Poldark heartthrob Aidan Turner regularly sets women’s pulses racing with his appearances on the BBC’s successful TV drama. None more so one suspects, judging by the results from a recent poll, than when he performed a scything scene topless. The footage of Turner in a field was voted by Radio Times’ readers as their “TV moment of the year”.

Ratings winner

Although the scything connoisseurs have been quick to criticise his actual technique in performing the manual task, his army of female fans don’t seem to have worried too much on that front. Indeed the ratings may have suffered had the Poldark star opted to keep his shirt on as protection from the elements, as experts would have recommended.

Agatha Christie adaptation

Not only did the scene prove to be a big hit with viewers, it is also rumoured to have unexpectedly boosted interest in scything as a hobby. Turner’s popularity has grown ever since and he was one of the key performers to feature in the BBC’s Christmas drama offering, a star-studded adaptation of Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery “And Then There Were None”.

Shortlist to choose from

The “TV moment of the year” poll incorporated the choices from over 44,000 people, who were asked to select from a shortlist of 32 scenes highlighted by the Radio Times.

The Poldark scene had stern competition from Jay McGuiness’ appearance on Strictly Come Dancing. The 25-year-old star from The Wanted’s jive was only narrowly edged into second place.

The top five scenes were:

  • Aidan Turner’s scything scene in a field from Poldark (almost 45%).
  • Jay McGuiness’ jive with partner Aliona Vilani on Strictly Come Dancing (43%). The dance lit up the early stages of the programme and drew rich praise from the judges.
  • Peter Capaldi making his anti-war speech during “The Zygon Inversion” episode as Doctor Who (3.4%).
  • Ben Whishaw’s character receiving his HIV test results in the glossy espionage thriller, London Spy (2.8%). Whishaw like Turner is another popular actor at present, building on his role as ‘Q’ in the James Bond films.
  • The Doctor Who closing montage (1.5%) on the “Heaven Sent” episode stuck in viewers’ minds, especially one suspects as the episode was the first one after Clara Oswald’s exit from the show.

Many memorable TV scenes

Other notable scenes to just miss out on the top spots included Nadiya Hussein’s emotional speech after winning The Great British Bake Off and the moment when Lucy Beale’s killer was revealed to the nation on EastEnders.