We’re used to sitting on the sofa to tune into our favourite shows, but the simple sofa can also be the star of the scene, as new research into our funniest TV moments shows.
We polled the public to discover the top sofa moments from British TV, spanning the country from the home of The Royle Family in Manchester, to Uncle Albert’s Peckham pad.
Commenting on the importance of sofas in creating some of TV’s funniest moments, David Bryan, production designer and member of the British Film Design Guild, said: “Of all the furniture in a frame, the sofa informs us of the history of the scene.
“Old, faded but cherished, smart, leather, aspirational or a bad choice, you can take a blank room, choose the right sofa for the story and the rest of the room will follow. It’s a back story, but it grounds the scene.”
The UK’s top five sofa moments
The Royle Family – Anthony’s new girlfriend
Taking the top spot in the poll is Anthony’s 18th birthday episode, where he introduces the family to his new vegetarian girlfriend, Emma. Being unfamiliar with the concept of not eating meat, they persistently offer her some wafer-thin ham to eat.
The Royle Family – Nana’s bed
In the 2006 special, The Queen of Sheba, Nana’s double bed is moved to the dining table’s usual spot. The conversation spreads between the sofa to Nana in her bed, in actress Liz Smith’s hilarious performance.
Only Fools and Horses – Uncle Albert’s lion encounter
In He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Uncle, Uncle Albert tells Del and Raquel about his encounter with a lion. After frightening the couple with an impression of the lion’s roar, he sheepishly admits to having just wet himself, leaving the chair to a vulnerable Rodney.
Mr Bean – Mr Bean drives from his armchair
After discovering he can’t fit all his shopping in his Mini, Mr Bean places an armchair on the roof and drives from there instead, only to lose control down a steep hill.
I’m Alan Partridge – Alan falls off his sofa
In The Colour of Alan, the hapless radio DJ talks to Piet from Dante’s Fires, about hosting the company’s conference. Unable to see each other over his makeshift coffee table, Alan sits on the back of his sofa, only for it to fall backwards.
ScS managing director Kevin Royal added: “We loved hearing about the nation’s favourite TV sofa moments. The sofa is the heart of the home, so it was no surprise to see it playing such a pivotal part in some our most well loved TV shows’ funniest moments.
“We definitely had a good laugh reading about the nation’s favourites, and were not surprised to see The Royle Family coming out on top!”