One a playwright feted for his literary genius, the other a rock star renowned for his foul mouth: but Oscar Wilde and Liam Gallagher now share the accolade of being voted among Britain's greatest wits.
Great minds: Oscar Wilde, Jeremy Clarkson and Liam Gallagher have been voted into list of favourite wits
Have your say: What are
your favourite witticisms?
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".
Third was Stephen Fry, who played Wilde in the 1997 eponymous film of his life.
He once quoted the playwright when passing through airport customs, announcing: "I have nothing to declare but my genius."
And in reference to his homosexuality, the comedian, actor, and quiz show host declared: "My first words, as I was being born... I looked up at my mother and said, 'that's the last time I'm going up one of those.'"
The poll of 3,000 comedy fans placed Liam Gallagher tenth.
advertisementThe Oasis singer, famed for his drunken antics and abrasive attitude, once said of his brother Noel, "I'd do time for him. I love him. Me and him are cool. If anyone stepped on his toes, I'd cut them off."
In fourth place was the columnist and host of the motoring programme Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson.
The self-confessed petrolhead is unafraid of stirring up controversy with his caustic comments.
"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary‚Ä¶ That's what gets you," he once declared.
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".
Quotes from Britain's top ten wits
1 Oscar Wilde: "Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."
2 Spike Milligan: "A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree."
3 Stephen Fry: "It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue"
4 Jeremy Clarkson: "We all know that small cars are good for us. But so is cod liver oil. And jogging. I want to drive around in a Terminator, not the heroine in an EM Forster novel."
5 Sir Winston Churchill: "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
6 Paul Merton: "My school days were the happiest of my life: which should give you some indication of the misery I've endured over the past twenty five years."
7 Noel Coward: "Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar. Never spread it about like marmalade."
8 William Shakespeare: "Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery."
9 Brian Clough: "I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one"
10 Liam Gallagher: "She can't even chew gum and walk in a straight line, let alone write a book." (on Victoria Beckham)