Britain's Greatest Comedian Page 3

Britain's Greatest Comedian. Image shows from L to R: John Thomson, Roy Hudd, Darren Harriott, Ronni Ancona, David Quantick, Sally Phillips, Boyd Hilton, Nina Wadia, Stephen Mangan. Copyright: Crook Productions.

Britain's Greatest Comedian

A countdown of the public's most-loved comedians

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Friday 7th June 2019, 6:09pm
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 7th June 2019, 5:46 PM

I have to say I'm surprised and disappointed in you. :(

I feel your pain - and much more besides because I'm surprised and disappointed by the entire world and everyone in it.

Avatar

Doniedaff

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 12:50pm
  • Cork, Ireland
  • 12 posts

Dave Allen should not have been on this list to be honest. Nothing to do with being funny or not, but is this a ranking of 'British' comedians? The lack of any other non British comedian on this list, suggests it was. Dave may have lived in Britain for many years but he was as Irish as I am. I'm thinking Irish people weren't supposed to be considered, if so there would be a lot more than 1 on the list. So I'm wondering how Dave was included? I mean he was very funny. He just wasn't a Brit.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 1:18pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: Doniedaff @ 22nd June 2019, 12:50 PM

Dave Allen should not have been on this list . . . Irish

Good point, Doniedaff.

The competition was to find Britain's greatest comedian and the great comedian Dave Allen was indeed ineligible on the grounds of his not being British. The organisers really should have spotted that.

Still on the subject of ineligibility, I can think of other contestants who were ineligible on the grounds of their not being great.

I can also think of several non-contestants who, in any rational universe, would have been contestants.

All in all, the competition was about as well-organised and as well-run as a by-election in Peterborough.

Avatar

Aaron

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 4:40pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,428 posts

Dave Allen's mother was English. Therefore he was eligible for, even if he did not claim (I don't know), dual nationality. He also worked and lived the majority of his life and career in London, making comedy for British audiences. That's more than British enough.

As for the list: most of the names were worthy inclusions, but the ordering the panel arrived at was, in a word, bonkers.

AvatarBCG Supporter

john tregorran

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 9:22pm
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 616 posts

No mention of Chaplin?
Not to my taste but I thought he was famous for being funny.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 10:42pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: john tregorran @ 22nd June 2019, 9:22 PM

No mention of Chaplin?
Not to my taste but I thought he was famous for being funny.

No mention of a great many comedians who were significantly funnier than many of those who made it into the competition's top 20.

I don't know how many people voted in order to produce that list of 20 favourites but I suspect it wasn't many.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 8:26pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,003 posts
Quote: Doniedaff @ 22nd June 2019, 12:50 PM

I'm thinking Irish people weren't supposed to be considered, if so there would be a lot more than 1 on the list.

Well there's at least two with Milligan on it.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 9:07pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 4:40 PM

Dave Allen's mother was English. Therefore he was eligible for . . . dual nationality.

I hope I don't appear a presumptuous know-all but I think you're wrong.

As I understand it, children born outside the UK before 1983 to a British father acquired British citizenship by descent. A qualifying Irish child would accordingly have dual nationality (unless he renounced his Irish nationality). However, such children born to a British mother (but not a British father) did not qualify.

In 2009, the law was changed to allow automatic British citizenship to children born outside the UK before 1983 who had a British parent of either sex.

Unfortunately, Dave died in 2005 and so did not benefit from the change in the law.

In summary: Dave Allen wasn't British and at no time in his life was he automatically eligible for British citizenship.

I thank you. Laughing out loud

Avatar

Definitely Tarby

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 9:20pm
  • England
  • 1,914 posts

Let's agree he posthumously qualifies for British citizenship and get on with our lives.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 9:34pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 23rd June 2019, 9:20 PM

Let's agree he posthumously qualifies for British citizenship and get on with our lives.

I've just had a text from Buckingham Palace saying they're very worried about your suggestion.

They ask how on earth they're going to afford to send 600,000 telegrams of posthumous congratulations every year to dead people on the hundredth anniversary of their birth.

The government have put your name on their list of troublemakers! :O

You do, however, make a fair point: Dave Allen was (morally) worth his place in the competition.

Avatar

Aaron

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 10:04pm [Edited]
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,428 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 23rd June 2019, 9:07 PM

I hope I don't appear a presumptuous know-all but I think you're wrong.

As I understand it, children born outside the UK before 1983 to a British father acquired British citizenship by descent. A qualifying Irish child would accordingly have dual nationality (unless he renounced his Irish nationality). However, such children born to a British mother (but not a British father) did not qualify.

In 2009, the law was changed to allow automatic British citizenship to children born outside the UK before 1983 who had a British parent of either sex.

Interesting, thanks. Fair point on the legality then - but still, of 50% English parentage, and living and working here should certainly qualify him for the list.

In the reverse of course, Laurel remained a British subject AFAIK, but lived and worked almost entirely in the US, for a primarily US audience, but was of course also included.

Avatar

Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 10:18pm [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,003 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 23rd June 2019, 9:07 PM

I hope I don't appear a presumptuous know-all but I think you're wrong.

As I understand it, children born outside the UK before 1983 to a British father acquired British citizenship by descent. A qualifying Irish child would accordingly have dual nationality (unless he renounced his Irish nationality). However, such children born to a British mother (but not a British father) did not qualify.

In 2009, the law was changed to allow automatic British citizenship to children born outside the UK before 1983 who had a British parent of either sex.

Unfortunately, Dave died in 2005 and so did not benefit from the change in the law.

In summary: Dave Allen wasn't British and at no time in his life was he automatically eligible for British citizenship.

I thank you. Laughing out loud

Which also excluded Spike Milligan from being British. He died an Irishman and yet he'd be many people's choice of greatest British comedian. Technically he shouldn't be on the list.

AvatarBCG Supporter

garyd

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 10:37pm
  • England
  • 779 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 23rd June 2019, 10:18 PM

Which also excluded Spike Milligan from being British. He died an Irishman and yet he'd be many people's choice of greatest British comedian. Technically he shouldn't be on the list.

Spike Milligan held a British passport until 1962, when the British Commonwealth Immigrants Act of that year removed his automatic right to British citizenship and his passport was withdrawn.
He felt that the insistence on swearing allegiance to the Queen was an insult to someone who had served in the British army for six years and who had fought and suffered injury in the second world war.
Thus when the Irish government offered him an Irish passport he had no hesitation in accepting.

So, Milligan would have died British if not for the British government!

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 10:58pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 23rd June 2019, 10:18 PM

Which also excluded Spike Milligan from being British. He died an Irishman

Garyd has already mentioned Spike's Indian-based Britishness and his subsequent Irishness.

He was born in 1918 and was British until 1962.

He was Irish from 1962 until his death in 2002.

Perhaps the panel only considered his comedic works before 1962 and that would, of course, have included The Goon Show.

At the end of the day, however, he finished 8th in the list of 30 finalists.

If he'd stayed British, he might have won! Laughing out loud

Quote: Aaron @ 23rd June 2019, 10:04 PM

Laurel remained a British subject AFAIK, but lived and worked almost entirely in the US

Wikipedia describes Stan as a British-born American comedian.

The accuracy or otherwise of that statement depends of course upon one's definition of "American".

For my money, however, the final word on the subject must go to Stan's daughter Lois (who should know a thing or two about her dad) and she assures us that he was British until his dying day - never having taken American citizenship.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 11:16pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,373 posts

Ricky Gervais points out that the competition voted him Britain's joint-second-greatest living comedian - behind Billy Connolly.

He says he's quite happy with that!