For the United Kingdom, making television shows is a highly profitable business. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who are just a couple of British characters who have millions of followers all around the world (even in countries where English isn’t the first language!). Book now golf breaks Uk and save with golf holidays direct.
UK TV exports generated a huge £1.48 billion ($1.97 billion) last year. And, with so much greatness coming from the UK TV industry, we felt it seemed fitting to explore some of the most successful shows made. Whether they generated the most revenue or reached far and wide to the most countries, here is your ultimate guide to UK TV shows that the rest of the world love.
“Sherlock” is a beloved British television series set in modern-day London. The fourth season of this contemporary adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories has been broadcast worldwide to 230 territories.
The program has generated a worldwide fan community. In 2012, popular South Korean pop act SHINee released an EP and single titled “Sherlock,” inspired by the show.
The original “Planet Earth” series, narrated by English veteran broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough, aired in 2006. Each episode of the nature documentary travels to a different environment, ranging from tropical rainforests to the polar ice caps. Attenborough re-emerged 10 years later with a follow-up show.
The BBC’s documentary series “Planet Earth II” has been sold to 154 countries, with the films now licensed in a total of 233 territories.
An alien Time Lord known as Doctor Who travels through space and time in a TARDIS (which resembles a 1960s police phone booth) to battle foes on television series “Doctor Who.”
The BBC’s Doctor Who is a science fiction television series about a time-travelling alien who works as a surgeon in modern-day London. It was first broadcast between 1963 and 1989, and was revived in 2005. Since then, it has been licensed to over 200 territories worldwide, attracting a devoted following of “Whovians.”
Great British Bake Off
“The Great British Bake Off” has been reproduced in over 26 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India and Ukraine. According to research from Betway Casino, it accounted for 28% of all UK export revenue in 2020.
The British television series “Top Gear” has been on the air since 1977, but it was relaunched and rebranded in 2002. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have appeared together in 22 seasons to an audience of 350 million people across the world.
In 2015, Clarkson was dismissed after a “fracas” with a producer, and he, along with Hammond and May, swiftly accepted an offer to host a new car show on Amazon while “Top Gear” continued under the BBC’s umbrella.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “Top Gear” was the most widely watched factual television show in the world at its peak, airing in 214 markets worldwide.
Strictly Come Dancing
Celebrities compete in the show “Strictly Come Dancing,” which is a dance competition with professional ballroom and latin dancers. The franchise debuted in 2004 and has since inspired 53 distinct local versions all over the world.
You might be familiar with this show in other countries – it tends to go by the name “Dancing with the Stars.” It’s also called “Let’s Dance” in Germany and “Bailando por un Sueño” (Dancing for a Dream) in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.