Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La and Po, otherwise known as the Teletubbies, are now seen in 120 countries and are at the vanguard of the UK television programme export boom, according to a new report.
The UK has become the world's second biggest exporter of prime-time television programmes with one in every eight shows sold and broadcast during peak hours being UK-made.
The report, which was commissioned by the culture secretary, Chris Smith, is designed to further boost the success of UK-made shows around the world.
Alongside the BBC's highly successful Teletubbies the other big winners are at the quality end of the market and include Vanity Fair, and ITV dramas such as Cracker and Prime Suspect.
However, while the UK leads its European neighbours with only13 per cent of the prime-time market, the UK is a long way behind the US. The US is the world leader in selling shows abroad with 70 per cent of the market. France and Germany make up just 2% each of the TV export market. Smith said: "Quality is key to export success. Programmes made for UK audiences will sell abroad if they are good enough, and revenues from overseas sales can be invested in high quality domestic production, benefiting the UK economy and British viewers."