A year after his topless scything scene
was voted RadioTimes.com readers’ top TV moment of 2015, Irish Poldark actor Aidan Turner has once again topped a poll of 2016’s biggest telly events by getting his kit off – though this time he was indulging in far more hygienic pursuits.
In a poll of over 2,000 RadioTimes.com readers, the scene where Turner’s Ross Poldark washes himself down in a tin bath was voted 2016’s biggest TV moment, narrowly pipping the finale of crime drama Peaky Blinders and Tom Hiddleston’s brief flash of nudity in The Night Manager to the top spot.
Other moments rated highly by readers included Hodor’s (Kristian Nairn) tragic Game of Thrones death, Mo Farah’s Olympic triumphs and the harrowing snake attack from Planet Earth II, along with a second Poldark moment within the top five that saw Ross and Elizabeth share a controversial bedroom scene.
Users were asked to vote for one from a shortlist of 35 of the funniest, most dramatic, inspiring and emotional TV moments of 2016, ranging from Ed Balls’ Gangnam Style dance on Strictly Come Dancing and the sumptuous ball of War & Peace to the resurrection of Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.
See the top 16 of 2016’s biggest TV moments below…
1. Aidan Turner in a tin bath (Poldark)
Poldark series two didn’t have any moments quite like the shirtless scythe from last year’s run, but this scene (where Aidan Turner stripped off for a wash) came close.
2. The Shelbys are arrested (Peaky Blinders)
The latest series of this acclaimed gangland drama saw the Shelby gang divvying up the spoils of their illegal activities, only for nearly the entire family to be arrested after getting tangled up with shady establishment figures.
3. Tom Hiddleston bares all (The Night Manager)
The stylish action of John le Carre’s The Night Manager was almost overshadowed by a sex scene featuring the so-called “Hiddlesbum”.
4. Ross and Elizabeth's controversial bedroom scene (Poldark)
The BBC drama's take on a controversial scene from Winston Graham's Poldark novels sparked a major debate. Did Aidan Turner's Ross rape Elizabeth? Public opinion was divided.
5. Snake attack on baby iguanas (Planet Earth II)
If anyone had doubts that we could see anything new in a nature documentary, this heart-stopping, nightmarish chase sequence set them right.
6. Hodor holds the door (Game of Thrones)
As terrifying ice-zombies tore him apart, the fantasy series revealed the tragic origins of Kristian Nairn’s gentle giant.
7. Ed Balls does Gangnam Style (Strictly Come Dancing)
The former Labour MP was the highlight of Strictly, and without question this was his finest performance.
8. The Brownlee brothers go arm-in-arm to the finish line (Triathlon World Series)
When he saw his brother Jonny struggling in the Triathon World Series, Alistair Brownlee grabbed him and supported him across the finish line, sacrificing his own second place in the process.
9. Jon Snow is resurrected (Game of Thrones)
It was the worst kept secret in TV drama, yet also the most talked about, so when Kit Harington’s hero came back from the dead it still made waves among millions of Game of Thrones viewers worldwide.
10. Andrei and Natasha waltz at the ball (War and Peace)
The massive scale of the Tolstoy adaptation really came into its own for this sumptuous and romantic sequence.
11. Mo Farah falls over – and still wins a gold medal (The Rio Olympics)
Team GB’s medal haul in Rio 2016 was impressive, but no triumph was quite as inspiring as Mo Farah’s in the 10,000m, successfully defending his title despite tripping over mid-race.
12. Donald Trump’s acceptance speech
The lines between TV and politics blurred ever more this year as ex-reality TV star and businessman Donald Trump was elected President of the United States of America.
13. Lindsay Denton is shot (Line of Duty)
Keeley Hawes’ return to Line of Duty surprised everyone, but her character’s death shocked viewers even more.
14. ‘The Caddy’ tries to escape (Line of Duty)
The last shattering chase scene in Line of Duty series three had viewers gasping for breath. The best part? The dodgy copper finally got his comeuppance…
15. Adele’s carpool karaoke (The Late Late Show with James Corden)
Millions of people watched the singer make music with James Corden online, blurring the lines between TV and short-form video.
16. Danny Dyer discovers his royal ancestry (Who Do You Think You Are?)
One of the most entertaining episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? thus far came to an incredible climax as EastEnders star Danny Dyer discovered he was a direct descendant of King Edward III.