The BBC’s bestselling shows abroad

Sherlock and Welsh Guards in scarlet uniform Viewers have been Sherlocked in more than 200 territories

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A record 725 buyers are attending BBC Worldwide's annual showcase this week, where programmes such as The Musketeers and Horrible Histories will be sold to foreign broadcasters.

The company recently exported more than 670 hours of British drama. But what are the most popular BBC shows abroad?

The 200 club

All doctors upto Matt Smith

No prizes for guessing that Doctor Who and Sherlock feature among the bestsellers.

Alongside Top Gear, Luther and natural history documentary Polar Bear, they have each been watched in more than 200 territories.

In November, 94 countries simulcast the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who; and when Sherlock returned this year, the third series received 49 million hits on the Chinese website Youku.

A memorable giraffe battle has also led to natural history series Africa gripping audiences in approximately 200 territories.

Nun checking Trixie the midwife for headlice

More welcome and widespread than nits, Call the Midwife has also touched viewers in nearly 200 territories with universal issues such as birth, family and loss. The cute babies help too.

Reaching 100+

Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker

Malcolm Tucker's potty-mouthed rants in The Thick of It have reached more than 150 territories.

BBC Worldwide

  • BBC-owned company sells shows and formats made by the BBC and UK indies
  • Headline sales of £1,116m last financial year, returning £156m to the BBC
  • Annual exports showcase held in Liverpool, with spin-offs in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans and Beijing
  • Catalogue of 50,000 hours of programmes, including Atlantis and Whitechapel
  • Promotes the BBC's fifth public purpose of bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK

This may come as a surprise to those who thought the political satire only shocked and amused UK audiences and leaves us wondering both how Tucker's outbursts get dubbed and how they fare against foreign broadcasting censors.

The BBC Two drama Top of the Lake, which was an international co-production, has also captivated audiences in more than 150 territories. Lead star Elizabeth Moss recently won a Golden Globe award for her performance as a detective who investigates the disappearance of a girl in New Zealand.

Although it's been dropped by the BBC, period thriller Ripper Street is still seen in more than 150 territories.

World War One drama Parade's End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, has also sold to more than 100 territories.

And finally...

penguin leaping

Penguins, what's not to like? Arguably one of the most entertaining creatures on the planet, they've been charming audiences in 79 territories in the natural history series Penguins - Spy in the Huddle.

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