Exports of British TV shows such as Frozen Planet II and Top Gear have hit record levels.
The clamour from overseas for our programming meant sales hit nearly £1.9billion last year, up 22 per cent annually.
The move towards streaming services was behind much of the increase, research found.
For the first time, more than half of the programmes were sold to international streaming and on-demand platforms, up from 39 per cent the year before.
Among the most exported shows were BBC wildlife series Frozen Planet – narrated by Sir David Attenborough – and Serengeti, and ITV dramas The Ipcress File, starring Joe Cole, David Tennant’s Litvinenko and The Suspect, with Aidan Turner. Other top-selling shows include MasterChef, The English, All Creatures Great and Small, Dragons’ Den and Midsomer Murders.
Among the most exported shows were BBC wildlife series Frozen Planet – narrated by Sir David Attenborough (pictured)
Actor David Tennant is pictured as Alexander Litviinenko
The 2022/23 total of nearly £1.9billion is the highest since the report by Pact – the trade body representing television producers – started in 2017.
The majority of sales, 60 per cent, came from completed programmes rather than other sources, such as selling the formats for programmes.
The money from these finished shows had gone up by 11 per cent to £1.108billion, breaking the £1billion mark for the first time.
Format sales for shows such as The Traitors also increased by 22 per cent, while co-production sales increased by 69 per cent.
The US market has remained the most significant for British TV shows, worth £525million or 28 per cent of all exports, although it was flat in terms of growth.
The next most valuable were Australia, Germany, France, the Nordics, Canada, Spain and Italy. China was the 12th most valuable. There was strong growth in selling shows to Spain, up 79 per cent to £40million.
Among the most exported shows was ITV drama The Ipcress File, starring actor Joe Cole
Exports of British TV shows such as Frozen Planet II and Top Gear have hit record levels
Pact said that scripted drama remains the ‘key driver of international content sales’ for UK companies. It represented 49 per cent of revenue, followed by entertainment at 21 per cent and factual at 18 per cent.
John McVay, chief executive of Pact, said: ‘These strong sales figures highlight yet again that UK indies continue to produce quality TV programmes that the rest of the world want to watch.
‘However, we anticipate this is likely to be an exceptional year and next year’s report will reflect the global financial uncertainty and rising production costs.’
Rebecca Glashow, of BBC Studios, said: ‘Even through a period of disruption in the marketplace, we are seeing an appetite for high-quality content around the world.’