'It's a Wonderful Life' has been voted the best Christmas film of all time.

The 1946 classic - which starred James Stewart as a man contemplating suicide before a guardian angel intervenes - beat off competition from 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' and 'Love Actually', which placed second and third respectively, in a radiotimes.com poll.

Commenting on the results, film expert Barry Norman told Radio Times magazine: "'It's a Wonderful Life' is a great movie whichever time of year you watch it but if I had my way it would be shown on TV every Christmas Day right after the Queen's speech.

"Frank Capra never intended it to have a particularly Christmassy message, but that's exactly what it has because it encapsulates what Christmas is, or should be, about - hope, love, goodwill."

Rounding out the top five were 2003 movie 'Elf' and 1990's 'Home Alone'.

Meanwhile, 'Miracle on 34th Street' appeared twice in the list, with the 1947 original - starring Oscar-winning actor Edmund Gwenn - placing 12th, six places behind the 1994 remake which starred Richard Attenborough.

Action blockbuster 'Die Hard' - telling the tale of an off-duty New York cop who is waylaid by a terrorist hostage situation on Christmas Eve - was a surprise in the list, coming in at eighth place .

'White Christmas', came in seventh place, 'Scrooge' and 'Santa Claus' rounded out the top 10.

Radiotimes.com top 25 Christmas films:

1. 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946)

2. 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' (1992)

3. 'Love Actually' (2003)

4. 'Elf' (2003)

5. 'Home Alone' (1990)

6. 'Miracle on 34th Street' (1994)

7. 'White Christmas (1954)

8. 'Die Hard' (1988)

9. 'Scrooge' (1951)

10. 'Santa Claus' (1985)

11. 'The Polar Express' (2004)

12. 'Miracle on 34th Street' (1947)

13. 'Scrooged' (1988)

14. 'A Christmas Carol' (1984)

15. 'The Santa Clause' (1994)

16. 'The Nightmare before Christmas' (1993)

17. 'The Holiday' (2006)

18. 'Gremlins' (1984)

19. 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York' (1992)

20. 'The Grinch' (2000)

21. 'Bad Santa' (2003)

22. 'The Railway Children' (1970)

23. 'The Bishop's Wife' (1947)

24. 'Meet Me in St. Louis' (1944)

25. 'The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe' (2005)