80: Friends: Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer)
The second of the three entrants from Friends (and you already know who the final one is, don’t you?) is a perhaps controversial entry into this list because it means we won’t see Joey or Phoebe or Monica or any of the other characters cropping up. Why choose Ross over the others? Well, it was because of the six characters, Ross was the only one who remained believable. Granted, we all know in real life Rachel would never have gone for him, but that aside Ross kept his character throughout the infinite series of Friends aired, without dipping into caricature. A big dork, Ross could always raise a smile with his endless obsessions, and fascination with the dullest of things. And he was funny, too! Often the butt of the joke, Ross could nevertheless hold his own and hit back when ripped by his friends. And the sight of him playing keyboard is funny, even now.
79: Alias: Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner)
She of the many wigs and costumes, which thankfully always somehow managed to show off Jennifer’s fabulous legs, for which we thank the costume department. Sydney started off the show as a female spy working as a double agent in a devious agency run by the evil Arvin Sloane (and we mean, EVIL). She was tormented endlessly by the writers, who killed off his fiancé in the first episode and then made things go downhill for her, because obviously she hasn’t suffered enough! Her best friend was killed, her love interest and CIA handler Michael was seemingly killed several times, and she herself was close to death on more than one occasion. Yet she always pulled through, and was the ultimate in girl power! Well, until series 4, when the show dipped dramatically in quality. But we’ll always have those first three seasons…
78: Angel: Spike (James Marsters)
Shock! Spike is wayyyyy down on the list! How can this be? Well, in a chart that doesn’t have room for Fred or Cordelia, really Spike can think himself lucky to be here at all. Killed off at the end of Buffy’s TV run, he was unceremoniously (and accidentally) resurrected by Angel during the first episode of the next season as a ghost, who was hilariously bound to follow Angel wherever he went, which naturally caused friction between the two vampires, who had hated each other for a very long time. He eventually got form back, and joined the team, somewhat reluctantly. He undermined Angel at every turn, with his caustic comments hitting home often, causing great verbal exchanges between the two. When we last saw Spike he was still alive, but facing down an army of demons. Did he survive to fight another day? You’ll have to read the comics to find out.
77: Blackadder: Queen Elizabeth I (Miranda Richardson)
“Queenie”, as she was always called, was not the glorious leader we knew from the history books, Blackadder showed us, but in actual fact a spoilt child who delighted in chopping off people’s heads for no real reason. She took childish delight in her “favourites”, who included Walter Raleigh, and Blackadder spent the series attempting to win her favour so she would marry him. Aided by her two advisors Melchett (a gloriously grovelling Stephen Fry) and her nurse… Nursie, she was a voice of insanity in the series, going way OTT whenever she wanted to, with her tantrums aimed at anyone who annoyed her. She was a brilliant character, hilariously silly and pointless, and it’s a shame we never got more of her.
76: Heroes: Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka)
One of the most recent TV shows to grip America has been Heroes, and of all the characters Hiro is almost certainly the most loved. As the only cast member to embrace his powers from the start, his enthusiasm in his quest to save the world was endearing, and his relationship with best friend Ando was touching. Yet Hiro wasn’t a slacker, he was always faithful in his quest, and throughout the series had several of the best moments (the storyline where he tries to save the waitress who liked him from dying was the most heartbreaking thing). His ability to flash forward meant that he was the hero with the most knowledge of the chain of events that would lead to the ‘exploding man’ which would destroy New York, and it was impossible not to root for him as he tried to stop it from happening.