screen shelf life.
Tea-cosy wearing Benny from Crossroads sneaked in at 93 and the deceased Kim Tate of Emmerdale features at 82.
Den and Angie and Dot Cotton from EastEnders, Jimmy Corkhill of Brookside and Coronation Street's Jack Duckworth are all included.
That lesbian kiss from Anna Friel's Beth Jordache in Brookside ensured she was a never-to-be-forgotten soap star and the character was voted 48th in the chart.