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Many Britons `love TV more than their spouses`

London: Believe it or not, many Britons love the idiot box more than their spouses.

A new survey has revealed that at least one in 10 Britons actually prefer the television more than their spouses or partners.

According to the survey, more than a tenth of those questioned said they would rather split up with their other half than give up watching television, claiming their favourite reality shows and soaps mean too much to them.

A third also said they keep the TV on just for company -- even if they are not watching, the `Daily Mail` reported. While more than half of the respondents admitted that television is an integral part of their lives, and that they would be lost without a telly in the home.

The research also found that 11 per cent feel safer at home with the television switched on, and believe it discourages burglars.

The poll of 3,000 people, commissioned by shopping channel QVC, also found that four in 10 Britons find the sound of the television relaxing after a stressful day at work.

"Brits have always loved the TV and the wealth of entertainment it provides. Whether it`s for education, fun or shopping, TV has become a part of the family," Sue Leeson, the channel`s marketing director, was quoted as saying.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that every hour spent watching TV each day increases the risk of dying from heart disease by almost a fifth.

Scientists warned TV addicts that their lifestyle also increased the risk of death from other causes including cancer and the chances of dying early from heart attacks and strokes.

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