Press release

Best of British exports: Downton Abbey world tour showcases TV success

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier highlighted the success of UK TV exports ahead of the red carpet launch of Downton Abbey’s exhibition tour in Singapore today (Wednesday 21 June).

  • International Trade Minister hails iconic British export success
  • Downton Abbey: The Exhibition tour kicks off in Singapore in partnership with GREAT
  • UK is a world leader in the sales of TV content, with Downtown Abbey watched in 250 territories worldwide

International exports of UK TV programmes have grown steadily in recent years and the latest figures show that sales to overseas markets have risen to £1.3 billion in 2016, a 10% increase on the previous year.

With UK TV exports in global demand Downton Abbey is one of the most highly rated British period dramas in history. From Singapore to South Korea, the hit-show is viewed in 250 territories.

In 2015, drama productions were a key driver of British exporting success and sold to the greatest number of territories worldwide.

International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier said:

The UK has produced some of the most successful TV content which is enjoyed globally by millions of people. Our TV exports continue to go from strength to strength and Downton Abbey is leading the charge, with fans now watching the lives of Lady Mary and the Earl of Grantham in 250 territories.

Across the world, viewers are tuning into much-loved British TV shows and this exhibition will showcase the best of British and take advantage of the global appeal for our period dramas.

TV export revenues are also set to increase next year - in both established markets such as the USA and France and newer markets in regions such as Asia, Latin America and Russia, according to the annual ‘UK Television Exports Survey’ from the Producers Alliance for Cinema and TV.

Thanks to a partnership between the Government’s GREAT Britain campaign (GREAT), Carnival Productions, NBCUniversal International and Carnival Productions, Downton Abbey features prominently in GREAT’s overseas promotion of the UK. Downton Abbey is used not only to highlight British talent in front and behind the camera, but also to attract overseas visitors, who visit set locations and boost local economies in seeking out the ‘Downton experience’.

Michael Edelstein, President of NBCUniversal International Studios said:

We are thrilled that Downton Abbey can live on in a way that few TV series could ever dream of, and in this unique way, the exhibition continues that extraordinary legacy. It is the first-ever immersive experience that invites visitors to step into the authentic world of the award winning and global TV phenomenon.

We are very excited and privileged to unveil this experience in Singapore before touring the exhibition to major cities around the world over the coming years.

The multi-year exhibition tour kicked off in Singapore this week and will travel the world. The traveling exhibition will showcase costumes and locations as well as never-before-seen footage.

Notes to editors

  • The Department for International Trade works in partnership with industry to ensure that independent British programme-makers are given the support they need to reach the widest possible international audience.
  • The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the best of what the UK has to offer to encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK. The campaign unites the efforts of the public and private sectors to generate jobs and growth for Britain and has already secured confirmed economic returns of £2.7 billion for the UK.
  • Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will take visitors on an journey through the grand home of Downton Abbey and connect visitors with their favourite characters and locations, as well as showcasing never-before-seen footage and historic moments. Fans will even come up-close to over 50 official costumes worn by the cast including Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith. The experience also features a Downton-themed tea room and gift shop.
  • The global tour will offer an in-depth insight into the remarkable time period in which the show is set. Spanning World War I and the post-war years to the Roaring Twenties, visitors will have the chance to learn about British society, culture and fashion, in addition to the historical events of the era which would go on to shape the world.
  • Presented by NBCUniversal International Studios and Imagine Exhibitions, further information can be found at
Published 21 June 2017