New British TV Shows, New Global Audiences

British television is currently celebrating a well-deserved resurgence both locally and abroad. UK television sales to international markets grew last year to £1,284m, riding on the success of high-end dramas such as Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Luther and Mr Selfridge. The annual UK Television Exports Report cites British creativity as central to the public’s growing interest in British content.

This unconventional take on storytelling is evident in the extremely stylish modern day re-telling of BBC1’s Sherlock. Audiences are invited to keep pace with Sherlock as he draws on his extraordinary intellect to collect evidence as his thought process flashes across the screen. It is not passive viewing; it’s ‘smart tv’, as one viewer puts it. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are perfectly cast to portray the complicated relationship between Sherlock and Watson.

Equally well enacted are the stories of life above and below stairs in ITV’s Downton Abbey. Whilst Britain has a long history of producing period dramas with lavish costumes and picturesque settings, Downton Abbey has captivated the global market with its slick study of Britain’s traditional class system and the intrigues that occupy their lives. Every time the acerbic Lady Grantham exercises her wit in such lines as ‘What’s a weekend?’, another viewer is hooked. So much so that when the fourth season premiere aired on PBS in America, it broke the PBS record for a series premiere with 10.2 million US viewers, and has now been sold in over 220 territories.

Come to the GREAT British Carnival, and not only can you enjoy ‘smart’ British TV, but learn English in smart and creative ways.

Visit & Learn English @ the GREAT British Carnival Held at the British Council (30 Napier Road)

Date: Saturday 21 March 2015
Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Event highlights:

  • Best of British TV themed free 90-minute English language workshops – learn English with British TV series themes such as Sherlock Holmes, Mr Bean and Downton Abbey. Registration required, first-come-first-serve basis, for adults only.
  • A very British food affair – try delightful British scones, teacakes, shortbread and much more …
  • Live performance from the Gurkhas – commemorating 200 years of service to the Crown.
  • Take a selfie along the Vintage and Classic cars.
  • Get a chance to dress up as Sherlock Holmes or Lady Mary in Downton Abbey and be part of the act.
  • Snap, upload and vote to win a Brompton Bike with #GREATinSG on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/WeChat.
  • Stand a chance to win a pair of British Airways return tickets to London! Check out the link below for more details.


GREAT British Carnival - Gurkhas with bagpipes, characters from Jane Austen novels and Vintage cars from Heritage Car Club - at our Napier Road Centre on 21 March 2015.
GREAT British Carnival - Gurkhas with bagpipes, characters from Jane Austen novels and Vintage cars from Heritage Car Club. ©

British Council

GREAT British Carnival - Scones, shortbreads and teacakes

British Council

GREAT British Carnival - Staff group photo

British Council

External links