It's the U-turn of the decade as middle-aged, car-mad trio make Top Gear our favourite TV show
TV HIT Top Gear was today named the nation's favourite television programme of the decade.
The show, which was completely reinvented in the early Noughties, topped a poll commissioned for Channel 4 for a special programme next week.
Snow Patrol hit Chasing Cars was named the top tune of the decade for another programme on C4 that looks back over the past ten years in music.
For the programmes, new surveys were used to find the nation's preferred TV and chart hits, rather than relying on sales and viewing figures.
BBC2's Top Gear was first broadcast in 1977 but BBC bosses grew tired of the format and decided in 2001 that it needed to be refreshed for the following year.
Many of the show's presenters defected to Five for the new Fifth Gear show, but by 2003 the BBC show had settled down with a line-up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, and it went from strength to strength.
The show fought off tough competition from Doctor Who, The Office, The Simpsons and QI to top the chart for C4's The Greatest TV Shows of the Noughties.
Hammond said: "I could never say what the reason is for Top Gear doing so well since we started it, but I think there's always a sense that we'd still be doing it even if the cameras weren't here and that makes it real."
Snow Patrol's track peaked at number six in the charts in 2006, but was popular enough to sell more than half a million copies.
It beat other highly ranked songs such as Amy Winehouse's Rehab and The Killers' Mr Brightside – which only made it to number ten in the UK chart – to triumph as best song.
Arctic Monkeys' chart-topper track I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor was also strongly backed in the Channel 4 vote, as was James Blunt's hit You're Beautiful.
The full list will be revealed in the channel's programme The Greatest Songs of the Noughties.
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody said it was an "incredible" accolade.
"It was written very quickly. I was down at my producer's house and he and I sat up late into the night with a couple of guitars and more than a couple of bottles of wine and wrote a bunch of stuff.
"We woke up the next day and most of (what was written] was awful but there was just this one."
Meanwhile, the narrator of Channel 4's Big Brother has been voted Britain's voice of the decade, even if few people know his name and even fewer knows what he looks like.
The Geordie tones of Marcus Bentley are the most iconic and among the most instantly recognisable in 21st-century Britain, according to new research.
He topped a poll of 5,000 adults by throat spray brand Ultra Chloraseptic to find the voice which most represents Britain today.
Bentley, who reportedly got the job because of the way he pronounced the word "chickens" during the audition, has been narrating BB and Celebrity Big Brother for a decade.
• The Greatest TV Shows of the Noughties is on Channel 4 tomorrow. The Greatest Songs of the Noughties is on Monday at 9pm.
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