Legendary British actor Richard Attenborough has topped a poll of filmgoers' favourite on-screen Father Christmas.

Attenborough beat other rosy-cheeked, loveable Santas for his role in the 1994 remake of the classic Christmas feel-good movie Miracle on 34th Street.

Tim Allen came second in Odeon's survey of 1,200 film fans after playing the festive figure in The Santa Clause, while Tom Hanks was placed third for his version of Santa in Polar Express.

But it's not just the loveable characters who were named in the poll; Billy Bob Thornton came fourth for Bad Santa.

Ed Asner (Elf) concluded the top five.

When asked who they would most like to see play Father Christmas, filmgoers said Robbie Coltrane would be their number one choice followed by Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone.

Judi Dench was the favourite to play Santa's leading lady, Mrs Claus, and fellow British actress Kate Winslet came in second.

This year's latest contender for the favourite Santa Claus role is Paul Giammatti, who has donned the red suit for 2007's Fred Claus.

10/12/2007 16:05:55