LUTHER, Gangs of London, The Inbetweeners and Broadchurch are among hit TV series that fly in the face of green behaviour, say eco experts.
Two thirds of Britain’s most-watched TV shows exhibit “damaging eco behaviours”, according to a new report.
TV show Luther is one of the worst culprits for showing damaging eco behaviourCredit: BBC
University experts found Gangs of London was among TV shows showing a lack of eco awarenessCredit: ©Sky UK Limited.
Normal People exhibited plenty of green behaviour, like composting and recyclingCredit: Element Pictures
In a first-of-its-kind study, boffins at Goldsmiths University analysed 45 of the UK’s most watched shows, checking out the everyday eco habits from the cars they drive, to whether they measure their energy use with a smart meter.
The shows were then awarded a red, amber or green rating, based on how eco-friendly they were.
The worst rated shows were Luther and Gangs of London – which both feature criminal figures exhibiting glamorous lifestyles with several luxury cars at numerous properties.
And across 90 episodes of TV, climate change, sustainability or the environment failed to make it into the script once.
The Love Island Villa was the only property that had solar panels – this represents 0.8 per cent shown on screen, which is less than a third of the national average (2.8 per cent).
And despite millions of homes and small businesses having smart meters to manage energy use, none of the TV households analysed showed evidence of a visible smart meter.
In contrast, sitcom Fresh Meat, Normal People and Grand Designs came out top of the green ratings in the study, done in partnership with Smart Energy GB,.
Fresh Meat was noted for carpooling and regular evidence of clothes drying naturally, while bonkbuster Normal People showed composting and recycling, double glazing and relying on natural rather than electric lighting in homes.
Grand Designs was also praised for frequently depicting recycled building materials.
How green is your favourite TV show?
Latest research reveals how eco-friendly our favourite TV shows are:
GREEN – Eco brownie points
Mrs. Brown’s Boys
Two Doors Down
Not Going Out
Friday Night Dinner
I May Destroy You
AMBER – Almost living the green dream
Kate & Koji
Come Dine with Me
Line of Duty
Pobol y Cwm
RED – Bottom of the class for eco-awareness
The Trouble with Maggie Cole
Gangs of London
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Professor Toby Miller from Goldsmiths said: “As a nation we spend a huge amount of time watching TV, and it’s an incredibly influential medium.
“Despite the climate crisis being a huge topic of interest, this is the first time we’ve been able to assess how well our favourite TV households fare when it comes to sustainability and positive eco-behaviours.
“While many are doing it well, the findings show that productions across broadcasters and genres could do more in representing energy efficiency and healthy environmental behaviours, such using a smart meter to help to reduce energy waste and cut down your carbon footprint.”
Over the 150 hours of viewing, only 2.4 per cent of TV households were seen to recycle compared to current national figures of 90 per cent.
Robert Cheesewright, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “We’re not asking for changes to the storylines that entertain us all, as now more than ever we need the escapism great TV offers.
“But with their powerful ability to inform our choices, the shows we watch should play a bigger role in the fight against climate change.”
The analysis was carried out alongside research of 2,000 adults that found Brits have been watching TV for an extra three hours and 20 minutes per day during lockdown.
And a third claimed they are more influenced by what they see on screen than ever.
As a result, a fifth of adults feel watching shows where characters make a point of turning off lights and reducing their energy use incentivises them to live a ‘greener’ life.
While 15 per cent have even been inspired to start growing their own fruit and veg after seeing their favourite TV characters get green-fingered.