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Vote for the TV moment of the year

From EastEnders to Corrie, Doctor Who to Game of Thrones, Poldark to polar bears, 2015 saw sweetness, shocks, laughs, gaffes and drama both scripted and real - but which is your favourite moment?

Published: Friday, 4th December 2015 at 4:40 pm

There were laughs, gaffes, tears and tension this year, in shows ranging from EastEnders to Corrie, Doctor Who to Game of Thrones, Bake Off to Poldark. But what was the one stand-out TV moment of 2015? Take a trip down memory lane below, then vote for your favourite in the poll at the end...


Bobby Beale is revealed as Lucy’s killer  EastEnders

Who saw that one coming? Bobby Beale – a pint-sized killer with a jewellery box as a lethal weapon! The Who Killed Lucy Beale? mystery climaxed in dramatic style during the EastEnders 30th anniversary week back in February – and the Beales are still dealing with the fallout nearly a year later. DB

Aidan Turner’s topless scything  Poldark

My goodness, scything a meadow can be sweaty work, as a shirtless Aidan Turner so ably demonstrated in the hit BBC1 drama Poldark. A nation had palpitations, though scything experts said he was doing it wrong and shouldn't have got so hot and bothered. Like that was the point. AG

Jon Snow's (possible) death  Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is notorious for killing off major characters but the murder of Jon Snow by mutinous members of the Night’s Watch in the final moments of season five still shocked viewers to their cores. The repercussions went way beyond that, though, spawning a thousand conspiracy theories from fans who simply cannot accept that Jon is gone… PJ

Anne Boleyn’s execution  Wolf Hall

It was the moment we all knew was coming, but when the French swordsman delivered his blow to the neck of Claire Foy’s Anne Boleyn it was still shocking, sickening and moving. An achingly upsetting final episode built up wonderfully to the moment the Queen was executed. She was afforded dignity in Claire Foy’s towering performance, as the wonderful Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell looked on, urging her to keep still, to make something of her final act on earth and to escape pain and indignity. But of course there was the cruel fact that he was the architect of her own demise. And then came an even crueller joke at her expense when her ladies in waiting insisted that no men should touch her lifeless, headless body. “Bit late for that,” said a courtly wag, summing up the heady mixture of misfortune, mendacity, callousness and tragedy in this final dramatic act. BD

Robert's ulcer bursts all over the dinner table  Downton Abbey 

After weeks of that tiresome hospital drama, Downton Abbey fans were in need of a little excitement and boy did they get it in episode five of the show’s swansong series. We knew Lord Grantham wasn’t feeling tip top, but no one was expecting him to project blood all over the white table cloth, splattering the faces, jewel-encrusted dresses and dinner jackets of the Abbey’s guests. A classic Downton dinner party interrupted by a burst ulcer. We never thought we’d see that, but we are bloody glad we did. EWA

Nadiya's winner's speech  The Great British Bake Off

"I am never ever going to put boundaries on myself ever again. I'm never going to say, 'I can't do it.' I'm never going to say, 'Maybe.' I'm never going to say, 'I don't think I can.' I can and I will."

Nadiya Hussain didn’t just win The Great British Bake Off this year, she hands down won the competition for best winner’s speech ever. She even had Mary Berry all teary. If you didn’t well up at Nadiya's passionate promise of self-belief, you probably need to have a quiet word with yourself. ED

Dermot’s 24-hour dance marathon  Sport Relief

The ‘Dermot Dance’ went turbo earlier this year as the former X Factor presenter took his pre-show wiggle to the big stage, dancing non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for Sport Relief. Yes, one whole day of wiggling, bopping and even a bit of ballroom. Raise money he sure did, totalling up a staggering £643,336. A whole host of famous faces dropped in to keep Dermot going. His groove behind Carol Kirkwood as she attempted to do the weather has to be the stand out moment. It was “extraordinary to do” Dermot told us. Just don’t ever ask him to dance again, he warned… ED

The elephant in the room  Top Gear

Top Gear’s final episode was missing a certain Mr Clarkson, as James May and Richard Hammond guided us through pre-recorded clips from their final big adventure. But, unavailable (ahem) as Jezzer was, the lads found a novel way to mark his absence – a great big unmentioned elephant in the room. Fans loved the subtle nod to Clarkson as well as finding the somber music-free closing credits rather amusing. ED

Claire Underwood tells Frank she’s leaving him  House of Cards

The culmination of a season of growing tensions between the President and his wife, the final moments of House of Cards series three offer a tantalising and unexpected cliffhanger.

