Britain's intl TV event BBC Showcase celebrates 30 years

MUMBAI: BBC Showcase, which positions itself as the world's largest international television market hosted by a single distributor, celebrates its 30th anniversary next week in the UK. The event kicks off on 26 February.

Held in Brighton, the event will see over 1,500 new hours of British television pitched to foreign broadcasters, with an attendance this year of over 524 buyers from more than 100 countries.

A parade of big-budget docu-dramas is set to dominate the factual genre as BBC Worldwides catalogue brings history and science to life with epic factual titles including Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Krakatoa and the Egypt trilogy. All of these are BBC co-productions with US and European networks, reflecting the importance of global partnerships in realising increasingly ambitious productions.

The BBC's reputation for quality children's programming builds new ground this year with the unveiling of the Secret Show for which BBC Worldwide has just secured global programme, merchandising and DVD rights. Furthermore, children's series Charlie and Lola is set for a year of international launches. The 26 x 11'30 series has already sold to 25 broadcasters and is set to become a keystone of BBC Worldwide's children's offering.

Other key titles being showcased include Life on Mars, Hotel Babylon, Bleak House, Hyperdrive and natural history series, Planet Earth.

BBC Worldwide MD global TV sales, Mark Young, said, "It is remarkable just how far BBC Showcase has come in the past thirty years. The event is now a must for any international broadcaster, with BBC Worldwide now Europe's largest exporter of television content. BBC Worldwide's relationships and experience in the global market place have led the company to represent not only the BBC but also other British broadcasters and many of the UK's independent production companies."

BBC Showcase first took place in 1976, when the key titles being launched to international broadcasters for the first time included Fawlty Towers, The Good Life, Andre Previns Music Night, childrens series The Ballet Shoes, and the original version of Doctor Who.

The event was attended by 25 foreign broadcasters and was held at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton. The event then moved around the UK each year to locations including Bristol, Edinburgh and Jersey.

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