With the rush of 21st Century life it seems it's becoming more and more popular to catch up with vital TV online and BBC iPlayer is very much benefitting from this new craze.

The cast of Sherlock really hit upon a hit with one episode being watched 4.19 million times on BBC iPlayer

The online streaming service saw a rise in its usage and a combination of programmes were watched a total of 2.6 billion times through 2014 with viewers' favourite, Sherlock, being watched the most.

The latest surge is believed to have been helped by the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets as ways of watching TV with figures stating that there was a 51% rise in the number of people using their devices.

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The Empty Hearse, the first episode of the hotly-anticipated third series of Sherlock, drew the most online viewers and was watched a staggering 4.19 million times.

The episode was billed as the explanation to Holmes' apparent suicide after he jumped off a building following a particularly tense altercation with his arch nemesis, Moriarty, at the end of series two.

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The thrill of discovering the unexplained was enough to propel Arthur Conan Doyle's detective to the top but the second and third episodes of the series were pushed unceremoniously down into 5th and 6th place by three episodes of Top Gear in between.

Rounding off the top 10 most viewed BBC iPlayer programmes was another episode of Top Gear in 7th place, BBC3 documentary Murdered By My Boyfriend in 8th, Outnumbered (series 5 episode 1) in 9th and the first episode of series 8 of Doctor Who which scrapped in at 10th with a comparatively paltry 2.3 million views.