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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, we find out that The Last Kingdom has the most deaths in British TV, with an unprecedented kill count of killing 34.7% of its characters.

Experts at BonusFinder decided to investigate which British has the highest number of character deaths by gathering a seed list of the most popular British crime shows and anaylsing data from IMDb and Cinemorgue Wiki.

The Most Deaths In British TV

Rank Shows Female Deaths Male Deaths No. of Characters’ Deaths Kill Rate Per Season Kill Rate Per Episode % of Characters Killed
1 The Last Kingdom 12 74 86 17.2 1.87 34.7%
2 Top Boy 2 49 51 12.75 1.89 16.3%
3 Stay Close 2 6 8 8 1 16.0%
4 Luther 5 16 21 4.2 1 12.6%
5 Sherlock 9 14 23 5.75 1.53 8.1%
6 Bodyguard 1 5 6 6 1 6.1%
7 Black Mirror 8 14 22 5.5 1 5.8%
8 The Stranger 3 1 4 4 0.5 5.4%
9 Inside Man 1 1 2 2 0.5 4.9%
10 Humans 6 6 12 4 0.5 4.6%

1 – The Last Kingdom | 34.68%

The Last Kingdom is a historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories series of novels. The series is set in 9th-century England and follows the story of Uhtred, a young Saxon born into a noble family but raised by Vikings. Uhtred is caught between two worlds and must choose where his loyalties lie.

The series has been praised for its historical accuracy, strong characters, and epic battles. It has also been compared to other historical dramas such as Game of Thrones and Vikings.

The Last Kingdom ran for five seasons on BBC Two and Netflix. A feature-length film, Seven Kings Must Die, was released on Netflix in April 2023.

With the highest percentage of character mortality (34.68%), including 74 male and 12 female deaths, The Last Kingdom stands as the UK show with the most character deaths.

2 – Top Boy | 16.29%

Top Boy is a British crime drama television series created and written by Ronan Bennett. The series is set in the fictional Summerhouse estate in the London Borough of Hackney and focuses on two drug dealers Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kane Robinson) along with others involved with drug-dealing and gang violence in London.

The series was first broadcast on Channel 4 in 2011 and ran for two seasons. It was then cancelled due to low ratings. However, the show gained a cult following and was revived by Netflix in 2019. Netflix has since released three more seasons of the show, with the most recent season airing in 2022.

Top Boy has been praised for its realistic portrayal of gang life in London. The show has also been credited with raising awareness of the social issues that affect young people in inner-city areas.

Returning to Netflix in September, Top Boy is renowned for its raw portrayal of urban life, and has te second highest percentage of character deaths at 16.29%.

3 – Stay Close | 16%

Stay Close is a 2021 British mystery thriller television series based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Harlan Coben. The series follows four people who are hiding dark secrets from those closest to them.

Megan Pierce (Cush Jumbo), a suburban mum living in the fictional suburb of Livingstone, and is hiding a murky past; Ray Levine (Richard Armitage), a once talented documentary photographer. Losing the woman he loved changed him. Now he is in a dead-end job, playing a paparazzo-for-hire, pandering to rich kid pseudo-celebrities; Michael Broome (James Nesbitt), a detective still haunted by a cold case from seventeen years ago, when local husband and father, Stewart Green (Rod Hunt), disappeared without any trace; and Lorraine (Sarah Parish), an old friend of Megan’s.

As the past comes back to haunt them, threatening to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them, what will be their next move?

Stay Close has the third highest percentage of character mortality (16%), including 6 male and 2 female deaths, with even the most unsuspecting characters meeting untimely and shocking fates.

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