Colin Firth and the BBC class of ’95 voted best Pride and Prejudice cast poll names Firth and Jennifer Ehle, from the TV adaptation of Jane Austen's 200-year-old novel, the ultimate Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

In honour of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we asked readers to take part in our poll to decide the ultimate cast from TV and film adaptations of the beloved literary romance.


We wondered if the votes might provide a new pairing of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, or perhaps match one Mr Bennet with another Mrs B. But as it turned out, you thought the BBC’s 1995 TV series, adapted by Andrew Davies, had already ticked almost all the boxes! 

Aside from the role of Jane Bennet – which saw Rosamund Pike from the 2005 movie version pip 1995’s Susannah Harker to the post with an impressive 50% of the vote – readers opted for the 1995 cast members in all of the categories. So we think it’s fair to pronounce the TV mini-series the best ever Pride and Prejudice adaptation.

After almost 12,000 votes, here are the full results of our poll: 

While Keira Knightley from Joe Wright’s 2005 film received 26%, Jennifer Ehle has been named the ultimate Lizzie Bennet with 61% of the vote. 

Colin Firth (and his wet shirt) as Austen’s moody hero Mr Darcy easily took the top spot with 66% of the vote. Matthew Macfadyen from the 2005 film came in second with 21% while Elliot Cowan from ITV adaptation Lost in Austen garnered 8%. 

With 47%, Benjamin Whitrow came away as the most popular Mr Bennet. But Donald Sutherland and Hugh Bonneville did offer some serious competition with 27% and 20% of the vote, respectively. 

1995’s mischievous matriarch Alison Steadman won favourite Mrs Bennet too, with 57%, ahead of Brenda Blethyn with 30% of the vote. 

Crispin Bonham-Carter’s Mr Bingley beat Simon Woods (26%) and Lost in Austen’s Tom Mison (18%) with 52% of the votes, while Tom Riley (21%) and Rupert Friend (29%) lost out to Adrian Lukis, who was voted the favourite Mr Wickham with 44%. 

Jane Austen’s most famous novel Pride and Prejudice was first published 200 years ago today, on 28 January 1812.


Here’s your favourite Mr Darcy, Colin Firth, in that iconic wet-shirt scene from the 1995 BBC adaptation.