China's fascination with that elementary detective Sherlock Holmes, the upstairs-downstairs lives in period drama Downton Abbey, and the sci-fi thriller Black Mirror, helped earn millions of dollars for Britain, Chancellor George Osborne said Saturday.
Figures released by Osborne's Treasury Department today reveal this year's top three exported boxset television series exported by Britain to China were Sherlock, Downtown Abbey and Black Mirror.
Better tax relief for big budget British television drama series have turned out to be a big export winner, giving the British Treasury an economic boost, said Osborne.
Since higher tax relief was introduced in 2013 the government has contributed over 136 million U.S. dollars to 90 British big-budget television programs, including Downton Abbey.
The Treasury said the introduction by Osborne of high-end tax relief was to help ensure Britain remains competitive on the world stage for TV production.
"Through our tax relief the government has been able to support the television industry meaning record investment and a booming creative sector jobs market across the country," said Osborne.
According to Osborne, government support for the sector had helped fuel investment in Britain by television program makers and the creative sector valued at over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars.
Even the big-budget award winning Downton Abbey, charting the lives of a family or British aristocrats and their servants, has qualified for the tax relief.
The Treasury singled out the success of box-sets of top television series to China as an indicator of how the strategy is working.