'Downton Abbey's third series came to a close last night, with Mr Carson once again illustrating his loyalty, discretion, compassion, and willingness to pick up a cricket bat to honour the family name - all the qualities required in a first-class butler.

Enough to give him the title of Britain's favourite on-screen butler, you'd think? Well, it seems not quite. Because Carson has been pipped at the pantry by some other well-loved faces.

With thanks to Lovefilm (where you can watch via streaming all of 'Downton Abbey' series 1 and 2) for providing the poll data, here are our most beloved film and TV butlers... in reverse order, in the best traditions.

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  • 10. Parker - Thunderbirds

    Lady Penelope’s driver and valet Aloysius Parker - came into his own when the Bank of England was broken into in 'The Vault of Death'

  • 9. Mr Hudson - Upstairs, Downstairs

    Authoritarian butler Angus Hudson from classic 70’s TV series Upstairs, Downstairs - loyally served the Bellamy family at 165 Eaton Place in London.

  • 8. Lurch - The Addams Family

    Lurching into spot number eight with three per cent of votes is Lurch from gothic comedy The Addams Family. In the original black and white TV series actor Ted Cassidy coined Lurch’s ‘you rang’ catchphrase which has since become synonymous with servitude.

  • 7. Mr Carson - Downton Abbey

    Seventh place (five per cent) goes to Mr Carson who has been appearing weekly in living rooms across the nation as butler to Downton Abbey’s Crawley family. Downton may be the most popular TV period drama of all time, but perhaps Carson’s acerbic ways saw him lose out on votes.

  • 6. Hobson - Arthur

    In at number six is Hobson, butler to Dudley Moore’s drink-sodden Arthur in the film of the same name. With his dry humour and scene-stealing one-liners Hobson remained faithful to Arthur despite all his nonsense and was even responsible for saving Arthur’s life and marriage in the film’s sequel; qualities that saw him command six per cent of the votes.

  • 5. Jeeves - serving Bertie Wooster

    Trusty valet Jeeves from Jeeves and Wooster proves just as indispensable to the nine per cent of those who voted him into fifth place, as he does to well-intentioned wealthy layabout Wooster.

  • 4. Edmund Blackadder - Prince Regent

    In fourth place is Edmund Blackadder who acts as butler to foppish numskull Prince George in Blackadder the Third (10 per cent).

  • 3. Kryten - Red Dwarf

    At your service, albeit prone to malfunction, is the Series 4000 mechanoid robotic servant Kryten from cult BBC series Red Dwarf. Obsessed with cleaning and in possession of a curiously square head, 11 per cent of fans would like him to be serving the drinks on their space ships.

  • 2. Geoffrey - Prince of Bel Air

    Keeping things fresh in second place (14 per cent) is Geoffrey, who ensured the Banks family’s every need was catered for in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – the nineties sitcom that gave Will Smith his small screen break.

  • 1. Alfred - Batman

    Topping the list with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of the votes is dutiful and wise Alfred Pennyworth, most famously played by Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the Batman story.