Dermot O’Leary and Holly Willoughby revealed as the nation’s top Valentine’s Day TV crush!

Posted February 14, 2012 - Press Releases

Dermot O’Leary and Holly Willoughby revealed as the nation’s top Valentine’s Day TV crush.

  • Sherlocks’ Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan came second in the Freeview poll 
  •   Professor Brian Cox beats Gary Barlow to make the top 10 TV crush list
  •   X Factor judge Tulisa trumps reality show rival Alesha Dixon
  •   Philip Schofield and Carol Vorderman voted top TV guilty pleasure crush
  • More than one in six would choose to snuggle up with their TV crush on the sofa  this Valentine’s Day

TV presenters have won the battle of TV’s most fanciable as X Factor’s Dermot O’Leary (14 percent) and This Morning’sHolly Willoughby (16 percent) top the list of the nation’s male and female TV star crushes. In the survey for Freeview,the subscription-free digital TV service, the pair proved they’ve captured the hearts of the nation by also being voted the number one choice with whom viewers would most like to go on a Valentine’s Day date.

Sherlock heart-throb Benedict Cumberbatch takes the runner-up position in the male crush list, while Doctor Who’sflame-haired assistant Karen Gillan comes in second place in the biggest TV crush female list.

TOWIE star Mark Wright finds himself in joint sixth position with TV talent show king Simon Cowell, whilst Brian Cox proves that science can be sexy by beating the likes of Gary Barlow, George Lamb and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith to make the top ten.   X Factor judge Tulisa wins the battle of the Saturday night reality show queens, beating Alesha Dixon to eighth place, but it’s Xtra Factor host Caroline Flack who is way ahead as the third most fancied female on TV.

Freeview’s top ten TV crushes (2012):


  1. Dermot O’Leary
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch
  3. Harry Judd
  4. Steve Jones
  5. Paddy McGuiness
  6. Mark Wright
  7. Simon Cowell
  8. Brian Cox
  9. Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey)
  10. Phillip Glenister  


  1. Holly Willoughby
  2. Karen Gillan
  3. Caroline Flack
  4. Nigella Lawson
  5. Louise Redknapp
  6. Fearne Cotton
  7. Tess Daly
  8. Tulisa
  9. Alesha Dixon
  10. Michelle Keegan

Women have voted This Morning’s Philip Schofield the top TV guilty pleasure crush (14 percent) – and it’s the more mature ladies that have got their eye on ‘The Schof’ as he proves the most popular with the 55 and overs (17 percent) compared to just seven percent of 18 – 24 year old woman admitting he is their guilty pleasure.

Loose Women’s newest addition Carol Vorderman beat some of her fellow co-hosts to be voted the men’s TV guilty pleasure crush with 22 percent – ahead of Denise Welch who came in tenth (3 percent) and Carol McGiffin who didn’t make the top ten with just one percent of the vote.

When asked what they would like to do if lucky enough to bag themselves a Valentine’s date with their ultimate TV crush, one in six (15 percent) of those polled said they would be happy to cuddle up to their Valentine on the sofa in front of the TV or with a romantic film.

Men prove to be the savviest of the sexes financially, as almost a quarter (24 percent) would prefer to stay in with their ideal Valentine’s date to watch TV or have a candlelit dinner compared to 15 percent of women.

Freeview spokesperson Sara Jones commented: “It’s clear TV presenters provide an extra reason to tune in and watch TV and a candlelit dinner at home and watching a romantic film is the perfect Valentine’s Day date – it’s easier on the pocket than a trip out to the cinema or to a restaurant.

Most Freeview HD TVs offer a world of additional entertainment when connected to the internet including instant access to rental movie service LoveFilm.  TV has never looked so good.”

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