Religion closely follows at 37 per cent and one in five say TV is more important than sex – a view held more by women. And despite our love of the game, TV even trumps football with a third of men agreeing.
The research commissioned by Freeview to mark its 15th anniversary also found that more than half of Brits felt catch up and on demand TV had improved their life. 15% stated they have a better social life because they go out more and 12% said they now spend more time with their children.
A whopping 61% have also made a major life decision – career change, house move or decided to have a baby – after being inspired by a TV show.
18 – 24 year olds in particular have made the biggest life changes thanks to TV by deciding to quit their job (8%), start their own business (7%), get married (6%) and have a baby (10%)
More men than women have decided to have a baby after watching a TV programme, whilst one in six women say a programme gave them the impetus to profess their love for someone
More than a quarter of Brits (27%) have been inspired by a TV show to take up a new hobby – from becoming a cricket umpire, to a new generation of bakers and dancers.
So what is it about the little telly box (or not so not little as the average TV is now 43 inches – up 20 inches in the past 15 years) – that had four in ten Brits saying that relaxing in front of the TV is the happiest part of their day?
Guy North, Managing Director of Freeview suggests it could be down to British culture.
“TV has the power to transport us anywhere we want when we’re stressed, cheer us up when we’re sad and it can even bring a 7 and 70-year-old together.
“When you consider how much time we spend watching TV and how our viewing habits have changed with the rise of catch-up and on-demand, TV remains a fundamental part of our everyday life. It’s ability to influence decision-making is quite astonishing.”
What Brits voted TV more important than:
- Football (40%)
- Politics (39%)
- Religion (37%)
- Chocolate (30%)
- Sex (20%)