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Record number of delegates head to biggest ever BBC Worldwide Showcase

BBC Worldwide
13 February 2013

…while all eyes are on Africa as BBC Worldwide sells blockbuster title around the globe

BBC Worldwide Showcase, the world’s largest international television market hosted by a single distributor, will be welcoming 700 TV buyers from around the world when it opens its doors on 24th February at ACC Liverpool. This year it will be hosting special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and to spotlight the BBC Natural History Unit's highly acclaimed series Africa, which the distributor has already sold to 12 countries including Singapore (Mediacorp), Germany (WDR), Netherlands (NPO), Sweden (SVT), Australia (Channel Ten), New Zealand (TVNZ) and Ukraine (Mega TV).

BBC Worldwide is the largest distributor of TV programming outside of the US. BBC Worldwide Showcase enables the BBC's commercial arm to generate programme sales on behalf of the BBC and independent producers. It provides a major boost to television exports and accounts for around 20% of BBC Worldwide's annual programme sales.

Steve Macallister, president & managing director, sales and distribution, BBC Worldwide, said: "In another record-breaking year, we welcome our largest number of buyers to Liverpool - up by 10% on last year - and we have two brilliant programme-themed evenings planned. Africa is certain to capture the imagination of our delegates as it has the British public over the past few weeks. What a perfect opportunity to also celebrate the world’s longest running sci fi series with Doctor Who in its 50th year, at this biggest ever Showcase. We have a great slate of new titles across every genre and are delighted to be hosting some superb on screen talent over the four days of the event."

Stars of BBC Worldwide's key programmes who will be attending Showcase are award-winning Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne, who plays the lead role in the highly anticipated BBC One drama Quirke, Elaine Cassidy and Emun Elliott from The Paradise, Mark Williams from Father Brown, Maria Doyle Kennedy who will be appearing in the new BBC America drama, Orphan Black, and Eve Myles, the lead in BBC’s forthcoming series Frankie. Also gracing the red carpet will be historian Simon Schama, MasterChef and Junior MasterChef presenters John Torode and Donal Skehan, and daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin.

BBC Worldwide's drama slate at Showcase spotlights two highly celebrated titles - A Young Doctor's Notebookstarring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe, and the international hit Call the Midwife (series 2) which has sold to over 100 territories. The highest rating UK dramas for Sky Arts 1 and BBC One respectively*, these critically acclaimed series unveil life for deprived communities on the brink of social change in the 20th century. In contrast, the splendour of a Victorian department store - together with its dark secrets – is the backdrop to a young girl's rags-to-riches tale in The Paradise.

The second part of the seventh series of Doctor Who will whet the appetites of fans around the world in the run up to the show’s 50th anniversary in November. Major new drama commissions include Quirke, Orphan Black, Father Brown, Frankie, The Challenger and The Fear while Luther (series 3) makes a thrilling return.

Joining Africa in a strong slate of natural history titles are Great Bear Stakeout and Penguins - Spy In The Huddle. Science meanwhile explores Rise of the Continents, asks - with BBC History -Could We Survive An Atlantic Mega Tsunami? and sees Bang Goes The Theory return for a seventh series.

The Story of the Jews, David Starkey: Music and Monarchy, Isaac Newton: The Last Magician and Last Heroes of D Day top the list of history programming while The Incredible Mr. Goodwin, featuring the astonishing stunts of Jonathan Goodwin, and L.A. Frock Stars are new factual entertainment titles. The eagerly anticipated return ofTop Gear (series 19), MasterChef (series 9) and Junior Doctors (series 3) are also in the factual entertainment slate.

Mr Stink and Bluestone 42 are two brand new titles in the comedy line up while Pramface, Stella and This is Jinsyall return for second series. Children's programming brings Sarah & Duck and Woolly & Tig to preschoolers while new tween scripted reality series The Next Step features with the return of drama series M.I. High. In a bumper music line up Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream is an intimate feature length documentary on the singer/songwriter/actress while a rock legend is celebrated in David Bowie: Five Years in the Making of an Icon.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, said: “Last year BBC Worldwide brought its prestigious event to ACC Liverpool for the first time and it proved to be a great success.

“We have continued to work closely with the BBC Worldwide team throughout the year to build on 2012 and anticipate another terrific Showcase this year.”