Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has said he is honoured the “sociopath” detective has been named the world’s favourite BBC TV character.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master detective beat competition from acclaimed British television figures – including Basil Fawlty, the Doctor and Hyacinth Bucket – to take the accolade.
BBC Worldwide surveyed more than 7,000 18-to-64-year-olds from seven countries including Australia, France, the US and Japan in the public vote, with almost 30% backing Benedict’s Sherlock Holmes.
In second place was time-travelling sci-fi hero the Doctor, from Doctor Who, while Idris Elba’s murder detective DCI John Luther came in third.
Benedict also took the crown for most memorable scene for Sherlock’s apparent death plunge in the second series’ cliffhanger.
It was named most iconic BBC moment with 26% of the vote, with Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch in second.
Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy stripping off by the lake in Pride And Prejudice also made the top 10 in fifth while David Brent’s improvised dance at a comic relief party in The Office came in eighth.
Benedict 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 contemporary reimagining of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock, co-starring Martin Freeman as Dr Watson, has been sold by the BBC to 240 territories internationally.
The series, created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, has received numerous accolades since its debut on the BBC in 2010.
Earlier this year, the fourth series, rumoured to be its last, benefited from one of the biggest boosts in ratings ever caused by people recording a TV programme and watching it later.
The series’ penultimate episode, broadcast on January 8, had an overnight audience of just six million in Britain.
But consolidated ratings, which include those who recorded the show and saw it later, bumped the figure up to 9.5 million.
Paul Dempsey, BBC Worldwide president of global markets, 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.”
The research was carried out in the lead-up to the BBC Worldwide Showcase 2017 which takes place between February 19 and February 22.