A Radio Times poll to discover the best British sitcom of the 21st century has revealed Mrs Brown’s Boys as the winner.
In second place is Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s understated masterpiece, The Office, and Peter Kay’s Car Share is in third position.
Loved by the fans but loathed by many critics, Mrs Brown’s Boys topped the poll after readers of Radio Times magazine and website voted from a shortlist of 40 compiled by a panel of Radio Times critics and experts from the British Film Institute. In total more than 14,000 votes were cast.
Mrs Brown’s Boys, a co-production between Irish broadcaster RTE and BBC Scotland, first aired in 2011, following the antics of Agnes Brown (played by O’Carroll) and her nearest and dearest – mainly portrayed by creator Brendan O’Carroll’s real friends and family. A ratings juggernaut, the show – famed for its unconventional production style – has since had two more series and a number of specials, with more expected “until 2020” according to the creator.
On hearing the news, Brendan O’Carroll, writer and star of Mrs Brown’s Boys shouted “breathtaking!” before going on to say: “Lost for words… and that doesn’t happen to me very often. Myself and Jenny [Jennifer Gibney, his wife and co-star] are dancing around the living room. I can die happy now… but I’ll take my time…”
He added: “It vindicates the fans’ belief in the show. They have kept us on the air — it certainly wasn’t the reviewers. There is an audience out there that comedy forgot — that Are You Being Served? audience has been left behind. Us winning this award proves that.”
See the top 20 British sitcoms of the 21st century below:
1. Mrs Brown’s Boys 11. Peep Show
2. The Office 12. Black Books
3. Peter Kay’s Car Share 13. Green Wing
4. Count Arthur Strong 14. The Inbetweeners
5. The IT Crowd 15. Bad Education
6. The Thick of It 16. Peter Kay’s Phoenix Knights