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TOWIE, Jeremy Kyle and GBBO top list of ‘guilty pleasure’ TV

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The Only Way is Essex, Jeremy Kyle and The Great British Bake Off have emerged among a list of telly shows we love – but never admit to watching, new research has shown. A study found a large percentage of us have programmes which we regularly sit down to enjoy – but prefer to keep our guilty pleasure to ourselves.

The latest adventures of Joey Essex, Sam Faires and Lucy Mecklenburgh came top of the pile, while Jeremy Kyle’s show came second.

The imperious Great British Bake-Off also made the top three.

The research, commissioned to mark the launch of TalkTalk’s Essentials TV, Broadband and calls package, quizzed over 3,000 viewers on their TV habits.

Tristia Harrison of TalkTalk said:

“Whether it’s gathering the family together to watch your favourite programme, or tuning into your guilty pleasure to escape from the outside world, it’s clear to see that TV is at the heart of British homes.

”It’d be boring if we all like the same shows; the key is finding TV that complements your viewing style and watching it your way.”

The study revealed while many may be quick to insist they are avid viewers of high-brow programmes like Newsnight, the truth is the antics of the TOWIE cast that have viewers hooked.

Viewers are also unable to resist the lure of conflict and emotional drama of Jeremy Kyle.

Other guilty pleasures included tea-time drama Hollyoaks, while many live out their twinkle-toed dreams of fame through a bit of Strictly Come Dancing.

And Brits are keeping their love of Storage Wars secured tightly as the show where treasure seekers bid on garages full of junk made the top 10.

While indulging in a bit of Ice Road Truckers proved common for many who prefer to let their love of the show slip by unnoticed.

The report found that the average TV viewer clocks up over 25 hours of television in an average week – more than 1,266 hours a year, which may explain why over a third said they love nothing more than a night in front of the box.

The study also saw Downton Abbey voted the most popular programme in recent times by the average British viewer.

TalkTalk worked in conjunction with the University of Warwick to classify viewers into eight different groups based on their responses.

Dr Helen Wheatley of the University of Warwick said:

“This report shows the versatility of TV as a medium.

”The research shows that people continue to turn to television for entertainment, to learn new things, to become absorbed in the twisting plot lines of a television drama, but also to indulge in ‘guilty pleasures’.

”It is clear that whilst viewers simultaneously find a wide range of programmes fascinating and compelling, they also worry about what their viewing habits say about them.”

According to the report, white van men harbour the biggest flame for baking goddess Mary Berry but keep tight lipped about it in front of their friends.

Glee is the unexpected favourite of bankers, insurers and accountants with 19%of them admitting to tuning in regularly in search of light relief from the stresses of the city.

Hairdressers are most likely to live out their twinkle-toed dreams of fame through a bit of Strictly Come Dancing.


1. The Only Way is Essex
2. Jeremy Kyle
3. The Great British Bake Off
4. Glee
5. Britain and Ireland’s next top model
6. Big Brother
7. Keeping up with Kardashians
8. Hollyoaks
9. Strictly Come Dancing
10. Storage Hunters
11. Homes under the Hammer
12. 16 and pregnant
13. Made In Chelsea
14. Ice Road Truckers
15. Motorway Cops
16. Pointless
17. Watchdog
18. Millionaire Matchmaker
19. Catfish
20. Finding Bigfoot

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