Grey's Anatomy first appeared on our screens back in 2005 with ABC looking for a medical drama that was different from the others out there. Shonda Rhimes stepped up to the mark and delivered Grey's, which she aimed to be a female driven racially diverse show that would slow down the pace from other hospital dramas and make it more character driven. That she did, with the show going on to become the massive hit that it is today, winning multiple awards along with its stars,

Now coming into its 12th season, Grey's Anatomy shows no sign of finishing up any time soon so if you have somehow managed to miss out on it thus far, do yourself a favour and check out the Sky Box Set which is filled with this lot of truly great characters.

1. Meredith Grey

Ah moany Meredith. At this stage we have been through every high and every low possible with good old Meredith, and her romance with Derek was truly one of TV's greats. Whether she was removing bombs from people's insides in operating theatres or writing post-its to McDreamy, there is no doubt she is the star of this hospital shindig, and let's face it, we've all learned something from those melancholic yet inspiring monologues at the end of each episode.

2. Miranda Bailey

One of the longest running characters in the show, it feels like Miranda Bailey is the heart of that hospital at times. The original badass, with her interns even nicknaming her 'The Nazi'. However, like Seattle Grace's* very own Mr Miyagi, there's always method in her madness and while she's a big softie really, she has had some killer put downs over the years, not to mention the odd epic speech or two.

(*aka Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital/Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital)

3. Mark Sloan (aka McSteamy)

Ah the handsome divil that was McSteamy, Mark Sloan of course makes it onto our list. Initially introduced as the bestest frenemy of Derek, he was definitely considered the bad guy for a while as he was of course the man who broke up Derek's marriage to Addison... although in fairness that did clear the way for him and Meredith. Sloan then went on to find love with a Grey himself as he fell for Lexie, Meredith's younger sister. However, the pair of them went on to die in an airplane crash, because Grey's Anatomy.

4. Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy)

Sigh. We're still not over this one. One half of MerDer, there really was nobody more dreamy than Derek Shepherd. His 'will they/won't they/oh my God they have/ oh no wait it's over again' with Meredith had us gripped for years. Their post-it wedding will forever live on in our hearts. Dammit, and his death was so unnecessary! Stupid doctors at that stupid non-trauma centre.

5. Cristina Yang

Actress Sandra Oh initially went for the role of Miranda Bailey in the show, which actually isn't that hard to imagine considering both women share that same hard exterior. However, she went on to be cast as the tough nut that is Cristina Yang, and Meredith's 'person'. Their friendship has been described as 'the secret core of Grey's' and we can't help agree. That pair have been through everything together, and share a love no man come ever come between. It was dark times for a while in season 10 when the pair fell out but thankfully they got back on track before Yang headed off to pastures new.

6. Alex Karev

We hated him, then we loved him, then Izzie loved him, then we hated him again. It's hard to know what to feel about the complex character that is Alex Karev but he has certainly kept us guessing down the years. His love of paediatrics was undoubtedly the making of him, as was his relationship with Izzie, although those two always seemed doomed from the start. He may have finally met his match with this Jo lady, and who knew it would be Alex that would fit the role of Meredith's new 'person'?

Catch Grey’s Anatomy along with more of the box sets everyone's talking about with Sky Box Sets.