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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 14:28 GMT
Thaw boosts TV exports
John Thaw
John Thaw played the fictional detective Morse
Actor John Thaw's legacy is still being felt by the UK's television industry as he remains one of the country's biggest exports.

The Inspector Morse series and the adaptation of Goodnight Mr Toms have been sold to more than 200 countries in the past five years.

Thaw, who died of cancer in February 2002, was one of Britain's best-loved stars.

The only programme to have had a bigger impact was the one-off special Mole's Christmas, which was bought by more than 213 countries.

Statistics released by the British Television Distributors Association (BTDA) show that revenue from TV exports rose 6.6% to $666m (425m) despite difficult trading conditions.

Top 10 exports of the past five years (with number of countries sold to)
1. Mole's Christmas - 213
2. Inspector Morse - 200
3. Frenchman's Creek - 150
4. Rebecca - 150
5. Midsomer Murders - 130
6. Teletubbies - 120
7. Top of the Pops - 112
8. Goodnight Mr Tom - 100
9. Peak Practice -100
10. Walking with Dinosaurs - 90

The US is the most voracious buyer of UK products, buying up $232m (148m) worth of programmes, an increase of 16.4% on 2001.

The biggest seller of 2002 was a wildlife documentary called Bug World. The Granada programme was sold to 72 countries.

Other popular exports from last year included the Worst Witch, Taggart and ITV1 drama Bob and Rose.

The BBC's Natural World series was exported to 44 countries.

The rural goings-on in Yorkshire soap Emmerdale have proved a surprise export success, becoming a ratings winner in Norway where it even has its own fan club.

Heartbeat, another distinctly British drama, is Norway's top-rated show.

The French proved they did have a sense of humour when it bought the comedy Carry on Don't Lose Your Head - a parody of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Despite an overall increase in the export sales figures there was decline in the number of ready-made programmes sold.

The drop has been blamed on the number of co-production deals where networks buy up a concept but adapt it for their own market.

The BTDA represents more than 30 of the UK's distributors including BBC Worldwide, Granada and Carlton.

Actor John Thaw dies
22 Feb 02 |  TV and Radio
More tributes for John Thaw
22 Feb 02 |  TV and Radio
Carry On around the world
16 Jun 02 |  Film
British favourites boost TV exports
13 Jun 02 |  TV and Radio

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