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TV's 50 Greatest Stars

TV's 50 Greatest Stars was a one-off British television awards show which invited the viewing public to vote for their favourite on-screen stars from a list compiled by the broadcaster ITV.[1] Fifty actors, actresses, presenters and comedians, both alive and dead, were featured on the list, the number 50 being chosen to coincide with ITV's fiftieth birthday celebrations in September 2005 (though technically there were 55 individuals on the list due to partnerships like The Two Ronnies and Richard and Judy being counted as one entry).[2] The two-hour show, directed by Mark Robinson,[3] was hosted by Coronation Street actor Bradley Walsh, who ran through the stars in reverse order[4] – the order was determined by the public, who could vote, either online or in the TV Times,[5] for five (no more and no fewer) of their favourite celebrities.[6] Members of the public could also nominate other television celebrities who had not been included on the list.[7] Actor David Jason won with Morecambe and Wise and John Thaw coming in second and third place respectively; the majority of nominees were comedians, a fifth were deceased and men outnumbered women by almost five to one.[2][4] Walsh was quoted as saying "I'm delighted to be involved in this show. It will be a great celebration of some of the most fantastic stars from the last 50 years. It will be interesting to see who the viewers vote to come out on top."[5] The show was narrated by Mel Giedroyc.[8]


The results of the public vote for TV's 50 Greatest Stars
Rank Name Description
1 David Jason Actor; well known for several roles including Derek "Del Boy" Trotter in the BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses, and Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the ITV crime drama A Touch of Frost.[9]
2 Morecambe and Wise Comic double act; worked in variety, radio, film but especially famous for The Morecambe and Wise Show.[10]
3 John Thaw Actor; appeared in many television programmes including Redcap, The Sweeney, Home to Roost, Kavanagh QC but most notably the titular role in Inspector Morse.[11]
4 Julie Walters Actress; has won multiple BAFTAs and other awards for her work in a large number of films and TV shows including Harry Potter and Educating Rita.[12]
5 Bruce Forsyth Presenter and entertainer; the current holder of the world record for the longest television career for a male entertainer,[13] known for on The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and Strictly Come Dancing amongst others.[14]
6 The Two Ronnies A comedy duo; known primarily for their sketch show The Two Ronnies.[15]
7 Ant & Dec Comedy and presenting duo; host such shows as I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain's Got Talent.[16]
8 David Attenborough Naturalist and broadcaster; best known for his nine Life series of nature documentaries.[17]
9 Stephen Fry Comedian, presenter and actor; host of QI and half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie amongst many other things.[18]
10 Victoria Wood Comedian, actress; notable for Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Housewife 49 and Dinnerladies amongst other works.[19]
11 Robbie Coltrane Actor and comedian; known for his roles in Harry Potter and James Bond films amongst others.[20]
12 Peter Kay Comedian; the current world record holder for the most successful comedy tour.[21]
13 French and Saunders Comic double act; their eponymous television show consisted of spoofs and satire of popular culture, films, celebrities and art.[22]
14 Michael Palin Comedian, actor and presenter; known primarily for Monty Python (appearing in some of the most famous sketches), Ripping Yarns amongst other things.[23]
15 Tommy Cooper Comedian and magician who specialised in prop comedy, a member of the Magic Circle, also famous for his trademark red fez.[24]
16 Billy Connolly Comedian, actor; has appeared in a wide range of movies from Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, The Man Who Sued God, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe .[25]
17 Benny Hill Comedian, actor; most notable for his long-running television show The Benny Hill Show.[26]
18 Lenny Henry Comedian, actor and presenter; co-founded charity Comic Relief.[27]
19 Jeremy Clarkson Broadcaster; best known for presenting motoring show Top Gear.[28]