Frank and Claire's marital problems echo those of the Underwood administration. But when Claire drops the bombshell that she is leaving him (ending a match made in heaven/hell) you can’t help but wonder if it may be the end of the line for President Underwood’s ambitions for re-election. TG

Steve Backshall’s whale watching freak-out – Big Blue Live

Above all, you want passion from your wildlife presenters and when a blue whale appeared in California’s Monterey Bay during BBC1’s Big Blue Live, you got it, in spades. Interrupting his interview, a delirious Steve Backshall unleashed an excited two-minute monologue, in which he came up for air even less often than the whale… PJ

Madonna's stage dive – The Brit Awards

Sure there were plenty of exciting wins at this year’s Brit Awards, but the phrase on everyone’s lips after the show was "cape fear". Madonna took to the stage in an oversize cape, but when a dancer was meant to tug it from her neck, it failed to release and she was pulled backwards down some steps instead. Yikes. The consummate professional continued with her performance of Living for Love and received rapturous applause from the crowd. She later admitted it had given her whiplash but said: “I know how to fall, I have fallen off my horse many times.” ED

A starving polar bear goes after a seal  The Hunt 

When this starving polar bear first drags itself out of the water, its fur plastered to its body, we see how miserably thin it is after so long without a decent meal. But then it spots a seal. Swimming around behind it to avoid its scent being picked up, the bear prepares to pounce. Seals are cute but by the end of this stunning life-and-death drama you will be unashamedly cheering for the bear. PJ

Jay McGuiness's Pulp Fiction jive earns the series' first 10  Strictly Come Dancing

Former The Wanted band member Jay McGuiness left Strictly fans speechless in the third week of Strictly. Dancing a jaw-droppingly polished Pulp Fiction-inspired jive, the shy star sprung to the top of the leaderboard with a hugely impressive score of 37, and the first 10 of the series. It might have been overtaken by higher scores since, but nothing has beaten that surprise success so early in the competition. EWA

Don Draper’s smile  Mad Men

Mad Men is the greatest drama that not enough people love, and this final moment is one of the finest endings to a show there has ever been, or ever will be. What exactly it all meant will be a matter for debate in television circles until the apocalypse, but ad man Don Draper sitting on a Californian hillside smiling with a bunch of hippies as the most famous Coca-Cola advertising campaign ever devised emerges onto our screens was certainly not what anyone expected. But it was truly, truly brilliant! TG

The White Walkers attack Hardhome  Game of Thrones

There was enough drama as it was in Jon Snow's attempts to band together with the mistrusted and mistrustful Wildlings and ship them back to Castle Black. But then, in a moment of eerie calm before the storm, a mist began to roll down from the mountains – and with it came the White Walkers and their army of the undead. Things seemed bleak as the skeletal hordes overran Hardhome – but there was a glimmer of hope when Jon went one-on-one with a Walker and discovered that his father's sword Longclaw had some special properties... PJ Part one Part two

The Doctor’s anti-war speech  Doctor Who

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more eloquent deconstruction of the fruitless cycle of violence we see playing out daily around the world – and from a so-called children's show! Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi's delivery of the message – the sorrow and frustration showing in his eyes – is a reminder that Doctor Who has landed itself an acting heavyweight. PJ

Danny waits for his test results – London Spy

Never has a long, silent and largely stationary scene been so fraught with tension, as Ben Whishaw’s Danny realises exactly what lengths the mysterious conspiracy ranged against him will go to.

With every emotion playing across Whishaw’s face, it’s a masterclass of acting – and an almost perfect moment of horror when Danny’s final HIV test is finally revealed… HF

Sheila consoles Lance – Detectorists


This two-hander in the finale of the adorable sitcom is moving not only for what is said but also for what is not – and the back story suggested by it. In a pub garden, Lance (Toby Jones) nurses a pint, rueful about not hearing from his long-lost daughter. Smiley Sheila (wonderful Sophie Thompson), whom we thought was naive and a bit simple, consoles him with unexpected wisdom. And behind her careful words lies a world of sadness. MB

Miranda finally marries Gary – Miranda

The final episode of Miranda Hart’s hit sitcom had us in tears when her clumsy, unlucky-in-love protagonist finally got her happy-ever-after. Miranda married Gary, the dreamy, savoury muffin-baking chef she’d been after since series one. And it wasn’t just about the long-awaited "I do’s". Miranda Hart’s alter-ego finally accepted her silly, pun-loving and brilliant self too. That’s what we call a satisfying ending. EWA

The revelatory montage from Heaven Sent – Doctor Who

After a mind-bending 40 minutes of clues and puzzles, the penny finally dropped as the Doctor's billions of years in purgatory, undertaking the same trials over and over again, were laid out in this gorgeous montage, backed by a music score that dramatically charted the passing of aeons. PJ

Jo Joyner’s "How's Adam?" gaffe – EastEnders

The joy of live TV drama (for the viewer, at least) is the potential of seeing the stars mess up. And when Jo Joyner returned to EastEnders to ask “How’s Adam?” instead of “How’s Ian?”, it became a true TV talking point. We get the feeling that Joyner will be extra careful to never again confuse actors with the characters they play. DB

