The best TV ‘ships’ that sailed full steam ahead

From Tim and Dawn to Zack and Kelly, we celebrate the most successful 'ships' who actually found love on the telly...

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We’ve educated you in the art of ‘shipping’ – that’s rooting for a fictional relationship, in case you missed the boat – by taking you through the ‘ships’ that never quite left the harbour but what about the pairings who found love in a hopeless TV place?

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Unrequited love may make for rather exciting TV, but watching our favourite characters finally get together can be equally satisfactory.

Some of TV’s greatest romances took quite some time to get wind in their sales, so here are just some of the more successful couples who enchanted us with their tales…

Tim and Dawn / Jim and Pam (The Office)

It doesn’t matter what side of the Atlantic you’re on, this tale of office romance couldn’t help but melt your heart.

Watching Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis) make their tentative steps toward each other was both scintillating and frustrating, but the resulting union proved more than worth the wait.

Fiona and Steve (Shameless)

Shameless shipping was all the rage before the internet really took off and we quite simply couldn’t believe how much we loved Fiona (Ann Marie Duff) and Steve (James McAvoy). 

The star-crossed lovers of the Chatsworth Estate made Shameless seasons 1 and 2 great. The fact that the two married in real life was just an added bonus.

The Doctor and Rose (Doctor Who)

Ok, so the debate about whether they QUITE got out of the harbour still rages but Rose’s (Billie Piper) almost-on-almost-off again romance with Ten (David Tennant) was, and still is, the ship that launched a thousand fanfics. Plus there’s the whole alternative universe part-human Doctor pairing going on.

You could almost argue that there’s never been a pairing quite like it, though some maintain that Rose and Nine (Christopher Eccleston) had the real chemistry.

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Who wins? You decide. And which Doctor should you date? And which companion?