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BBC's Bleak House set to find global audience

LONDON - The BBC is claiming that around 20 countries are interested in buying up its epic soap opera version of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House', which completes its 15-episode run tonight.

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BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, said there had been a "huge amount" of global interest, with broadcasters in 20 unnamed countries actively seeking to air the hit adaptation.

The BBC has produced the show in a deliberate soap opera style to appeal to a wider audience, broadcasting it in half-hour episodes with cliffhanger endings. This has proved a ratings success with an average of 6m viewers tuning in each week.

The drama features a number of high-profile stars in the UK, such as Johnny Vegas, but also a number of actors who will already be familiar to a global audience.

These include Gillian Andersen, who found fame with 'The X Files' and Charles Dance, who has had roles in films including 'Alien 3', 'Gosford Park' and 'Last Action Hero'.

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