Thenumber of recent British films shown on UK television in the first six monthsof the year increased by 51%, according to new figures released by the UK FilmCouncil.

However, the total number of UK films shown was stilllow. Just 52 films made within thelast eight years were aired on the UK's main five terrestrial channels,representing 4.5% of all films broadcast.

The most popular UK originated film shown in the UK in thefirst half of the year was 1999 James Bond picture The World Is Not Enough which was seen by 6.7 million viewers on ITV1. Intotal, 1,113 films were shown on terrestrial TV in the first six months -roughly the same number as aired in the same period last year (1,125).

UK Film Council's Chief Executive Officer JohnWoodward commented: "While it's encouraging to see an increase inthe number of recent British films shown on television, it's a smallimprovement on a low base."

He added: "Decisive action is needed by broadcastersin the investment in and depiction of British films. Such an improvement wouldbenefit both our culture and our economy."

The figures were collated by the UK Film Council'sResearch and Statistics Unit which also published its findings on cinemaattendances and box office takings.

The Unit reports that cinema admissions in 2004 are oncourse to top last year's figure with 117.4 million cinema visits fromJanuary to the end of August 2004, 10% up on the same period in 2003.

The summer months have proved to be the most popular forcinema-going with 18.4 million visits in July and 17.4 million visits inAugust. The least popular month was March with 10.7 million visits.

London accounts for more than a quarter of cinema-going with45.58 million visits, followed by the Midlands with 24.6 million visits andLancashire with 19.19 million visits. The fewest cinema visits were inthe Border area with 1.78 million visits and Northern Scotland with 3.63million visits.

Meanwhile, box office takings for January-August in the UKand Ireland were reported to stand at more than £576.34 million, anincrease of 11% on the same period in 2003.

The best performing film in the UK between January andOctober, according to the Unit, was Shrek 2with £48.05m taken at the UK box office. It was closely followed byHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with £45.93 million.