Looking for love in 2015? Watch QI to find your perfect partner

Research by TV Licensing reveals the TV programmes which make us TellyTractive to a potential New Year squeeze.

Do you prefer Stephen Fry to a fry-up? Know your QI from your Pointless? If so, and you’re on the dating scene looking for love, watching a comedy quiz show could hold the answer according to the results of the 2015 TV Licensing TellyTractiveness survey.

With UK adults watching on average four hours of TV a day1, it is perhaps not surprising couples on a first date turn to TV to find mutually common ground. But could divulging the television programmes you love to watch determine whether you get a second date or find yourself axed after a first showing?

Online research, conducted by YouGov for TV Licensing, has revealed some TV programmes are definite turn-ons on a first date, whilst others are definite turn-offs.

When asked to choose, QI proved to be the biggest TV turn-on with a third of men (33 per cent) surveyed and nearly a third of women (29 per cent) saying they would be attracted to someone who said they were a fan of the comedy panel quiz hosted by Stephen Fry.

Women with an interest in driving and motor sports are in good company, as 24 per cent of men say they would be attracted to a partner who watches Top Gear. Men, on the other hand, who don’t want to hear ‘you’re fired’ from their date would do well to show their entrepreneurial side as over a quarter (27 per cent) of women find watching The Apprentice attractive in their potential partners.

Anyone unsure of the programmes they should add to their dating profile should consult TV Licensing’s very own ‘TV Love Guru’, aka Russell Grant, who is enlightening lovers about their viewing habits at youtube.com/user/TVLicensing. You can also follow the Love Guru on twitter via @TVLoveGuru.

Stephen Farmer, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:


TV has the power to bring us together, and the survey shows how those big TV shows can help break the ice on a first date.

If you are looking for love in 2015, make sure you have a TV Licence. Getting caught without one could mean a date with a magistrate and a fine of up to a £1,000.

The survey also revealed over a third of Strictly Come Dancing’s male fan-base (34 percent) would be most attracted to those who enjoyed Match of the Day. But female fans of the X Factor find reality television magnetic in their prospective partners, with nearly half (48 per cent) wanting to talk Britain’s Got Talent and over a quarter (27 per cent) asking to banter about Big Brother on a first date.

So if QI, Question Time and The Apprentice have us tuning in to our dates, what are the programmes which cause us to tune out?

When asked to choose, two programmes stood out as ones to avoid talking about on a first date; The Only Way is Essex and Keeping up with the Kardashians. Over six-in-ten (63 per cent) of respondents said they would be turned off by viewers of TOWIE, whilst almost the same number again (60 per cent) would walk away from a fan of Kim & Co.

Those being surveyed were also asked to name their ‘private programmes,’ the shows they love but would not admit to watching on a first date. Obvious contenders like Great British Railway Journeys, Embarrassing Bodies, and Jeremy Kyle featured, but so did a surprising number of children’s programmes including Shaun the Sheep, Spongebob Squarepants, Postman Pat, and Peppa Pig.

In order to flaunt their TellyTractiveness, many singletons are using dating websites as a way of orchestrating the all-important first date.

Brett Harding, from dating website Lovestruck, offers this advice on building a successful TellyTractive profile: “Looking at the research by TV Licensing and the surveying of 3,000 profiles on the Lovestruck website, we can see television plays an important part when people are looking for love. Get it wrong and you could find yourself fighting over the remote on the second date.


Daters should reflect their personality with the TV programmes they name on their profile. Pretending to watch something you have no interest in will only lead to trouble on your date. Be honest, but don’t say you watch Jeremy Kyle - keep that one to yourself.

Statistics provided by dating website Lovestruck revealed:

  • 44 per cent of women admit to watching soaps as opposed to only 19 per cent of men.
  • A mention of EastEnders is followed with an apology from 21 per cent female member profiles.
  • Game of Thrones is enjoyed by both sexes, with nearly one-in-four (39 per cent) of men referencing it and almost a third of women (32 per cent).
  • Animated TV comedies, such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, are only occasionally mentioned within profiles - just 11 per cent.
  • 22 per cent of men allude to Take Me Out in their narratives….'no likey, no lighty' and 12 per cent of women begin their dating profile with 'Single man, reveal yourself!'

1 Ofcom - The Communications Market 2014 (August) report

For more information, or to request an interview, please call the TV Licensing press office on 020 8752 6606 or email media.enquiries@tvlicensing.co.uk. Supporting images are available for download and use at www.flickr.com/tvlicensing.

Visit the TV Licensing Media Centre at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/media-centre to view this press release online. Follow us on Twitter at @TVLicensingNews for updates on the latest news and local advice from our community relations teams, or view our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/tvlicensing.

About Lovestruck.com: Lovestruck.com is an online dating site (website, iPhone and Android apps) that enables singles to find others who live, work or are simply nearby.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2058 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 6th November 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Paying for a TV Licence:

TV Licensing aims to make it as easy as possible for people to buy a TV Licence, which is why there are many different ways to pay.

  • Online – people are able to pay online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pay by Direct Debit or with a debit or credit card
  • Direct Debit - monthly, quarterly or annual Direct Debit payment schemes are available and can be set up online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/directdebit
  • Over-the-counter – people can pay at any of over 26,800 PayPoint outlets across the country or by cash or credit/debit card.
  • Debit or credit card over the phone - this facility accepts payment from a range of debit cards including Maestro, Delta and Connect
  • By post – send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL

To find out more about paying in weekly instalments over the counter, online, by SMS or by phone on the cash payment plan, call 0300 790 6078 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cashplans.

For more information about any of our payment options and concessions, to set up Direct Debit payments or to pay by debit or credit card please visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk or call 0300 790 6112.

‘TV Licensing’ is a trade mark of the BBC and is used under licence by companies contracted by the BBC to administer the collection of television licence fees and enforcement of the television licensing system. The majority of administration is contracted to Capita Business Services Ltd. (‘Capita’). Over-the counter services are provided by PayPoint plc (‘PayPoint’) in the UK mainland and Northern Ireland, and by the Post Office in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. Marketing and printing services are contracted to Proximity London Ltd. Media services are contracted to Mediaedge: CIA International Limited ("MEC"). The BBC is a public authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.

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