Guinness Book of Records: Hugh Laurie is most watched man on television
Hugh Laurie has overtaken David Hasselhoff to be named the most wached leading man on television.
It was always going to be gamble for Hugh Laurie to attempt to morph from foppish Bertie Wooster into the cantankerous physician Dr Gregory House. But it seems to have paid off.
Laurie has been named the most watched leading man on television in the latest edition of the Guinness Book of Records.
The medical drama House is listed as the most popular programme currently on TV, at its peak being watched by a phenomenal 81.8 million people in 66 countries – and edging out CSI: Miami with its viewership of 73.8 million.
Laurie has knocked David Hasselhoff off the top spot to be named the most watched man.
His role as the cantankerous Dr House has made him the highest paid actor on television – he currently receives £250,000 per episode.
Charlie Sheen previously held the title but following his public mental breakdown he has since been sacked from his show Two and a Half Men.
Last month he was even unveiled as L'Oreal's new poster boy – he is the face of L'Oreal Vita Lift 5, a mini skincare line for men that erases lines.
And he launched a musical career and his first album – a blues record – tearier this year on which he sings, plays the guitar and the piano.
Guests on the record, titled Let Them Talk, include pianist Dr John, blues singer Irma Thomas and Sir Tom Jones
Laurie has won two Golden Globe awards for his performance in House but he has been open about the fact that his job has taken its toll on his personal life.
However in May the actor has hinted that after eight years – the next season of House could well be his last.
He said in an interview with the Radio Times "Doing weekly TV is like joining the Navy and going on the other side of the world for ten months of the year.
"But the truth is that whatever challenging situation you're in, somebody somewhere has got a much more extreme version. So I think one ought to shut up and not moan about it.'
He said that he would like to leave the show when it was still enjoying success.
He explained: "When the time comes, I think it would be good to have sort of a clean finish rather than just sort trailing off. I'd like to go out with a bang, not a whimper."