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Sci-fi has, at least in the popular imagination, always been the preserve of geeky boys. Well, no longer. According to the Sci-Fi Channel, an array of strong female characters such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Zena and (inexplicably) Lara Croft, mean that more women than men now tune in.

Unfortunately, the channel can’t resist putting this down to the Keanu-factor and soap opera plots. Because chicks arn’t interested in ‘machines’ or ‘zombies’ apparently.

Meanwhile, Buffy has been piped to the post of best fantasy hero by Harry Potter, the BBC says.

This is another Sci-Fi Channel story, and suggests reports of strong female leads may have been exaggerated. Buffy came in third, but the other heros were: Spiderman, Doctor Who, Han Solo, Neo from The Matrix, Spock, Yoda and Batman. Favourite villains were the Daleks, the Joker, the Terminator, Predator, Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, Lex Luther and Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.