Blog | Six TV villains viewers can never forget
Six TV villains viewers can never forget
19 January 2024
BBC One’s The Traitors is back, and millions of TV viewers can’t get enough. With twists, turns and plenty of backstabbing, each episode sees ‘the faithfuls’ try to uncover who among them is a secret assassin without losing their share of the £120,000 prize pot. While The Traitors brings a fresh format to viewers, TV baddies have been captivating us through the ages. Here, we look at the most memorable TV villains we have loved to hate over the years.
Jim Moriarty, Sherlock
Before he was the ‘Hot Priest’ in Fleabag, Andrew Scott was known as the criminal mastermind Jim Moriarty in Sherlock. His sinister mix of eccentricity, smarts and psychopathic tendencies made him a chilling adversary to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and one of the greatest TV baddies of all time.
Villanelle, Killing Eve
Unhinged and unbelievably stylish, Jodie Comer’s Villanelle in Killing Eve is a killer without a conscience. Yet, her uniquely artistic approach to assassination and goofy sense of humour make her a unique and unnervingly likeable villain.
We can’t forget the original Mr Mean. Simon Cowell revitalised the talent show format way back in the early 2000s through his work as the razor-tongued judge on Pop Idol. Since then, countless performers have faced his brutally blunt feedback in The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Whether you love or loathe his approach, his impact on entertainment TV is as widely recognised as his low v-neck t-shirts.
Nasty Nick, Eastenders
Everyone loves a soap villain, and Nasty Nick is one of the most notorious soap bad boys. Rotten from the start, Nick Cotton’s murder of pensioner Reg Cox provided the storyline for Eastender’s first ever episode in 1985. His murderous ways and evil schemes continued over the years, but who can forget his attempt to poison his iconic mum, Dot Cotton, so he could steal her bingo winnings? Nick truly lived up to his nasty reputation.
Richard Hillman, Coronation Street
Another baddie from soapland, Richard Hillman was a serial killing fraudster that terrorised the cobbled streets of Weatherfield between 2001-2003. Despite his relatively short stint on the soap, Richard’s crimes captivated audiences so much so that a national power surge occurred after the episode in which he confessed his crimes to wife Gail. It is believed that the surge was caused by viewers needing to calm their nerves with a post-show cup of tea!
The Daleks, Doctor Who
There are plenty of villains to choose from the supernatural world of Doctor Who, but none are more iconic than the Daleks. With their metallic design, deadly weapons, and raspy robot voices shouting ‘Exterminate,’ the Daleks bring both terror and excitement. They are also the only bad guys to have faced every version of the Doctor, making them the TV’s most enduring villains.
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