Top 10 Extras guest stars

The series that turned telly inside out and looked at the life of the humble bit player was bursting with real life talent. Dave presents its rundown of the top ten big names - naturally, in reverse order.

10. Stephen Fry

Instead of giving us Stephen Fry: national treasure, Extras did something unprecedented. It gave us Stephen Fry: git. Cornering poor Andy Millman in a men's loos at the BAFTAs, Fry was every bit as mocking, snide and downright horrible as he usually is sweet and avuncular. It was a bit like seeing Sir David Attenborough kick a puffin in the face, only less legally actionable.

9. Samuel L Jackson

When making small talk with Samuel L Jackson, it's always good not to be racist. Even being a little bit accidentally racist is generally a no-no. Sadly, Maggie fell at this hurdle when she told him she hated anybody doing jazz, "black or white", and went on to confuse him with Laurence Fishburne. "She doesn't think you all look alike," Andy interjected. In retrospect, this probably wasn't as helpful as it sounded in his own head.

8. Les Dennis

The words "Les Dennis was so good in that" never crossed anyone's lips until his appearance on Extras as a shambling has-been wreck reduced to calling up gossip mags to tip them off to sightings of himself. And then came the hideous/outstanding finale: Les Dennis having grunting sex while doing his "I don't reaallllly know" catchphrase and referencing Family Fortunes. Once seen, it can never be unseen.

7. Ross Kemp

He so magnificently sent up his own hard man image, it's hard to decide which Ross Kemp bit was the best. His dark mutterings about prison convicts coming for "a bit of Kemp arse"? His furious rivalry with Vinnie Jones? No, it's when he revealed that SAS stands for "Super Army Soldiers." Not Special Air Service. Super Army Soldiers. That's what actual SAS people told him, after all. And they wouldn't wind up one of their own.

6. Kate Winslet

"I'd love it if you stuck your Willy Wonka between my Oompa Loompas." Not our words. The words of phone sex guru Kate Winslet. Tutoring Maggie in dirty talk, she also recommended mentioning his "purple-headed womb ferret", before revealing how there are too many Holocaust films around, and she was only doing one to win an Oscar. For making an acclaimed thesp say such things, we can only salute you, Merchant and Gervais.

5. Ben Stiller

Stiller's attempts to make a film about the horrors of the Balkans War were only slightly undone by his fixation with the box office receipts of Meet the Fockers, and – how can we put this – the inferno of his inexplicable rages. He rounded on Andy, calling him a "nobody" before asking "And who am I?" To which Andy responded: "It's either Starsky or Hutch. I can never remember." The greatest comeback of all time? Yes.

4. Keith Chegwin

Keith Chegwin! Cheggers! He's lovable right? LOVABLE! And at first, he was even lovable in Extras, blundering about, grinning at things for no reason. Cheggers! And then he started being all anti-Semitic and homophobic and whispering about man-on-man buggery, and asking Andy to "name one black man that's funny". And everyone's inner child ran weeping from the room.

3. Ronnie Corbett

Few moments in sitcom history can compare to the moment Andy overheard strange noises from a toilet cubicle at the BAFTAs and was presented with the sight of Ronnie Corbett sniffing coke from a toilet seat. And just when we thought the pure, distilled genius of the moment couldn't be bettered, we had the sentence uttered by a disgusted BAFTA official. "Corbett. Always bloody Corbett."

2. Patrick Stewart

What should have been a heart-warming encounter between Andy and Patrick Stewart took a turn for the disturbing when the great actor proudly revealed he was working on a script in which he uses telekinetic powers to make women's clothes constantly come off. "Before she can even get her knickers on, I've seen everything," he confided in his friendly, warm, rich, Captain Picard voice. "I've seen it all." That's Star Trek: TNG ruined forever, then.

1. David Bowie

Any scene involving David Bowie would have been a masterpiece by default, but what made this perfect was the set-up. Forced to listen to Andy's woes about selling out and making a rubbish sitcom, Bowie seemed sympathetic. Until he abruptly turned to a piano and started crooning "Little fat man who sold his soul… little fat man who sold his dream… chubby little loser… national joke." It's right up there with Space Oddity, we reckon.

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