Downton finale will leave devoted fans feeling like they’ve broken up with a loved one


Sunday’s Downton Abby farewell is to leave some viewers feeling like they’ve broken up with a loved one research shows. The show, which first aired in 2010, has seen phenomenal success over the past five years, but now its coming to its full stop.

“15% of people say watching their favourite TV show end is like breaking up with their partner, almost one in five (19%) say they feel lost when their favourite show finishes.” – Freesat Research

ITV’s period drama Downton Abbey has a worldwide audience of around 120 million with nine million regular UK viewers with the last episode expected to recapture record UK viewing figures of 10.5 million this coming Sunday night. And once those closing credits have rolled it seems some of those fans tuned in will feel like they’ve broken up with a partner after the curtains close on the hit show this weekend, according to a study by Freesat.

Research suggests that 15 per cent of people compare the final episode of their favourite TV show to the ending of a relationship, with more than half (56 per cent) claiming the event brings intense sorrow.

Around one in five fans (19 per cent) admit to feeling lost when their favourite show ends, while almost a quarter (22 per cent) will soon be watching re-runs to get the buzz back. The binge-worthy Breaking Bad, which first premiered on free TV in the UK, captured a huge audience when the entire series was re-run on free-to-air channel Spike.

As part of their research, Freesat asked 2,000 people which TV show made them most upset when it ended. The top ten, which all appeared on free-to-view channels when they were first aired, were:

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  1. Friends
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. Only Fools and Horses
  4. Lost
  5. Brookside
  6. The Bill
  7. 24
  8. The Sopranos
  9. Dallas
  10. Dexter

Among the tear-jerking finales to make the list were the last episodes of Friends, Only Fools and Horses and Dallas.

“With millions of people watching, I’ve no doubt there will be tears on Sunday night when the Downton Abbey finale airs. But it’s fascinating how shows like this can appeal to so many people and provoke such a reaction. The fact that most of the programmes that came up on our survey were aired on free-to-view channels may also be surprising to people and just reminds us of why there’s no need to pay a TV subscription to enjoy great telly” – Freesat spokesperson Jennifer Elworthy

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Freesat is a subscription free satellite TV service offering digital television to everyone in the UK. The service offers more than 200 TV, radio and interactive channels; including 11 free HD services. Freesat also offers a range of Catch Up players including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5, YouTube and BBC News & Sport Apps; all for free.

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