It’s official – the eponymous stars of American TV series The Simpsons have the vote across our nation for being the best TV family, ever.
A nationwide study found the iconic characters of the series created by Matt Groening in 1989 to be the most popular on TV.
Over a third (34 per cent) of respondents named the heart-warming, if rather dysfunctional family from Springfield as their most loved on the box.
In second place came the Trotters from Only Fools and Horses (28 per cent), with The Royle Family coming in joint third place with The Addams Family and The Flintstones.
The Griffins clan from Family Guy (21 per cent) and the Shipmans from Gavin and Stacey (18 per cent) followed in fourth and fifth places.
Also making an impact on our screens are the families of Gogglebox, with the Moffats (16 per cent), the Malones (15 per cent), the Siddiquis (14 per cent) and the Warners (11 per cent) from the British sofa show making the list.
The Goodman family, stars of British sitcom Friday Night Dinner, starring Tamsin Greig and Inbetweeners star Simon Bird, received 15 percent of the vote, beating arguably the most glamorous TV family of all time, the Kardashians.
The study, by Freeview, also revealed that family TV time is back in a big way, as British broods are now watching 18 hours of TV together every week – four hours more than before lockdown.
In fact, more than half (57 per cent) of Brits said watching TV as a family had been a bonding experience, bringing them closer together.
Comedy is the most popular genre to watch with others, with nearly two thirds saying this is their favourite choice for family viewing (62 per cent), followed by documentaries (42 per cent) and adventure (40 per cent).
Relationship and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who was involved in the study, said: “Families can bond over their feelings towards fictional characters, situations and plots and chat about them in the same way that they might talk about real-life events and friends.
“We get emotionally attached to characters in TV series and we want to see them continue, or got rid of – one of the reasons why voting apps, which create an interactive voting process for many reality TV series, have become so popular.“It makes us feel as if we have some influence over what happens.”
Owen Jenkinson, marketing director at Freeview, added: “It is great to see how many families are coming together to watch TV, and that this time is seen by so many as a chance to bring the family unit closer together and help them escape from their day to day worries.”
For 45 percent of the nation’s families, TV has helped them feel connected to the rest of the world throughout lockdown, with one quarter (26 per cent) claiming that watching TV with their family helps them escape life’s anxieties.
The study found that, when it comes to how a typical UK family chooses what to watch on the box, 38 percent will browse together.Another 30 percent say the parents decide, while 23 per cent of families let the kids control the remote.
Although 13 percent admit their family often has disagreements about what to watch on TV, 18 per cent say they’ve managed to find a good way to compromise on what to enjoy together.
And one in ten (11 percent) of those who responded in the study said that they resort to a good old-fashioned family vote to help settle the debate.