The 35 most evil TV villains of all time
A hero is only as good as its villain, and our TVs have been filled with all sorts of baddies over the years, from mythical ice zombies to miserable talent show judges.
But who or what is the most evil villain of all time? In order to find out, we asked the nation and can reveal the definitive list of the 35 worst ever characters to ever grace the small screen.
1. Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal
One of the most terrifying horror characters of film, literature and television, Dr. Lecter comes out on top as the nation’s most notorious villain.
2. The Daleks, Doctor Who
A nazi-like race of mutants created by the scientist Davros, whose aims are to "exterminate" any race they believe to be inferior, Daleks are conditioned to obey their superior's orders without question. First appearing on our screens on Doctor Who in 1963, they possess no individual personality traits other than anger and hatred.
3. Richard Hillman, Coronation Street
Probably the most infamous villain from Coronation Street, known for his numerous homicide attempts in order to get money. Hillman's last crime was arguably his worst, when he attempted to murder the entire Platt family by tying them up in a car, gassing them and driving them into a canal, where he met his own fatal end.
4. Villanelle, Killing Eve
A hired assassin who becomes entangled in a 'cat and mouse' game with British Intelligence Agent, Eve Polastri. Villanelle always had a violent reputation, stemming from when she castrated her former lover's husband, to free him from his wife Anna, who she was having an affair with. The actress, Jodie Comer, has since gone on to win an Emmy and a Bafta for her portrayal of the slick villain.
5. Pat Phelan, Coronation Street
Another Corrie villain, Pat is known for terrorising Anna Windass, coercing her into having sex with him, destroying her relationship and plunging her family into financial ruin. Not only is Phelan also indirectly and directly responsible for several deaths on the show, he is also guilty of rape, as well as keeping Andy Carver prisoner for a whole year.
6. Dirty Den, Eastenders
Dennis "Dirty Den" Watts is the original landlord of The Queen Victoria pub. Among his list of dirty deeds includes giving divorce papers to his first wife, Angie, in the 1986 Christmas Day episode, watched by more than half the UK at the time. He was also involved with The Firm, a feared criminal organisation linked to racketeering, arson and murder.
7. Ramsay Bolton, Game of Thrones
A truly evil character played by Iwan Rheon, Ramsey is known for his awful behavior to his wife Sansa Stark, stabbing his father to death, and torturing Theon Greyjoy. He keeps a pack of hunting dogs, named after his victims, and brings their flayed skin back with him as a trophy for his villainous acts. He meets his demise at the hands of these dogs, on orders from Sansa, which has been described as one of the most satisfying TV deaths of all time.
8. Negan, The Walking Dead
Negan is the leader of a survivor group known as the Saviors, however it would be a dubious proposition to say they 'save' anyone. The group regularly ambush other survivors, steal their supplies, assault and murder people in the process. Negan also steals the wives of many other men, and is known for using a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire to [SPOILER ALERT] kill some heroes of the show.
9. Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones
Cersei's lust for power, as well as her manipulative and merciless personality traits, leads her to commit several heinous crimes, as well as encourage her son Joffrey to do wicked things seemingly out of love and protection. Her incestuous relationship with her brother Jamie also led her to arrange the murders of John Arran and Lord Stark in order to protect her secret.
10. Mr. Burns, The Simpsons
Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns is the evil, greedy owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. A stereotype of corporate America, Mr. Burns is constantly looking to increase his own wealth and power, forgetting his employees' names and having little-to-no regard for their safety along the way.
11. Joffrey Baratheon, Game of Thrones
Thrust into power as King of Westeros at a young age following his father's death, Joffrey's spoiled and sadistic bullying tendencies are allowed to run riot with no one able to control him. He enjoys forcing people to fight to their grim deaths, inflicting cruel punishments for minor crimes, and ordering members of his Kingsguard to beat his wife.
12. H, Line of Duty
H is the criminal mastermind behind the bent-copper cases the protagonists have had to take on, and he or she is currently completely anonymous. Several AC12 members have come under suspicion, including Inspector Ted Hastings, who was cleared in the last season, to the elation of Line of Duty viewers.
13. Simon Cowell, The X Factor
Simon is known for his brutally honest and controversial comments as judge of shows such as The X Factor, Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent.
14. Trevor Morgan, Eastenders
Eastenders worst ever antagonist, Trevor consistently beat, embarrassed and assaulted his wife Little Mo Slater. He even burnt her with an iron, and forced her to eat Christmas dinner off the carpet for turning up late, making him one of TV’s most hated villains.
15. Katie Hopkins
First appearing on our screens in the third series of The Apprentice in 2007, Katie Hopkins has been infamous for her outspoken views on subjects such as class, obesity, migrants, and race, attracting immense criticism from society and the media.
