The Office has been voted the best Christmas sitcom special of all time.
The finale of the celebrated comedy written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant topped our poll of more than 3,000 RadioTimes.com readers, narrowly beating other seasonal favourites including the Only Fools and Horses trilogy and the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special to take the title.
Responding to the news, Ricky Gervais told RadioTimes.com: “The Office Christmas Specials allowed me to repay the viewing public for sitting through the bleakness and tragedy of the previous 6 hours of David Brent.
“I always intended to give him a little hope by the end and I always knew Tim and Dawn would get together.
“The Office was always a romantic comedy in my mind and I was excited about trying to combine the existential hopelessness of British sitcom with the ‘kindness is always rewarded’ optimism of Hollywood. In Slough.
“I was blown away at the time by how it resonated with audiences and I’m over the moon that it’s still regarded with such affection today. ‘A good idea is a good idea forever.’
“Thanks again to Radio Times readers. Merry Christmas, and live fast, die old.”
The Office topped the poll just ahead of Only Fools and Horses Trilogy and Gaving Stacey, with the Vicar of Dibley Christmas Lunch and The Royle Family rounding off the top five.
Other Christmas specials to make the top ten include The Good Life, Father Ted and The League of Gentlemen.
Based in the fictional offices of Werham Hogg paper merchants in Slough, The Office first broadcast on BBC Two in 2001, quickly making Ricky Gervais a household name for his critically acclaimed portrayal of David Brent.
The show ran for two series and was rounded off with two festive specials in 2003.
An international sensation, the show became the first ever British comedy to win a Golden Globe. In 2005, a US remake of The Office launched on NBC starring Steve Carell, it ran for 9 seasons and was executive produced by Gervais and Merchant.