Sherlock tops international poll of most popular BBC characters

Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. Picture: Shutterstock.
Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. Picture: Shutterstock.

In news that will have David Brent demanding a recount, Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock has topped a worldwide poll of the most popular BBC television characters.

The 40-year-old actor has portrayed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's popular sleuth Sherlock Holmes in the BBC adaptation of the author's work since 2010, and now a new poll has revealed that 29.7% of people have voted Sherlock their favourite BBC television character of all time.

Cumberbatch said he was "honoured" by the result, adding: "Who would have thought a high-functioning sociopath could be so popular... all over the world?"

Sherlock also came first in another section of the survey, with the character's death fall at the end of the 2012 series topping a poll of top iconic BBC moments.

Other moments to make it onto the list included Colin Firth emerging from the lake as Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and Ricky Gervais' The Office character David Brent's infamous awkward dancing scene.

Benedict's Sherlock was followed in the poll by Doctor Who's The Doctor, who got 17.6% of the vote in the favourite TV characters survey, and Idris Elba's Luther, with 12.4%.

Joanna Lumley's perma-sozzled Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous was the top-ranking female character in the list, with 8.1% placing her in sixth position.

BBC Worldwide's Paul Dempsey said after the poll results were announced that it demonstrates "the love and affection audiences have for our shows around the world".

More than 7,000 people, ranging in age from 18 to 64, from seven countries including Australia, America and Japan, were questioned for the survey.

BBC's top 10 most iconic characters:

1. Sherlock 29.7%

2. The Doctor 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%

BBC's top 10 most iconic 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%