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Britons still prefer reading to watching TV:BBC Raw survey

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MUMBAI: The Raw survey was conducted as part of the second phase of Reading and Writing (Raw), the BBC's biggest ever literacy campaign.

Raw is aimed at the 12.1 million adults in the UK who can read and write, but could not pass a GCSE in English.

The BBC Raw survey for World Book Day suggests that reading is an important activity for 79 per cent of people in the UK, beating TV (67 per cent), computer games (15 per cent), gardening (49 per cent) and even sex (69 per cent) in the popularity stakes.

The survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews with 4,000 adults - representing a cross section of the UK population - by TNS on behalf of BBC Audience Research. Interviews suggest that reading is paramount in Britons lives.

Overall the results show that, across the UK, picking up a book or a newspaper is in the top three activities alongside listening to music and spending time with friends and family.

However, although 82 per cent of the population say they enjoy their reading, there is still a significant 17 per cent of adults surveyed who say they do not.

BBC Learning and Interactive controller Liz Cleaver says, "This survey shows how much everyone can get from reading but also highlights that there are around one in five adults who don't make time to read. Raw wants to inspire these people to enjoy reading in a way that's relevant to them.

"Raw makes reading accessible and encourages reluctant readers to see what they can gain by making reading a central part of their lives."

The focus of the campaign is to build learning confidence by helping people rediscover the fun of reading. Although reading emerges triumphant in the survey, the study suggests a difference between the sexes - it seems the British male could now be losing out in the bedroom to the competing charms of a good book.

The results suggest that, for women, reading is much more popular than sex. While more than eight out of ten women like to cuddle up with a book, men are equally sure about what they want between the covers. Three quarters of men rated sex as important, while only 64 per cent of women felt the same.

The survey results are released as the BBC launches the second phase of its three-year Raw literacy campaign. There will be a swathe of programming on radio and television, as well as events around the country, for adults who lack confidence with their reading and writing skills.

Raw focusses on putting the fun back into reading for people who might steer away from formal educational schemes.

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