Belfast Telegraph

Sherlock tops BBC iPlayer ratings

The return of BBC One hit Sherlock was the most viewed programme on the BBC iPlayer in the past year, new figures have showed.

The episode in which viewers saw the consulting detective - played by Benedict Cumberbatch - apparently come back from the dead, was accessed 4.2 million times.

The second most-watched programme on the catch-up service was the opening episode of 2014's series of Top Gear.

The motoring programme, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, took four of the top ten places for the most popular shows of last year.

A controversial edition of the show - the second part of a Burma special which earned a rebuke from Ofcom for the use of what was seen as a racist term - is at number 11.

And an episode from the Patagonia special, which led to the presenters having to flee Argentina after a number plate was taken as a reference to the Falklands conflict, was at number 15.

All three episodes of the third series of Sherlock were included in the top ten. The other editions took fifth and sixth position in the list.

There was increased interest in the first programme as viewers tuned in to discover how the sleuth had survived a death fall from the top of St Bart's Hospital.

Co-creators of the drama, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, said in a statement: "Really thrilling to see Sherlock at the very top of the iPlayer ratings. We always knew he'd survive jumping off that building, but we never thought he'd fly so high."

BBC Three documentary Murdered By My Boyfriend was at number eight in the list of most popular programmes and was also the most watched programme on mobile phones with 1.1 milllion views.

Overall, the iPlayer had its biggest ever year with 3.5 billion requests for TV and radio programmes, up from 3.1 billion in 2013.

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