BBC's most popular show overseas is... Keeping Up Appearances

Hyacinth Bucket has edged out David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals to earn the title

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The Independent Culture

Forget Top Gear, Doctor Who and Sherlock - in the BBC battle of overseas popularity, it is Hyacinth Bucket that reigns supreme - that's right, Keeping Up Appearances is the BBC's most popular export. 

The Telegraph reports that the sitcom, which originally aired from 1990-1995, has been bought almost one thousand times by overseas broadcasters, beating the BBC heavyweights to the title - that's more than any show over the past 40 years. It remains especially popular in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

The show's closest competitor was David Attenborough's The Life of Mammals which began in 2002; the documentary series was acquired internationally 958 times compared to the sitcom's figure of 992.

Keeping Up Appearances starred Patricia Routledge as Bucket, a social climber convinced her surname is pronounced "Bouquet." The series is being revived later on this year with the Fifties-set Young Hyacinth which will feature the protagonist as a 19-year-old maid.

Creator and writer Roy Clark attributed its enduring success to the fact that "everyone knows a Hyacinth."

While the broadcaster's more recent shows earn the channel its global revenue, BBC Worldwide has revealed the findings ahead of its corporation Showcase event detailing statistics from over the past 40 years.  

Top Gear has been the channel's most popular factual show while Doctor Who unsurprisingly takes the feat of being the BBC's most popular drama.