Billy Connolly named UK’s most influential stand-up

The Big Yin beats the likes of Morecambe and Wise, Victoria Wood and Eddie Izzard in a new poll

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Billy Connolly has emerged as the UK’s most influential stand-up comic, according to a poll of comedians and the public.

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The Big Yin topped the survey ahead of Morecambe and Wise, who came second, and Victoria Wood – the only woman on the list – who was third.

Older, established comics did well in the poll, with the top ten featuring only one comedian, Sean Lock, who came to prominence after the 1980s.

In addition, American actor and comedian Robin Williams was voted best international comic in a separate survey.

The poll’s shortlist was compiled by 100 comedians, including Stephen Merchant, Miranda Hart, Jack Dee and Jo Brand, before being voted on by 2,000 members of the public.

Steve North, head of TV channel Dave, which commissioned the survey, said: “British stand-up is there with the best in the world.

“It is great to see trailblazing stand-ups such as Billy Connolly and Robin Williams get the respect they deserve.

“Both Connolly and Williams have consistently pushed the comedy envelope and whilst they may have more than 40 years of experience between them, they are still the funniest men on the planet.”

The top ten most influential British stand-up comedians, according to Dave’s poll:

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1. Billy Connolly
2. Morecambe and Wise
3. Victoria Wood
4. Eddie Izzard
5. Ben Elton
6. Peter Cook
7. Les Dawson
8. Lenny Henry
9. Sean Lock
10. Rik Mayall