Life on Mars Russian remake will move '70s action from Manchester to Moscow

Hit BBC drama licensed to Russia in latest example of a British TV export industry that now brings in more than £1.4bn annually

The catchphrase "Fire up the Lada," could soon by sweeping Russia. The BBC has licensed the hit TV series Life on Mars, which turned actor Philip Glenister's politically incorrect Dci Gene Hunt into one of the nation's best loved TV characters, to be remade in the former Soviet Union and the action will be relocated from 1970s Manchester to communist Moscow.

The BBC's announcement comes as figures from the UK Television Exports survey show that the world's appetite for British television is booming.

The success of formats such as Strictly Come Dancing, and The X Factor as well as dramas like Downton Abbey and Sherlock have led to a 13% rise in export revenues to more than £1.4bn in the last year.

The first series of ITV1's Downton Abbey,
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