16. Gus Fring, Breaking Bad
Mob boss Fring is a significant methamphetamine distributor in Southwestern United States, using a chain of fast food restaurants as a front for his enormous drug operation. Despite his friendly and calm front, Fring is ruthless, enforcing several killings and personally finishing off his adversaries.
17. Thomas Shelby, Peaky Blinders
Tommy is leader of the Peaky Blinders, a criminal gang from Birmingham who use razor blades hidden in flat caps as weapons. Their crimes include but are not limited to robbery, smuggling, bribery, fraud, assault and extortion, all at Tommy's request.
18. The Night King, Game of Thrones
Sporting a crown of pointy, frosted horns, the Night King is a sort of ice-zombie who aims to create an 'eternal winter' by killing every person in the world and raising them from the dead to join his army.
19. Thomas Barrow, Downton Abbey
Thomas Barrow is known to be unsympathetic, sly, and for creating conflict for everyone else. Among his list of dirty deeds are blackmailing his former lover, theft, and war profiteering.
20. Tom, Tom and Jerry
One half of the famous duo created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Tom the cat is constantly looking to chase and torment mouse Jerry, either for his own amusement or to receive a reward.
21. Jim Fenner, Bad Girls
James 'Jim' Fenner is a villainous prison officer who always tries to make life harder for the inmates. One such inmate is Yvonne, who Jim often punished for breaking the rules despite Yvonne rarely being at fault. Eventually Jim locks her away in a cell to die.
22. Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons
After Bart Simpson foils Bob's plan to frame his employer for armed robbery, Bob becomes hellbent on revenge. Most of the episodes that feature Bob as a main character involve him exiting prison and hatching a plan to kill Bart.
23. Aunt Lydia, Handmaid’s Tale
Lydia Clements, usually referred to by her rank as Aunt Lydia is a strict, violent woman in charge of overseeing the Handmaid's 're-education' and duties.
24. The Gentlemen, Buffy
Debatably Buffy's scariest villains, The Gentlemen are a group of demons who steal the voices of everyone in town, so they cannot scream when The Gentlemen cut out their hearts.
25. The Demon Headmaster
By removing his dark-tinted glasses, The Demon Headmaster reveals his bright green eyes which he can use to hypnotise his victims. Ultimately his desire is to take over the world, as he believes it will be a better place under his rule.
26. Alice Morgan, Luther
The child prodigy who enrolled in Oxford University at age 13, Alice is revealed to be equal parts genius, psychopath and narcissist. Following the murder of her parents, Alice is treated as a prime suspect, but never proven guilty.
27. Tanya Turner, Footballers’ Wives
Well known for her ruthless and calculating behaviour, Tanya has been married three times, with each marriage ending up with the death of her husband.
28. George Warleggan, Poldark
After becoming a successful banker, George figures out that his life would be much easier without Ross, his arch-rival, around. George cruelly uses his social and financial power to better his position and doesn't mind who he hurts along the way.
29. Lindsay Denton, Line of Duty
Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton could be considered an anti-hero. Although sometimes showing good intentions, she is often devious and single-minded in getting what she wants. Denton has been known to beat her neighbour with a wine bottle just for playing music too loud.
30. Sue Sylvester, Glee
Sue is the main antagonist of Glee. Although she is the coach of the William McKinley High School cheerleading squad, she appears to despise those she coaches. She is highly critical and constantly bullies students and staff alike.
31. The Godmother, Fleabag
All the characters of Fleabag are flawed, but do have a redeeming quality about them somewhere, except for the Godmother. One of her particularly infamous traits is the constant sly insults to the main character, Fleabag, such as saying she will only open Fleabag's gift "over a bin".
32. The Mind Flayer, Stranger Things
The Mind Flayer is an entity that rules a parallel dimension. It is immensely powerful, able to spawn demons, and control the minds of humans. It appears the Mind Flayer only has one desire, to destroy the world.
33. Claire Underwood, House of Cards
Claire is the wife of the show's main protagonist, Frank Underwood. During their quest for more power, friction occurs between the two and Claire commits a number of crimes ranging from false testimony to murder.
34. Jason Gardiner, Dancing on Ice
Jason Gardiner is an Australian choreographer, singer and theatre producer, but may be best known for being a ruthless and controversial judge on Dancing on Ice. Jason never pulls his punches when judging the contestants' performances, sometimes even bringing them to tears.
35. Craig Revel-Horwood, Strictly Come Dancing
Similar to Jason, Craig is well known for his brutal honesty in judging Strictly Come Dancing.