THE Scottish Television series, Taggart, may give a bleak view of Scotland, but it is a great attraction overseas.

The police series, which has been sold to 25 countries, including Vietnam, helped British TV record overseas sales of #361m.

British programmes and formats showed a 5% rise in sales around the world in 2000.

BBC's Bob the Builder sells to more than 100 countries. It follows children's successes like the Teletubbies and Tweenies, which are still bringing in money, according to the British TV distributors' association.

Besides Taggart, the Midsomer Murders starring John Nettles, one-time star of Bergerac, is seen in 113 countries.

Scottish actor John Hannah has also proved popular. McCallum, in which he plays a pathologist, has sold to 28 countries.

Foreign television channels are also falling over themselves to buy up British ideas for shows like Survivor, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?