And at number 25…

Coming up with last few characters in the list of the top 25 TV characters ever has proved harder than I thought. I managed to come up with 23 and 24 yesterday morning. That’s caused a bit of a stir over at the Doctor Who LiveJournal forum. Some agreed with my inclusion of Liz Shaw. Some didn’t pick up on my tongue-in-cheek style. Oh well.

Anyway, ever since, I’ve been trying to come up with number 25. You should have seen the look on my wife’s face when I explained why I seemed distracted in Sainsbury’s: “Well, I’m trying to think up the 25th greatest character in TV history.” “Oh, right….”

I came up with a few options, some of whom might be good for your own lists, if you haven’t already got them:

  • Frank Burnside from The Bill
  • Miranda from Sex and the City (thanks Marie)
  • Maggie Forbes from The Gentle Touch (which goes back to my point about how we forget strong female characters in favour of slightly less strong female characters such as Jane Tennison from Prime Suspect, in this case)
  • Dirty Den from EastEnders (until he came back from the dead)
  • Dr Cox from Scrubs (thanks Lisa)
  • Niles Crane from Frasier (thanks again Lisa)
  • Regan from The Sweeney
  • JR from Dallas
  • Matthew Burton from It’s Your Move (Jason Bateman showing off some extreme talent at a very early age)
  • Jason King from Department S and Jason King (the original Austin Powers)
  • Kit Curran from The Kit Curran Radio Show
  • Julie Newmar’s Catwoman in Batman
  • Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers
  • Howling Mad Murdoch from The A-Team
  • Tom Chance from Chance in a Million

Eventually, though, I hit on it. I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten him (or is it her)! You might well kick yourself when you hear their name.

At number 25 is…

Jim Bergerac.

Nah. Just kidding it’s….

Harold SteptoeHarold Albert Kitchener Steptoe. Tony Hancock might have been the funniest man who ever lived, but Steptoe was the funniest character and filled with so much pathos, it defies description. It could equally have been Steptoe Senior, but he didn’t quite have the depth of his son, although he certainly had his moments.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.