The dinner party from hell – Doctor Foster

Suranne Jones’s GP Gemma Foster wasn’t wrong when she said she was going into "she-wolf" mode in the dinner party from hell scene of BBC1’s gripping infidelity drama Doctor Foster. "Bitch is right," she snarled at her husband’s lover Kate Parkes, as his web of lies was exposed with supreme venom and the dramatic power of a volcano. She had a lot to get through as the secrets she had kept locked away throughout the series were unveiled with icy precision: exposing Simon for his infidelity, Kate for sleeping with a married man and Parkes senior (Neil Stukes’ Chris) for having entered into a dodgy business deal with a man who was having it away with his daughter. A masterclass of acting from Jones in particular and the rest of the ensemble, it was the moment we had all been waiting for. BD

Val's death after the helicopter crash – Emmerdale

All the stops were pulled out for the helicopter disaster that rocked the village over the summer. And for Val, this meant a brilliantly OTT, melodramatic death thanks to a piece of falling glass in a smashed-up mirror maze. We wouldn’t be surprised if actress Charlie Hardwick’s departure scooped the Best Exit prize at next year’s British Soap Awards. DB

Lance's murder – Cucumber 

For most of the series, Russell T Davies’s Cucumber was just great, a fine successor to LGBT series Queer as Folk. But episode six turned it into something truly groundbreaking. The closing scene, when in one fell swing naïve, wonderful Lance has his head smashed in by his conflicted lover/tormentor Daniel, still makes us shiver even now. “I hope, it doesn’t just feel like someone’s dead, it actually feels like dying,” Davies said afterwards. He wasn’t wrong. JG

Ken's speech at Deirdre's funeral – Coronation Street

Art mirrored life for the cast of Coronation Street this year when they said goodbye to the character of Deirdre Barlow mere months after the death of Anne Kirkbride. As was only fitting, it was left to her screen partner William Roache (aka Weatherfield stalwart Ken Barlow) to pay tribute at the funeral – and reduce the nation to tears in the process. DB

Tamwar explains the true meaning of Islam – EastEnders

Just days after the Paris attacks, EastEnders aired a moving scene in which Tamwar read from the Quran and explained the true meaning of Islam – “be kind to people, family and strangers alike. And love them” – to girlfriend Nancy. The moment was a timely piece of affecting drama that earned praise from critics and viewers alike. DB

Andrew Neil's message to the Paris attackers – This Week

The broadcaster gave us all goosebumps when he delivered a searing speech after the Paris massacre, telling the terrorists “you will be as dust, along with the ragbag of fascist Nazis and Stalinists that have previously dared to challenge democracy and failed.” It was a deeply human response, and an example of polemic at its most rousing. KD

Derek Shepherd dies – Grey's Anatomy

One had to take a deep breath before embarking on the episode that would see McDreamy die. It was one of those moments that made you think, if I don’t watch it, maybe it’s like it never happened. But curiosity got the better of most and the beloved doctor did indeed meet his heroic end. Well, this is Grey’s. Of course he’d just saved a family from a dramatic car crash before being run over himself. No one dies quietly in Grey’s. ED

Trixie admits she is an alcoholic – Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is synonymous with period charm and cute red cardis, but it’s never shied away from dark and upsetting storylines either. Series four embraced the grim and gritty in new ways, when it was revealed that bubbly Nurse Trixie Franklin was struggling with alcoholism. We’ve been party to many a Babysham-fueled soiree in her convent bedroom and the surprising, startling admission in the finale really pulled the rug out from under us. EWA

A couple on different dates fall for each other – First Dates

The moment singletons Georgia and Alex met at the bar made First Dates viewers wonder if fate really does exist. The pair had real chemistry, but they weren’t actually on a date with each other. Her longing looks across the restaurant as Alex ate his dinner with another woman (after Georgia herself was stood up) set our hearts a flutter and made us all desperately hope he’d run after her and get her number before she left. Luckily, there was no need because the show set up them up the week after – and it was a complete success. KD

Daredevil dispatches a building full of bad guys in one take – Daredevil

Marvel really set out their stall for its various Netflix series with this spine-tingling scene, which sees an exhausted Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox) brutally fight off a gang of mobsters in a hallway.

As he battles his way towards a kidnapped young boy in one unedited shot, every knock out feels thoroughly earned by the battered, bleeding Murdoch – finally, a superhero with a bit of realism.

A reporter is moved to tears during his Paris bulletin – Breakfast

BBC Breakfast viewers were struck by reporter Graham Satchell’s very human reaction to the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks during a live report from the Place de la République.

Satchell broke down as he recalled how the lighting up of the Eiffel Tower in blue, white and red on the previous night had sent out "a sign of hope”. He wiped away a few tears before saying sorry and ending the report – but an apology was the last thing that was required, with viewers on Twitter thanking him and calling the moment “moving”, “powerful” and “poignant”. PJ


MB: Mark Braxton, DB: David Brown, ED: Emma Daly, KD: Kasia Delgado, BD: Ben Dowell, HF: Huw Fullerton, JG: James Gill, TG: Tim Glanfield, AG: Alison Graham, PJ: Paul Jones 


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