20 Michael Parkinson Broadcaster; known most for his long-running talk show ParkinsonThe Guardian described him as "the great British talkshow host".[29]
21 Terry Wogan Broadcaster; had the most listened to radio show in Europe (Wake Up to Wogan), but has also presented Children in Need and a chat show Wogan.[30]
22 Tony Hancock Comedian, actor; had the popular comedy show Hancock's Half Hour amongst other things.[31]
23 David Frost Comedian, host and personality; hosted That Was the Week That Was, Frost Over the World, Breakfast with Frost and Through the Keyhole.[32]
24 Bob Monkhouse Comedian, actor, host; presented many different shows including The National Lottery, The Bob Monkhouse Show and Family Fortunes.[33]
25 Rolf Harris Comedian, entertainer/television personality; presented shows such as Animal Hospital and Rolf's Cartoon Club,[34][35]
26 Noel Edmonds Presenter; has presented a wide range of television shows from Top of the Pops, Top Gear, Juke Box Jury, The Late, Late Breakfast Show, The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow, Telly Addicts and Noel's House Party.[36]
27 Joanna Lumley Actress, voice-over artist; has appeared in a range of films from The Wolf of Wall Street to On Her Majesty's Secret Service and James and the Giant Peach.[37]
28 Simon Cowell Reality television judge; a talent judge on Pop Idol, The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and American Idol.[38]
29 Helen Mirren Actress; has won many accolades for her work in multiple films, such as The Madness of King George and The Queen.[39]
30 Ricky Gervais Comedian, actor; known for The Office, Derek and The Ricky Gervais Show amongst many other things.[40]
31 Trevor McDonald Newsreader, journalist; famous for ITV News at Ten and Tonight with Trevor McDonald.[41]
32 Les Dawson Comedian; remembered for his deadpan style and jokes about his mother-in-law and wife.[42]
33 Martin Clunes Actor; known mostly for his roles in Doc Martin and Men Behaving Badly.[43]
34 Jamie Oliver Celebrity chef; known for many shows which promote healthy eating and attempting to combat child obesity through his work on school dinners.[44]
35 Robson Green Actor, presenter; known for Soldier Soldier, Casualty and Wire in the Blood.[45][46]
36 Cilla Black Broadcaster; has presented such shows as Blind Date, Surprise Surprise and The Moment of Truth.[47]
37 Caroline Quentin Actress; known for her work on Men Behaving Badly, Jonathan Creek and presenting Restoration Home amongst other projects.[48]
38 Chris Tarrant Broadcaster; best known for presenting Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? between 1998 and 2014.[49]
39 Peter Cook Actor, comedian; a satirist who specialised in anti-establishment comedy.[50][51]
40 Des Lynam Broadcaster; has presented mainly (but not exclusively – e.g. Countdown) sport programmes like Grandstand, Match of the Day, Wimbledon, The Grand National, Sportsnight.[52]
41 Leonard Rossiter Actor; appeared in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rising Damp amongst many others.[53]
42 Alan Whicker Journalist, presenter; known primarily for Whicker's World amongst other projects.[2]
43 Sarah Lancashire Actress; a regular in Coronation Street, along with roles in films such as Where the Heart Is and in other television shows such as Last Tango in Halifax.[54]
44 Richard and Judy Presenters; a married couple who have presented both This Morning and later the chat show Richard & Judy.[55]
45 Kenny Everett Comedian, DJ; best known for his radio work and the television show The Kenny Everett Video Show.[56]
46 Anne Robinson Presenter, journalist; known mostly for her work on Watchdog and as the acerbic hostess of The Weakest Link where she earned the nickname the "Queen of Mean".[57]
47 Steve Coogan Actor, comedian; known for his character Alan Partridge which has spawned many television series and a film, but also for his film work such as The Parole Officer.[58]
48 William Roache Known for the long-term character Ken Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street.[59]
49 Rory Bremner Comedian; an impressionist and satirist known for his work on Mock the Week and his sketch show Bremner, Bird and Fortune.[60]
50 Alan Titchmarsh Broadcaster, gardener; known for his gardening programming such as Gardeners' World and Ground Force, along with presenting other genres of programming such as Songs of Praise.[61]


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