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Top ten TV characters, from UK television past and present

By Edited Jun 11, 2015 0 0

This Top Ten UK TV Characters, is a bit of a mixed bag. Even I have to admit it is a rather strange list, a little like me, I guess. As this list spans five decades many of you will not even know who or what I am talking about. Those of you who do may be middle-aged, to say the least.

Ena Sharples

The hairnet wearing, old dragon from Britain's longest running soap, Coronation Street. Ena is from the early days of black and white Coronation Street. The period was as black and white as television, with just the odd hint of grey. Ena Sharples, with friend Martha Longhurst and Minnie Caldwell, would occupy the Snug of the Rovers Return, with a hidden agenda. This was the decimation of their neighbour's reputations. As an hypocritical, rather sanctimonious church goer, she was so typical of the era.

Worzel Gummidge

A walking talking scarecrow, with interchangeable heads, did not hit our screens till I was grown up and married. This fact, however, did not stop me watching and loving this bit of nonsense. Jon Pertwee played Worzel brilliantly. In fact to quote Worzel he was, the ' bestest scarecrow ever '

Basil Fawlty

I love wacky comedy and Fawlty Towers still hits the spot, even after all these years. Although the series was all too brief, and I know some episodes almost word for word, I still love Basil and the cast of Fawlty Towers. With all his pretension and insecurities, he is just so daft but so human.

Inspector Morse

The late John Thaw played Morse to perfection. As a slightly unusual police officer, the opera loving Morse was a thoughtful character.

Norman Stanley Fletcher

Another comedy character, I'm afraid. A character from Porridge, a series that is still repeated on a regular basis. The likeable rogue is appealing if not somewhat far-fetched. As a criminal serving time in jail, he and his cohorts represent criminals with hearts and a sense of fair play. The humour is classic.

Poirot

The inimitable Agatha Christie detective, who I love and my Hubby loathes. To each his own, is so true. The Belgian detective is quirky but astute. Which leads me to my next character.

Miss Marple

This time the Agatha Christie character is an amateur sleuth. However, as always, in my list, the character is a little odd and eccentric. My favourite actress, in this role, is Margaret Rutherford, although she only played the role in films. There have been various actresses who taken on this role on television. My favourite TV Marple, and the one I think was the most successful, was Joan Hickson.

Rick, from The Young Ones

I loved this strangely funny series. All the characters were so different, but they all had a certain appeal. However, for me Rick, played by Rik Mayall, is the silliest and funniest. As a rebel, with a penchant for Cliff Richard, the character is just so ludicrous and funny.

Sawyer, in Lost

I loved the first couple of series of Lost. However, as it moved over to subscription TV in the UK, Lost became lost to mainstream viewers.  This meant purchasing various DVDs but it has been worth the expense. The character Sawyer, as the bit of rough with a dodgy past, is just so appealing to me, and many other women I guess. The fact that he's a hunk helps.

Reginald Perrin

Finally another comedy character. The late great Leonard Rossiter played some fabulous roles, not only comedy ones. However the series, The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, was a favourite of mine. His character:-

'Have a good day at the office dear', 'I won't'

was, and is, so true to life. Of course, there was a ludicrous element to the humour and many great characters . C J the boss:-

'I didn't get where I am today by -------'

The fact that every time Reggie envisages his mother-in law he sees a hippopotamus rampaging through the jungle.

These examples, and more, all help to complete the farce. Recently this series has been remade in the UK with Martin Clunes playing Reggie and the plot moved into the 21st Century; it has not been as successful as the original series though.

As always once you try to restrict yourself to just a list of ten, hundreds of contenders swamp your mind. However, I am happy with my top ten characters.

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