The 10 Greatest BBC Characters Of All Time, According To Fans

Sherlock Holmes shocked in Sherlock

We've gotten a lot of top 10 lists over the years--thanks David Letterman--but the BBC recently conducted its own poll to determine which characters fans have identified with most over the years. Incredibly, quite a few of the top names are from more recent shows, with a smattering of classic BBC characters throughout. Unsurprisingly, Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes is at the top of the list. You can check out the full top 10 list, below.

1. Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock2. The Doctor, Doctor Who3. John Luther, Luther4. Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers5. The Stig, Top Gear6. Patsy Stone, Absolutely Fabulous8. Hyacinth Bucket, Keeping up Appearances9. Geraldine Granger, The Vicar of Dibley10. The Daleks, Doctor Who

Benedict Cumberbatch really made it as an actor when he signed on for Sherlock. Cumberbatch was working prior to the Sherlock gig, but his version has earned him fame worldwide and led to gigs on the big screen and even with big franchise properties like Marvel's Doctor Strange and Star Trek Into Darkness. In this poll, Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes was way ahead of everyone else, landing 29.7% of the vote. The Doctor Who and Luther leads trailed with 17.6% of the vote and 12.4% of the vote, respectively.

Although the top 3 have all been characters from shows that have aired in recent years, the rest of the list is a little broader. A few of these picks were even surprising to me, but I'm not sure if that's a by-product of being a little too young for some of these characters. Of course, I know Cleese's short-lived Basil Fawlty (11.8%), but I was still a little bit surprised about Geraldine Granger being on the list. Some charity specials have been made in the years since The Vicar of Dibley ended, but who knew that was enough to push ahead of some other BBC classics? Clearly a lot of people still remember the character, as Granger earned 5.8% of the vote.

The thing about the BBC's list is that it is pulling out characters rather than shows themselves. Sometimes the biggest thing that a comedy or drama has going for it is one character who is super villainous or silly or incredibly likable. Sometimes a show is able to create a character that brings an icon to life, like Sherlock Holmes, or who become icons themselves, as the various iterations of The Doctor on Doctor Who have. It's honestly pretty cool to see from the fans' perspective which BBC characters have stuck out the most.

However, what I'm curious about is whether or not you agree with the fan-made poll, which was conducted by asking people questions in Australia, France, Germany, India, Japan and the United States as part of a worldwide look at the BBC's product. U.K. fans especially--is this a solid list?

To take a look at what is heading to TV coming up, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.