Vote Tommy Trinder!

Ross Noble leads internet campaign

Ross Noble is spearheading a growing internet campaign to get wartime comic Tommy Trinder voted as the top stand-up of all time.

He is urging fans to influence the Channel 4 poll to list the 100 greatest ever comedians – an exercise which has already come under fire for excluding some of the top names in comedy.

Only 106 names have made the shortlist which is put up for public vote, virtually ensuring them all a place in the final show when it airs this spring.

But the programme’s bulletin board has been inundated with hundreds of complaints about notable omissions including: Louis CK, Tim Minchin, Richard Herring, Doug Stanhope, Barry Cryer, Rich Hall, Sarah Silverman, Max Miller, Simon Amstell, Dave Chappelle, David O'Doherty and Mark Watson.

However, the likes of Jim Davidson and Joe Pasquale have made the cut.

Noble, who is included on the shortlist, says he launched his campaign to highlight Trinder’s work

He told his fans: ‘Tommy Trinder was a top act and would be funny to have an act from [the] 50s top [the] list. Last time I was ahead [of] Lenny Bruce so it's bollocks anyway.

Noble also pointed out: ‘You can vote as many times as you like – come on the Trinder.’

His campaign has already received the backing on Tim Minchin, Alan Davies, Jason Manford and Viz creator Simon Donald, who all retweeted Noble’s request to thousands of Twitter followers.

Donald has even set up a Facebook group urging people to vote for Trinder, who emerged from the variety circuit as one of Britain’s foremost entertainers just before the war.

He made several films, including the Ealing comedy Sailors Three, and was first compere for ITV’s top-rated Sunday Night at the London Palladium, before handing over to Bruce Forsyth. He died in 1989, aged 80.

Trinder came in at No 83 in Channel 4’s original top 100, four years ago, sandwiched between Demetri Martin and Barry Humphries.

However, the internet campaign is unlikely to have the same success as that which propelled Rage Against The Machine to the Christmas No 1 ahead of X-Factor winner Joe McElderry.

Programme-makers do not entirely rely on the public poll, as the final order is decided by a panel which will not be ‘swayed’ by block votes

Executive producer Sean Doherty said: ‘The panel is there to safeguard against the block voting which goes on. Last time we did it, after a few weeks voting and thousands of votes cast, some comedians went from being 120 to top 5 over a weekend because of the block voting involved, so we're monitoring really carefully.

‘We have the old votes to hand so we can compare changes in taste and include new comedians, but not be swayed by block votes.’

Published: 20 Jan 2010

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