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Sherlock beats Doctor Who to be named the most popular BBC character in the world

Benedict Cumberbatch's TV detective saw off competition from both the Time Lord and Luther

Published: Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 10:27 am

Benedict Cumberbatch has declared himself "honoured" after Sherlock topped a survey to find the world's favourite BBC television character.


Almost a third of viewers worldwide opted for the TV detective, with Doctor Who coming second and Idris Elba's Luther in third place.

Cumberbatch commented: "I'm honoured to hear that my portrayal of Sherlock has been internationally recognised as viewers’ favourite BBC TV character.

"Who would have thought a high functioning sociopath could be so popular with people all over the world?”


There was more good news for Sherlock, as more than a quarter of respondents said the BBC's most memorable scene was him falling to his "death".

More than 7,000 adults from Australia, France, the USA, Germany, India, Japan and Mexico were surveyed for BBC Worldwide Showcase, with Mexicans turning out to be the biggest fans of Sherlock.

Sherlock has become a favourite face on TV across the world as the drama is sold to 240 territories by BBC Worldwide (so there's no chance Cumberbatch can get away with going under the radar on his holidays).

The top 10 favourite BBC characters are:

  1. Sherlock (29.7%)
  2. Doctor Who (17.6%)
  3. Luther (12.4%)
  4. Basil Fawlty (11.8%)
  5. The Stig (8.2%
  6. Patsy Stone (8.1%)
  7. Edmund Blackadder (7.4%)
  8. Hyacinth Bucket (6.1%)
  9. Vicar of Dibley (5.8%)
  10. The Daleks (5.6%)

When it comes to the most memorable scene, Sherlock falling to his "death" won by a wide margin - but there was also a lot of love for classic moments, including a Monty Python sketch, some Fawlty Towers and a certain scene from Pride and Prejudice.

  1. Sherlock falling to his ‘death’ (26.0%)
  2. Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch (14.1%)
  3. The Doctor’s regeneration in Doctor Who (13.1%)
  4. The Ballroom scene with Prince Andrei and Natasha in War and Peace (12.6%)
  5. Mr Darcy emerging from the lake in Pride and Prejudice (12.5%)
  6. Basil Fawlty attacking his car in Fawlty Towers (11.5%)
  7. Sir David Attenborough and the Gorillas in Life on Earth (10.2%)
  8. David Brent dancing in The Office (9.5%)
  9. When the murderer comes from out of the bed in Luther (6.53%)
  10. Don’t tell him Pike in Dad’s Army (6.50%)

BBC Store has an extensive catalogue of current and archived BBC content, including many of the characters and shows featured in this list.


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