Forget about the battle between X Factor and Strictly for Saturday night supremacy – the real TV showdown in Britain this year was between the CIA and a 10-year-old knight-in-training.
In fact, according to Google’s trending TV shows of 2012 Zeitgeist list, which shows the fastest growing search terms during the year (not the highest volume of searches), neither of the aforementioned shiny-floored talent shows even made it into the top ten.
No, 2012 was all about British/Canadian animated series Mike the Knight for Google users in the UK. Such was their desire to find out more about the 10-year-old CBeebies star, that Mike found himself catapulted to the top of the Google trends list, fighting off strong competition from Claire Danes and Damian Lewis CIA spy thriller Homeland, which came in second place.
Towie, The Jonathan Ross Show and Celebrity Big Brother made up the rest of this year’s top five.
Proving that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s Conan Doyle update is by no means a flash in the pan; Sherlock took the sixth spot in the list, despite only airing three episodes in January of 2012.
The Great British Bake Off, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother closely pursued the Benedict Cumberbatch detective drama, making up the top ten.
The highest trending film in the UK was inevitably James Bond blockbuster Skyfall, whereas perhaps surprisingly X Factor live finalist Lucy Spraggan was the highest trending music artist, beating off competition from the likes of will.i.iam, One Direction and Muse.
Euro 2012 topped the overall list of the UK’s fastest rising search terms last year, with Olympic tickets, Whitney Houston and Kate Middleton in close pursuit.
Google publishes the zeitgeist lists annually across a number of topics and regions to “reveal what captured the world's attention in the past year”. The lists are designed to show the fastest growing search topics, and do not indicate the largest volume of searches. In 2011, the fastest growing search in the UK was for “Royal Wedding” whilst Internet talking shop “Chatroulette” took the crown the previous year.