Half of reality TV fans are so dedicated to the series they watch that they consider some cast members to be part of their own family, according to research.
A poll of 2,000 adults, who watch the genre, found 27 per cent have debated with their real-life partners about how much reality TV they consume.
Nearly half (45 per cent) have followed the journeys of their beloved personalities for five or more years, with 47 per cent admitting they feel like one of the family as a result.
And more than one in ten (11 per cent) think they know more facts relating to their favourite reality TV personality, than they do their own partner.
Among the top 10 best-loved shows are The Great British Bake Off, Below Deck, and Made in Chelsea – with 40 per cent of reality watchers enjoying the genre because it’s easy.
Others like reality TV as they can turn their mind off and relax (33 per cent), and it makes them laugh (30 per cent) – while 27 per cent simply love the drama of it all.
The top genres of shows are those of cookery (31 per cent), such as Top Chef, true crime (26 per cent), and dating (26 per cent), including Love Island.
The research was commissioned by Hayu, the all-reality streaming service from NBCUniversal (NBCU).
Hendrik McDermott, MD EMEA Networks, Hayu, and Direct-to-Consumer at NBCU, said: “Reality TV is a genre that evokes huge passion that, at its very core, is about relationships, what makes them, and what breaks them – be it The Real Housewives, Below Deck, or Top Chef franchises, Vanderpump Rules, or Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“It keeps audiences coming back for more. It’s escapism from the reality of life, a time to take a moment for oneself and an opportunity to relax – and the results have clearly highlighted this.”
Other reasons people love the genre include escape from everyday life (26 per cent), and the personalities being so different from the people they know in real life (17 per cent).
And 13 per cent enjoy that the personalities say and do things they never would.
But 15 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds are finding career inspiration from reality TV, as some shows offer a look into other forms of employment from the those they currently have.
It also emerged that 31 per cent feel their lives aren’t as interesting as those in their favourite reality TV programmes – although a sassy 43 per cent believe other people would be interested in a show about their life.
Of those surveyed, via OnePoll, 14 per cent admit nearly half of their weekly TV intake is reality TV – and 37 per cent said it would be very unlikely for them to stop watching altogether.
Hendrik McDermott added: “Hayu is the home of reality TV, with hundreds of shows and thousands of episodes available the same day as the USA.
“There are no spoilers and there is no waiting, which we know is key for subscribers who want to see their favourite content first.
“It’s great to see that some shows are inspiring people to investigate different career options – and we understand why some TV show personalities almost feel like part of the family.”
BRITS’ TOP 20 FAVOURITE REALITY TV SHOWS:
- Britain's Got Talent
- The Great British Bake Off
- The Apprentice
- Love Island
- Married At First Sight (incl. Australia, UK, USA, etc.)
- Below Deck (incl. Below Deck Med, Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Below Deck Down Under)
- Top Chef
- Made In Chelsea
- The Real Housewives franchise (incl. Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, etc.)
- Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr
- Keeping Up With The Kardashians
- The Bachelor
- The Only Way Is Essex
- RuPaul's Drag Race
- Teen Mom
- Glow Up
- Project Runway
- The Real World