Bleak House voted best TV Dickens adaptation

Ray Winstone and Gillian Anderson are top Dickens actors too, according to a RadioTimes.com survey

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It’s almost the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’s birth and while the literati are getting themselves in a lather over which of his novels merits being called the best, TV viewers have made it clear that the BBC’s lavish version of Bleak House is the ultimate small-screen Dickens dramatisation.

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The Bafta-winning all-star series emerged as the favourite adaptation according to a survey of over 600 RadioTimes.com users, beating other well-known dramatisations, including Martin Chuzzlewit, David Copperfield and Hard Times, into pole position.

Lionel Bart’s 1968 big-screen version of Oliver! was voted best Dickens feature film.

The poll also saw Gillian Anderson voted best actress in a Dickens programme for her roles in Great Expectations (as Miss Havisham), and she also made third place for her part in Bleak House (as Lady Dedlock). A third of respondents chose the London-based actress as their favourite.

Anderson said in a statement: “He (Dickens) is a wonderful storyteller and there are common recognisable themes in his books. His characters are so complex, so multifaceted and tragically human, but also he draws such interesting stories.”

RadioTimes.com users were also polled on the best actor in a Dickens adaptation, with Ray Winstone, who played Abel Magwitch in the 2011 version of Great Expectations, emerging as the overall favourite. Speaking during the filming of the series he said:

“Great Expectations is my favourite novel and I’m thrilled to be playing Magwitch. I’ve wanted to play him for ages.”

The Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection is released on DVD by BBC Worldwide on 30 January 2012.

Here are the full results of our poll, reproduced with the percentage of the total vote earned by each title:

TV adaptations:

Bleak House (TV, 2005) \t15.9%
Great Expectations (TV, 2011) 14.51% \t
Little Dorrit (TV, 2008) 8.64% \t\t
A Christmas Carol (TV, 1984) \t5.86% \t
David Copperfield (TV, 2000) 2.78%
Oliver Twist (TV, 2007) 2.78% \t
Martin Chuzzlewit (TV, 1994) 2.31%
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (TV, 2012) 2.01%
Our Mutual Friend (TV, 1998) 2.01% \t
Great Expectations (TV movie, 2000) 1.54%
Nicholas Nickleby (TV, 1982) 1.08%
Hard Times (TV, 1977) 0.93% \t
Nicholas Nickleby (TV, 1977) 0.93%
The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 1995) 0.93% \t
David Copperfield (TV, 1966) 0.31%
The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 1979) 0.31% \t
Our Mutual Friend (TV, 1976) 0.15%

Film adaptations:

Oliver! (film, 1968) \t17.75%
Great Expectations (film, 1946); 6.33% \t
Scrooge (film, 1970) \t29 4.48%
Scrooge (film, 1951) \t25 3.86% \t
Oliver Twist (film, 1948) 3.7%
A Tale of Two Cities (film, 1958) 1.23%

Best actor in a Dickens adaptation:

Ray Winstone as Abel Magwitch in Great Expectations (TV, 2011) 15.83%
Ron Moody as Fagin in Oliver (film, 1968) 12.1%
Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes in Oliver (film, 1968) 12.1%
Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge (film, 1951) 7.64%
Alec Guinness as Fagin in Oliver Twist (film, 1948) 5.77% \t
Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge in Scrooge (film, 1970) 5.21% \t
Tom Hardy as Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist (TV, 2007) 4.28%
Mark Lester as Oliver Twist in Oliver (film, 1968) 4.28%
George C Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (TV movie, 1984) 4.1% \t
Douglas Booth as Pip in Great Expectations (TV, 2011) 3.91%
John Mills as Pip in Great Expectations (film, 1946) 3.91%
Timothy Spall as Fagin in Oliver Twist (TV, 2007) 3.54%\t
Hugh Dancy as David Copperfield in David Copperfield (TV, 2000) 2.61% \t
Derek Jacobi as Grandfather in The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 2007) 2.42% \t
Ioan Gruffudd as Pip in Great Expectations (TV movie, 1999) 2.05%
Ian McKellen as David Copperfield in David Copperfield (TV, 1966) 1.86%
Paul Scofield as Martin Chuzzlewit in Martin Chuzzlewit (film, 1994) 1.86%
David Threlfall as Smike in Nicholas Nickleby (TV, 1982) 1.68% \t\t
Dirk Bogarde as Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities (film, 1958) 1.49% \t
Roger Rees as Nicholas Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby (TV, 1982) 1.3% \t
Timothy West as Josiah Bounderby in Hard Times (TV, 1977) 1.3%
James Mason as Magwitch in Great Expectations (film, 1975)0.74% \t
Patrick Allen as Thomas Gradgrind in Hard Times (TV, 1977) 0%

Best actress in a Dickens adaptation:

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Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (TV, 2011) 20.48% \t
Shani Wallis as Nancy in Oliver (film, 1968) 13.99%
Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock in Bleak House (TV, 2005) 13.48% \t
Claire Foy as Amy Dorrit in Little Dorrit (TV, 2008) 8.36%
Anna Maxwell Martin as Esther Summerson in Bleak House (TV, 2005) 7%
Sophie Okonedo as Nancy in Oliver Twist (TV, 2007) 4.78%
Charlotte Rampling as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (TV movie, 1999) 3.75%
Kay Walsh as Nancy in Oliver Twist (film, 1948) 3.75% \t \t
Emilia Fox as Clara Copperfield in David Copperfield (TV, 1999)3.58% \t
Valerie Hobson as Estella in Great Expectations (film, 1946) 3.58% \t\t
Joan Hickson as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (TV, 1981) 3.24% \t
Keeley Hawes as Lizzie Hexam in Our Mutual Friend (TV, 1998) 2.9% \t
Margaret Leighton as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (film, 1975) 2.05% \t
Sally Walsh as Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 1995) 2.05% \t
Sarah Miles as Estella in Great Expectations (TV, 1974) 1.88% \t
Vanessa Kirby as Estella in Great Expectations (TV, 2011) 1.37% \t
Sophie Vavasseur as Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 2007) 1.37%
Justine Waddell as Estella in Great Expectations (TV movie, 1999) 1.02%
Natalie Ogle as Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop (TV, 1979) 0.85%
Lesley Dunlop as Lizzie Hexam in Our Mutual Friend (TV, 1976) 0.51%\t