Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Strictly 'world's most watched'

Rachel Stevens
Singer Rachel Stevens was among 16 celebrities in this year's Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing has spawned more international spin-offs than any other programme, according to new figures.

The BBC show's format has been sold to 38 countries, industry magazine Television Business International said.

The show is sold internationally as Dancing With The Stars to countries including Chile, India and Japan.

In the US, N'Sync star Lance Bass and sprinter Maurice Greene are currently taking part, while the UK line-up includes Jodie Kidd and Rachel Stevens.

Judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman appear on both versions of the show.

BBC director of international formats worldwide Colin Jarvis said: "Strictly signalled the bringing back of family entertainment."

"People had grown tired of confrontation and wanted a bit of glamour and dressing up," he added.

Sales of British format ideas overseas rose by 53% in 2007, the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) found.

"British TV is a very creative industry and good at nurturing new talent, concepts and ideas," said Jarvis.

The second most watched show format worldwide was Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent formula, broadcast on ITV1 in the UK, which began life as America's Got Talent on US network NBC.

Other big British formats included Top Gear, the Antiques Roadshow and The Office.

US dramas including Desperate Housewives and Lost also proved popular in the list.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly suggested that British programmes were responsible for 53% of global television output. The figure actually relates to the increase in sales of British format ideas.

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