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Sherlock voted favourite BBC TV character

February 15, 2017

The iconic character of Sherlock, from the hit TV series of the same name, has been voted the most popular television character from the BBC by international audiences.

The survey, conducted by the BBC, reveals the top three as:

  1. Sherlock (29.7 per cent of respondents)
  2. Doctor Who (17.6 per cent of respondents)
  3. Luther (12.4 per cent of respondents)

Sold internationally to 240 territories by BBC Worldwide, the thrilling and contemporary reimagining of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories from Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who) has won numerous awards and become a global phenomenon. For instance, when ‘The Abominable Bride’ launched in over 6,000 cinemas in Asia, it went on to outsell Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the day in both China and South Korea. Meanwhile, the official Sherlock Facebook page has now amassed over 6 million fans. The survey also revealed that the character of Sherlock had broad appeal across all age groups and was most widely backed by viewers in Mexico (50 per cent), India (42 per cent) and Germany (30 per cent).

The survey also revealed that the British sense of humour was a key factor for audiences in Japan ranking Sherlock as the number one character, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of fans stating the humour was a reason to watch the show. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the British accent proved to be a turn-on with 34 per cent of viewers giving it their seal of approval as one of their top reasons for crowing the sleuth their favourite BBC character.

Sherlock also received the top spot in the survey for the most memorable scene, with fans citing the moment where he fell to his ‘death’ as their favourite by some margin. The top three were:

  1. Sherlock falling to his ‘death’ (26 per cent of respondents)
  2. ‘The Dead Parrot’ sketch by Monty Python (14.1 per cent of respondents)
  3. The Doctor’s regeneration in Doctor Who (13.1 per cent of respondents)

Overall, the top 10 memorable scenes list featured a mix of classic and contemporary BBC moments, from drama, comedy and natural history, highlighting the breadth and depth of programming that international audiences love. This was exemplified in the duel for best ‘period drama’ moment: perennial favourite, Mr Darcy (played by Colin Firth), emerging from the lake in Pride and Prejudice (12.5 per cent), being narrowly beaten by the ballroom scene between Prince Andrei and Natasha in War and Peace (12.6 per cent).

Paul Dempsey, President of Global Markets, BBC Worldwide, said: “This survey demonstrates the love and affection audiences have for our shows around the world and those defining TV moments that get viewers talking, wherever they are. With over 700 TV buyers from across the world attending our Showcase sales event next week, international demand for British TV is as strong as ever.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, commented: “I’m honoured to hear that my portrayal of Sherlock has been internationally recognised as viewers’ favourite BBC TV character. Who would have thought a high functioning sociopath could be so popular with people all over the world”

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