So it’s a wrap for 2013’s BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool. But while the red carpet is rolled up and the digibooths are packed away for another year, our enviable job of exporting the best of British content around the globe continues. And, as we’ve demonstrated once more, BBC Worldwide proudly does this with some gusto.
Each year we amplify our efforts to boost British exports through an ever-increasing number of programme sales, and Showcase is going from strength to strength since moving to Liverpool. The city is preparing to host another major event next year – the International Festival for Business (IFB) – as a global showcase for British brands and industry. I agree with Sir Terry Leahy, who talked about the event earlier this week, when he said the IFB will “show the world that Britain and its business brands are back in the game” and that it “has the capacity to reignite our export culture.”
BBC Worldwide already holds such an event every year to do just that; we estimate Showcase will generate around £50m revenues, which helps to supplement the UK licence fee. Tasked with selling programmes on behalf of the BBC and independent producers, this year’s event welcomed over 700 delegates to Liverpool – a 10% increase on last year’s figures. We had many clients making their first trip to Showcase, and they were not disappointed – our catalogue of around 50,000 hours has something to offer buyers specialising in any genre. We were able to announce significant sales of Africa, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Misfits, Call The Midwife and Top Gear to name but a few, in territories as diverse as South Korea, Latin America, India and Kazakhstan.
The event is a draw for some of Britain’s top TV talent as well. We welcomed historian Simon Schama, Moone Boy’s Chris O’Dowd, The Paradise’s Elaine Cassidy, Father Brown’s Mark Williams, Orphan Black’s Maria Doyle Kennedy and MasterChef and Junior MasterChef presenters John Torode and Donal Skehan.
It was an eventful few days, with so many highlights. Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin wowed the crowd by lying on a single nail, and we celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who with a full orchestra playing music from the series in the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.
And so now we turn our attention to MipTV which, in just a few weeks time, provides us with another platform to open up our programming slate to buyers. Like Showcase, it will be a great opportunity to promote great British television to a global audience.