Oscar Wilde voted greatest British wit

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Wilde, who even on his deathbed remarked, "either those curtains go or I do", was voted number one in the list of comic masters, ahead of comedian Spike Milligan, who had engraved on his tombstone the epitaph "I told you I was ill". ...

Wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, famed for his witty putdowns came in fifth.

Accused of being drunk by the MP Bessie Braddock he is said to have replied: "Madam, you are ugly. And I shall be sober in the morning."

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, more renowned for her steely personality than her roustabout humour, was the highest ranked woman in the poll, taking 12th place.

She once quipped: "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

The poll was conducted to mark the launch of a new UKTV digital television channel called Dave under the banner "The home of witty banter".

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