A new study has found that as many as two-thirds of tourists to the UK are inspired by the movies and series they see on TV. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which sanctioned the research, revealed in late December 2021 that around 70% of foreigners view “Britishness” as a positive trait. 30% of these people also said that the UK’s entertainment industry impacted their views.
Britain is desperate to build on this base because the impact of film and TV shows can’t be ignored, especially when they reinforce healthy stereotypes. With the British market booming, there will inevitably be fantastic benefits in the future, including the following.
Extra Investment for Productions
Seeing as 66% of tourists who have previously visited the country stated that researching locations via movies and TV series was important, the UK must double down on the trend to ensure visitors continue to head to Britain’s shores. Producing content on British shores is just one way this helps the region look good, as evidenced by Downton Abbey, a show that reflects the decadent era of Victorian Britain when aristocrats lived in mansions and servants took care of their every whim.
As the culture has evolved dramatically, particularly outside of the UK where it hardly existed anyway, audiences are desperate to get their fix of traditions that no longer take place. This is part of the reason why the show is so popular in the US, with the period drama drawing in 5.4 million people for the finale of the second season. It was the biggest PBS ratings in years and was considered a coup for the channel, as was the entirety of the series overall. Aside from taking in the settings remotely, tens of thousands of Americans that enter the UK yearly head to the filming locations to experience it in person. Harry Potter World in Watford is another destination that attracts millions of visitors annually, a considerable portion of which are foreigners that are desperate to absorb the Britishness of the franchise.
Unsurprisingly, a fund has been created to invest extra resources into the sector. The UK Global Screen Fund, for example, is committed to offering £7 million to UK co-productions. Currently, nine will claim a share of £1.32 million that’s administered by the BFI, meaning more high-quality productions should hit the market and reinforce the perception that on-screen Britishness is not only positive but worth visiting in person.
Reaching Global Audiences
A knock-on effect for the UK is that its long-term content will be available on a global scale thanks to the role of additional funding. After all, the Global Screen Fund is committed to supporting everything from international movies and TV series to animations and documentaries. A prime example is the previously mentioned nine productions, as the money has been ring-fenced for international projects to make sure the reach of the UK entertainment industry is wider than ever before. By being the originator of market-leading content, Britain can propel itself into the limelight directly and indirectly.
Death in Paradise, for example, is a BBC production that is filmed in the Caribbean. Featuring the likes of Ralf Little and Ben Miller, the island of Saint-Marie plays home to a quintessential British detective who solves crimes, with the series running for over a decade after originally airing in 2011. House of Cards is a more well-known hit that’s synonymous with the US, yet the original program was originally broadcast in the 1990s and centred on a fictional British Prime Minister before Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright made the show world-famous. Still, it reflects well on the UK when a Netflix success was devised by a British broadcasting institution, just like Ertugrul did in Turkey and Pakistan.
Then there’s Britain’s Got Talent, a program that opened a lane for reality TV shows worldwide. Starring Simon Cowell, BGT is so successful that it had resulted in spin-offs in around 69 countries, including America. On average, America’s Got Talent draws in audience figures of nearly seven million viewers, topping the primetime category in the US.
With the demand skyrocketing, other verticals have adopted the Got Talent TV format from Britain, including online casinos that use themes from pop culture to engage their users. Britain’s Got Talent Megaways game is one of the top online slots because it incorporates tried and tested elements, such as the red and gold buzzers, to appeal to lovers of the show, hence why it rivals offerings from Rich Wilde to Dead or Alive II. As far as the UK entertainment industry is concerned, these services cement its reputation, particularly with the online casino market generating billions of dollars today. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is another example of British ingenuity creating a global franchise. Not only did the gameshow transition into Hollywood – Slumdog Millionaire – but it too has a jackpot slot of the same name that enhances the brand.
Where Do They Go?
If you’re wondering where people go to get their fill of British entertainment, here’s a shortlist:
- Highclere Castle – Thanks to Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is now world-famous and has turned into a must-see attraction in England
- Buckingham Palace – The British Royal Family command attention anyway, but The Crown has certainly made sure its history is at the forefront of everyone’s minds
- Cushendun Caves – Cushendun Caves are in Ireland and are home to Game of Thrones as they were used for the backdrop of the Stormlands