Love is in the air[waves]!

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11 Feb • 7 min read

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate it than to have a look back at some of the greatest on-screen romances? We’ve compiled a list based on some of our favourites, but as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Frank and Pat Butcher from Eastenders:

We thought we’d start with a classic - perhaps they weren’t the most glitzy or exciting couple on television and their relationship had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, but we all remember them. An iconic couple that’s become synonymous with British television.

Frank and Pat were the perfect tragic couple, never quite finding that story-book ending, but always giving us laughs and thrills on their journey together. The kind of odd-ball romance British viewers cannot help to love, but leaves the rest of the world quite bewildered. One only has to look at the iconic scene where Frank shows up on Pat’s doorstep completely naked, except for a comedy bow-tie, during the middle of an affair! It doesn’t get any more zany than that.

Tim and Dawn from The Office (UK):

One of the most endearing parts of The Office was the budding romance between Tim and Dawn that kept viewers coming back for more week after week. Dawn was stuck in a borderline abusive relationship with Lee whilst Tim spent his flirting with Dawn and supporting her ambitions beyond her current job - it was an obvious choice for Dawn to switch her affections to Tim. But, we were kept on tenterhooks for nearly two seasons waiting for Dawn to switch her affections to Tim!

It wasn’t until the season two Christmas finale where Tim and Dawn finally come together in what is arguably the greatest on-screen office romance of our time. Dawn was about to head off with her dour boyfriend Lee, but she receives a last minute Christmas present from Tim, encouraging her to not give up on her dreams of becoming an illustrator. She then runs back to the Christmas party where she and Tim have their on-screen kiss. Christmas romance at its best!

Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler from BBC’s Sherlock:

One of the more outright raunchy and quirky romances we’ve had on our screens is Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes. The minor villain only appeared in a single book by Arthur Conan Doyle, however most adaptations of the detective’s adventures tend to focus on her as his main romantic interest. The latest BBC series did quite the same, but with a twist!

Irene Adler is shown to be both very raunchy, masquerading as a dominatrix when Sherlock first meets her, but also a great intellectual match for the detective, leaving him both defeated and smitten on multiple occasions. She’s first seen as just using Sherlock to help decode her phone to receive vital information. However, she soon falls for him and we see her send flirtatious texts to Sherlock throughout the series, Sherlock sees them but we never see him reply.

Jack and Vera (from Coronation Street)

Corrie would never have been quite the same without these two. Like any couple they had plenty of ups and downs - even some affairs - but at the end of the day, the two always stuck it out together, like only the best of good soap couples can.

They gave us so many moments of comedy, like the time when Jack threw a wobbly and refused to come down from a roof. Vera refused to give him any food, saying it went against the spirit of protesting. She then went off to play bingo instead of pandering to his attention!

And moments of tragedy - everyone bawled their eyes out back in 2008 when Vera passed away in her sleep and Jack was forced to say goodbye to such an incredible and formidable partner. No wonder this heart-gripping couple won the heart of the British public and have remained an absolute icon to this day.

Gavin and Stacey (from Gavin and Stacey)

You saw it coming, we saw it coming, in fact, the whole nation saw it coming. There’s a reason Gavin and Stacey beat every other TV couple in a poll to become the nation’s favourite fictional couple back in 2020.

The light-hearted love story between the Essex boy and Welsh girl had us all gripped with its humour, wit and heartwarming storylines. Not to mention that they’re the only long-distance couple on this list, and seeing them make the effort travelling to spend some more time together is incredibly wholesome. There are so many scenes to choose from, but their iconic phone conversations and smalltalk made every episode positively heartwarming.

We hope you have a brilliant Valentine's day and that looking back on these wonderful TV love stories has got you in the right mood to celebrate it! We’d love to hear more about your favourite TV couples, especially if we missed them on our list. As always you can reach us via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Happy Valentine’s day from the whole Manhattan team!