Former Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant has been crowned RadioTimes.com Television Champion 2014, beating Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch in a grand final that drew more than 2.85 million votes. In a keenly fought battle over five days, Tennant eventually emerged triumphant with 1.53m votes compared to 1.33m for Cumberbatch.
Nine million votes were cast in total across 127 individual matches in the three week long tournament that pitched Britain’s biggest television stars against one another.
A list of 128 stars was drawn up by Radio Times staff, with representatives of genres ranging from drama and comedy to current affairs and reality shows. After an initial draw (see attached chart), the stars were placed in 64 head to head polls for the public to vote in over a period of several days. Once voting closed, the loser was eliminated and the winner moved on to the next round.
Fans mobilised on Twitter and Facebook to try to get their favourites through. And many of the stars themselves weighed in, including Richard Osman, Amanda Abbington, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Luke Newberry, Katherine Kelly and Zawe Ashton.
Despite falling to the might of Benedict Cumberbatch’s legions of fans in an extremely close semi-final, Ricky Gervais emerged as one of the stars of the tournament after embarking on a two-fronted Twitter and Facebook social media campaign to rally his supporters – helping him see off the likes of Ant and Dec’s Ant McPartlin and his old colleague from The Office (now the star of Sherlock and The Hobbit) Martin Freeman.
The tournament had thrills, spills and upsets from the very start. Martin Freeman was forced to eliminate his real-life partner Amanda Abbington, early favourite Billie Piper was eliminated in the first round by Dec (of Ant & Dec) and Eastenders star Lacey Turner beat Mr Selfridge’s Katherine Kelly by a single vote in their bout.
Derek Jacobi steamrollered through Brendan ‘Mrs Brown’ O’Carroll, Mary Berry and Miranda Hart, before being knocked out by Tom Hiddleston. And Karen Gillan eliminated national treasures Stephen Fry and David Attenborough, before falling to eventual finalist and fellow Doctor Who alumnus, David Tennant.
Congratulations to David Tennant and all of those who voted for him. Many thanks to everyone who took part and helped to make the 2014 Television Champion tournament such a success.