The TV premiere of Billy Elliot on BBC1 was the mostviewed film shown on the UK's main five terrestrial channels last year. Threeother recent UK-made features including The Full Monty made thetop ten, the UK Film Council has revealed.

Theratings success came despite only a tiny 2.8 per cent of the films shown onthose channels being UK films less than 8 years old.

UK FilmCouncil analysis of the schedules of BBC1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4 and Five for2003, found that although the number of films shown increased by 11 per cent to2339, only 65 (2.8 per cent) of the films shown were recent UK feature films(ie less than eight years old).

The mostpopular film shown on UK television in 2003 was the National Lottery funded BillyElliot, with 12.7 million viewers tuning in to its television premiere onBBC1 - more than 3 million more than it's closest rival. The World Is Not Enough ranked 6thwith 7.8 million viewers, The Full Monty 7th with 7.6 million, and Goldeneye9th with 7.5 million.

Thefigures were published at the same time as polling undertaken for the UK FilmCouncil by tns revealed that there is widespread public agreement forsupporting new UK films on TV. The vast majority (81 per cent) of the publicendorse the view that broadcasters have a responsibility to support the filmindustry by showing more recent UK films. More than half the population (53%)strongly agree, whilst only 1 % strongly disagree;

TheCommunications Act which came into force at the end of 2003 contains a clausewhich means that the commissioning, acquisition, and depiction of UK made films on television will for thefirst time be looked at by the UK's new broadcasting watchdog OFCOM whenconsidering whether terrestrial broadcasters are meeting their pubic serviceobligations.

Commentingon the figures the UK Film Council's Chief Executive Officer John Woodwardsaid: 'Whilst the 2003 saw an increase in the number of recent UK filmsshown on the main five UK terrestrial channels, the fact that only 65 of the2,339 films screened were UK films less than eight years old highlights theneed for action to improve the involvement of broadcasters in our domestic filmindustry."

Top 10 films on UK network television in 2003 were:

1. BillyElliot BBC1 UK/FRA 12.7m

2 CastAway BBC1 USA 9.6m
3. The Sixth Sense ITV1 USA 9.0m
4 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade BBC1 USA 8.8m
5 Dr Dolittle ITV1 USA 8.2m
6 The World Is Not Enough ITV1 UK/USA 7.8m
7 The Thomas Crown Affair BBC1 USA 7.7m
8 The Full Monty ITV1 UK/USA 7.6m
9 Goldeneye ITV1 UK/USA 7.5m
10 Meet the Parents BBC1 USA 7.4m