1. Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

Who'd have thought sweary Malcolm Tucker would make such a good Time Lord? The most mature Doctor of recent times, Capaldi made his first appearance in the 50th anniversary celebration, followed by the Christmas special, and really hit his stride when series eight began in August.

Romantic undertones between the Doctor and his companion have gone out the window, replaced by greater emphasis on gripping plots and stories.

And while some US 'Whovians' have taken to Twitter to complain that they can't understand the 12th Doctor's Scottish accent, others reckon he's up there with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker in terms of legendary status.

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2. Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Not content to just look and act like the Liverpudlian star for ITV's three-part biopic Cilla, the multi-talented Smith also gave herself the challenge of performing the singer's back catalogue live during filming.

The results were stunning - with some viewers even suggesting on Twitter that Smith's singing was even better than the real thing. Perhaps more importantly, former Blind Date host Black gave the young actress her seal of approval.

After watching the show, she quipped: "God knows how she sang so well with those false teeth in."

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3. Celebrity Gogglebox

Gogglebox continued to soar in popularity this year, as Leon and June from Liverpool, Sandy and Sandra from Brixton, and that posh couple who seem permanently sozzled became regular fixtures in our living rooms.

But the real measure of the Channel 4 show's success came when Noel Gallagher, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss took part in a celebrity special for the Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser.

Many of us had never even heard The Moss speak before, let alone head-bang along to Andrea Faustini's performance on The X Factor.

Even the notoriously nonchalant Gallagher nodded his head along in enjoyment.

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4. Conchita Wurst wins Eurovision

From Bucks Fizz's skirt rips to Lordi's Hard Rock Hallelujah, Eurovision has never been afraid of raising eyebrows.

This year was no different, as Austrian cross-dressing, bearded singer Conchita Wurst won the top prize in Copenhagen with the Bond-esque song Rise Like A Phoenix.

Even commentator Graham Norton, who usually presents with a hefty dose of cynicism, was moved to tears.

Wurst also received a tweet from the one and only Cher, who offered some words of advice: "U deserve a lovelier name and wig... I respect & admire your resolve."

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5. Simon and Cheryl's X Factor return

When Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was humiliatingly axed from Simon Cowell's X Factor USA back in 2011, it seemed like all bridges had been burnt between the pair.

Fast forward to 2014, however, and the spat (and 'that' purple and orange outfit) were a distant memory.

Fernandez-Versini - or Cole as she's still better known to most - and Cowell returned to the show's judging panel for the hotly-anticipated 11th series, alongside new judge Mel B and show stalwart Louis Walsh.

But despite all the excitement and buzz, the new series hasn't exactly set the world on fire.

Perhaps it's time to bring back Sinitta's leaf dress?

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6. Crime dramas

Crime dramas have been enjoying a ripe old time recently, and 2014 was no different.

Stateside instant-hit True Detective boasted Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson among its cast, while Fargo impressed with its darkly comic touches and Billy Bob Thornton's questionable fringe.

Over in Britain, the standard was high too. A new series of Sherlock showed the detective back from the presumed dead, two years on from his fall.

On BBC One, Happy Valley gave us a new kind of psychopath in the deadly Tommy, played by James Norton, while the second series of The Fall is as gripping as the first.

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7. Hayley Cropper's death

As Coronation Street's first transgender character, Hayley Cropper had a special place in viewers' hearts.

Sensitively played by Julie Hesmondhalgh for 16 years, Hayley's story came to an emotional conclusion in a controversial right-to-die storyline at the start of the year.

Some 10 million viewers watched the episode, which was praised by critics for its responsible handling of a difficult subject matter.

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8. Strictly Come Dancing

Yes, it was sad to see old Brucie take a bow from Strictly, but as a new full-time presenter, Claudia Winkleman has done him proud.

Quick-witted and warm, Winkleman can handle any sequinned showdowns with aplomb and is a perfect co-host for Tess Daly.

As well as this, there have been some truly impressive hip wiggles from EastEnders' actor Jake Wood. Who knew?

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9. Rik Mayall's final TV appearance

2014 saw the sad death of much-loved comedian and actor Rik Mayall. Known for his work on The Young Ones, Bottom and Drop Dead Fred, he came to prominence through his stand-up work at The Comic Strip Club with his comedy partner Ade Edmondson.

Mayall's last appearance came on Dave's storytelling series Crackanory, where he narrated The Weatherman by Tony Way.

Drawing nearly 400,000 viewers, the late star's performance was hailed by critics and was a fittingly entertaining tribute to his career.

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10. The Great British Bake Off

Never before has a retro dessert dish been front page news, or a bin had its own hashtag on Twitter, but this year's Great British Bake Off changed all of that.

A cold war broke out when contestant Diana was shown removing Iain's lovingly-prepared ice cream from the freezer during the Baked Alaska showstopper task.

Iain later dumped his defrosted retro dish in the nearest dustbin and stormed out of the tent, and the nation was left reeling in shock.

Icy dramatics aside, this year's series saw teenage contestant Martha consistently impress with her bakes, some brilliantly tenuous innuendos, and of course, presenting duo Mel and Sue, who seem to have a blazer in every shade of the colour spectrum.

Bravo Bake Off.

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