Sherlock voted favourite BBC character

Sherlock has been voted the most popular television character from the BBC by international audiences.

Doctor Who ranked second in the survey of over 7,000 people between the ages of 18-64 from Australia, France, USA, Germany, India, Japan and Mexico.

Top Ten Favourite British BBC Characters
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%)

Top Ten Most Iconic BBC Moments
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%)

Paul Dempsey, President of Global Markets, BBC Worldwide, said: “This survey demonstrates the love and affection audiences have for our shows around the world and those defining TV moments that get viewers talking, wherever they are. With over 700 TV buyers from across the world attending our Showcase sales event next week, international demand for British TV is as strong as ever.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, said: “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”

The survey also revealed that the British sense of humour was a key factor for audiences in Japan
ranking Sherlock as the number one character, with more than a quarter (26%) of fans stating the humour was a reason to watch the show. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the British accent proved to be a turn-on with 34% of viewers giving it their seal of approval as one of their top reasons for crowing the sleuth their favourite BBC character.


  1. Fantastic Character, but its not like it would be any fun to sit down and have a coffee with Sherlock. Also the doctor would be fun to travel with, but there’s a lot of running and near death experiences to put up with. In fact the only one on the list that wouldn’t be annoying to hang out with would be the Vicar of Dibley.

  2. To my mind the BBC have for some while been creating product to appeal in North America, the DVD sales will be important too. I’m not sure what American viewers will make of the last Sherlock series though, a very self indulgent over written effort, almost psychedelic

  3. Secret Squïrrel

    “This survey demonstrates the love and affection audiences have for our shows…”

    Yet another marketing / sales person claiming that some stats show something that they don’t. The results simply show that Sherlock is the “best loved” out of a list of other BBC characters. It makes no comparison of BBC characters against those from other TV networks.

    Also, were people voting specifically for Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock or for the synthesis of characters that they recall from 100’s of other TV shows and films, or even books?

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