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ITV sitcom Vicious most popular show with young gay men

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ITV sitcom Vicious has been ranked as the most popular TV programme watched by young gay men, a survey has found.

The research was conducted by the BBC, which assessed the viewing habits of more than 1,000 people who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual as part of a wider survey of more than 20,000 viewers.

It found that 36.6% of the 16 to 34 male audience for Vicious were gay and bisexual men, followed by Splash, with 20.6%, and The Great British Bake Off, with 20.5% of the 16 to 34 male audience gay men.

In the 35 to 54 category, the most popular show was Unsafe Sex in the City, with 33% of the audience gay and bisexual men, followed by Glee, with 28.6%.

Older gay men aged 55 and over were drawn to shows such as Best Possible Taste – The Kenny Everett Story, Shameless and Count Arthur Strong.

For lesbian and bisexual women aged 16 to 34, the most popular show was Rules of Engagement, with 14.8% of that age group being lesbian and bisexual women,  followed by Never Mind the Buzzcocks, with 13.3%.

In the 35 – 54 female age bracket, Come Dine with Me: Ireland had 9.1% of viewers identifying themselves as gay and lesbian women, followed by Russell Howard’s Good News, which had 6.8%.

Responding to the findings, BBC Pride chair Adrian Ruth, said: “While we can all probably hazard a guess as to why ITV’s celebrity diving show Splash! proved such a hit with gay men of all ages, the reasons behind lesbians’ apparent fondness for panel shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI may not be quite so obvious. The high percentages simply mean that these programmes appealed much more to lesbians than to straight women of a similar age.”

He added: “While the research can’t explain what drives people’s programming preferences, the beauty of using the panel for this research is that we will keep on accumulating examples, enabling us to gain over time an ever deeper understanding of LGB audience behaviours and tastes.”

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