Colin Firth’s appearance dripping wet as he emerged from a lake in Pride And Prejudice has been named the most memorable moment in British TV drama.
The scene, from a BBC adaptation first screened in 1995, held off challenges from soaps, children’s series Grange Hill and more contemporary programmes.
Firth’s scene – filmed at Lyme Park in Cheshire – was way out in front in the poll to mark the launch of new free-to-air UKTV channel Drama, which begins broadcasting on Monday.
Runner-up in the list, compiled from the votes of 2,000 people, was the Christmas Day edition of EastEnders in 1986 in which Dirty Den handed divorce papers to wife Angie.
Third place – drawn from a longlist of 50 scenes – went to the finale of BBC One’s Sherlock last year in which detective Holmes faked his own death by plummeting from the roof of St Bart’s hospital in London.
The most recent moment in the top 10 comes from ITV drama Broadchurch earlier this year (5th in the list), while the oldest dates back to 1987 when Grange Hill featured character Zammo using heroin (9th).
Other memorable scenes that made the list were the Coronation Street tram crash in 2010 (4th), Matt Smith’s arrival as Doctor Who the same year (6th) and Brookside’s famous lesbian kiss from 1994 (7th). Other popular scenes were Inspector Morse revealing his Christian name from 1997 (8th) and Lady Sybil’s death in Downton Abbey last year (10th).
Adrian Wills, general manager of the Drama channel said: “It is clear from our research that Mr Darcy emerging from the lake in Pride And Prejudice continues to set hearts racing amongst TV viewers.”