Doctor Who 50th anniversary marked by BBC in Liverpool

TV buyers flock in record numbers as Aunty sets out stall

Written by  The Confidentials | Follow @ | Tuesday, 12 February 2013 14:09

THERE is no word yet on whether the North Koreans are coming, nor if they'll be snapping up the first two series of Mrs Brown's Boys, but TV channels from all over the globe are on their way to Liverpool - on a mission to buy from Aunty Beeb.

BBC Worldwide Showcase, the world’s largest international television market hosted by a single distributor, will be welcoming 700 TV execs and host of stars when it opens its doors later this month at Liverpool's Convention Centre. 

This year it will be hosting a special event to spotlight the BBC Natural History Unit's highly acclaimed series Africa, which the distributor has already sold to 12 countries including Singapore, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Ukraine.

Heidi Thomas - Liverpool Person Done GoodHeidi Thomas waits for a DeltaBut that all pales into insignificence when you look at the success of Garston girl Heidi Thomas. Her Sunday night favourite, Call The Midwife, has sold to a whopping 100 countries, meaning no more standing up on the 86 for Mrs Steve McGann now that she can afford a Delta.

Keeping it in the family (Heidi's bro-in-law Paul McGann played the eighth Doctor) the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will be celebrated with a special event, although it's not known if all or any of the surviving "Doctors" (such as another Liverpudlian, Tom Baker) will be showing up.

Opening on Sunday February 28, it will be a starry four days with appearances by Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne, who plays the lead role in the touted 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 Showcase enables the BBC's commercial arm to generate revenue on behalf of the BBC and independent producers. It provides a major boost to television exports and accounts for around 20pc of BBC Worldwide's annual programme sales. 

Doctor Who 50Th AnniversaryDoctor Who 50th anniversary

Steve Macallister, President & Managing Director, Sales & Distribution, BBC Worldwide, said: "In another record-breaking year, we welcome our largest number of buyers to Liverpool - up by 10pc 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."