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Hunt launched to find greatest British crime drama of all time

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock will go up against Agatha Christie's Poirot in the hunt for the best British crime drama of all time.

A panel of expert critics have compiled a shortlist of the UK's top 50 crime dramas for the Radio Times poll.

Spanning the decades, the list includes Dixon Of Dock Green, first broadcast in 1955, to modern hits Life On Mars, Line Of Duty and Broadchurch.

Happy Valley, David Jason's A Touch Of Frost, Silent Witness, Death In Paradise and Jonathan Creek also make the shortlist with the winner to be decided by a public vote.

Alison Graham, Radio Times TV editor, said: "Crime dramas make amateur psychologists of us all. For fans that's the real joy; it's not always necessarily about whodunnit.

"Though that doesn't mean we don't want a proper ending and a satisfying resolution. We do.

"We hate being left waiting outside a door left open for another series.

"Surely, though, the most important element of the best crime drama is the primordial one, the one that inspired our ancestors as they sat round camp fires in their caves: the telling of a good story.

"There's nothing more captivating than a tale told well."

The poll will remain open until June 18 with the full shortlist available in this week's Radio Times.