Peter Kay's fans and colleagues have hit back at a Chortle poll that named him the most over-rated comic around.
His Phoenix Nights co-star Patrick McGuinness said the poll of 600 comedy fans was "a joke".
The comic, who has known Kay since school, told Teletext: "The same website did a survey last year where Peter was named the funniest man on the planet.
"Whoever is successful finds the same media that build them up like to knock them down. I don't think Peter will be bothered one bit."
He added that Kay would not be troubled by the results, given the success of the Phoenix Nights DVD and his stand-up tour.
"The money Peter made off that tour means he is not going to worry about it," he said.
McGuinness, who played a bouncer in the Channel 4 series, is currently working on a follow-up show, Max and Paddy.
"We know there is a level of expectation but we are not worried about a backlash," he said. "We will start filming in June and it should be on TV by the end of the year."
Meanwhile, Kay's fans were vociferous in their condemnation of the survey result.
Here are, verbatim, some of the comments submitted to Chortle and its editor Steve Bennett:
- "Yeah you graduate over privileged southern never had a fight in their lives tosspots are real judges of comedy arent you." SexxyJamie@aol.com
- "how can people say Peter Kay is overrated as for steve bennett he is overrated to comment who is he idont know him ps how many copies did he sell enough said from mark"
- "Your Poll stink Peter Kay Rocks" dean ramsey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- "Which kind of morons vote for this, do they not watch TV at all? he is by far the funniest man of our time, Phoenix nights was a great hit, all his stand ups where great, even Jerry Sinclair (Dave Spikey) stand up was absolute class! i suggest unless you want thousands of complaint e-mails you have to to put up a notice telling people that your website thinks peter is quality..... n e way i have had me winge, Peter Kay RULES!!!!!" Boyo21uk@aol.com
- "you cheeky cockny bastards your site is a the biggest joke of all how you can say Peter Kay is over rated is a disgrace who did you pay to research that they need sacking!!!! (PRICKS)" TKAS Preston
- "i cant understand how Peter Kay can be overrated.people pay to watch him his advert in vegas is ace and he is a local comic.the fact that he doesnt do anything exciting is part of who he is.he talks about things people can relate to.i have had the oppotunity to watch Peter Kay at wigan pier and chubby brown(over rated) at blackpool and i enjoyed Peter Kay alot more than chubby brown.Critics make a act overrated fans make them popular." martin roche
- "Your site is over-rated. Your voters must be from the South, well known for their sense of humor,not." Geoffrey Redfearn
- "you are a big load of bollocks. you wouldnt even know comedy if it hit you in the face. Peter Kay is extremely funny and little britain is one of the funniest shows around, and how can you call only fools and horses the number one over rated show its classic comedy. Every one of those t.v shows and comedians you have got down there are top notch but i suppose you load of scrotums could name some comedians you think are brilliant. i bet one of the ones you lot like is paul daniels or bruce forsyth. your site is a big bag of bollocks." PIROADMARK1@aol.com
- "i have to express my disgust at your some of ur recent desicions regarding overated comedy. Peter Kay is by far one of the best comedians to come out of britian recently.....obviously to someone coming from abroad or further down south he may not hold his appeal as well, however, new age comdey is not to everyones taste...well not to most peoples taste....mainly comedy buffs who belong in a room together on their own. i agree shows like friends are totaly overrated blatent comedy crap along with others. the office??? im sorry but this also is a great british modern comedy and has run its corse well, its subtle humor was brilliant. im sure your website hold yourselves in high esteem and appreciate inventive comedy more than others *yawn* however im sure ur in the 3 or 4 % of comedy supposed elitists. it wud be interesting to see a comic appear on tv whom you rate highly.....the weekly ratings wud be enthralling" email@example.com
- "Peter kay voted the most over rated comedian Joke Who the hell is on Drugs at your place, Must be a southern softy website!" Chris Berry
- "The MAIN stream public think Pete rKay is funny and Fools And Horse,s is an instition.Get a grip you comedy snobs.Get in touch with the REAL world !!!! Fools" BRIAN STATHAM
Bennett said: "It certainly proves that people are passionate about Peter Kay one way or another.
"In many ways he's a victim of his own success. The fact he's become so phenomenally huge in such a short space of time irritates those who don't like his brand of observational humour. But there's no denying he's got a lot of fans."