Marks and Spencer isn’t just a well-loved lunch destination for much of Britain’s workforce, it’s also top of the list for Parisians too.
More chicken tikka masala is sold in the Champs Elysee store than in any branch here in the UK, according to the Guardian. But it’s not just ready meals that are replacing les baguettes, the French are also going gaga for M&S crumpets, Stilton and BLT sandwiches.
Other foodie exports are taking a slice of the French pie too – Pret A Manger has just opened its 11th store in Paris (slightly smacking of coals to Newcastle), while Tyrrells vegetable crisps are also selling like, well, hot cakes.
Hurrah for good old British produce say we – and here’s a little look at what else our foreign friends are devouring…
In the past year, international sales of British TV were £1.28 billion, up from £1.22 billion in 2012, according to Pact, which represents independent television producers.
America is the biggest market, with the biggest rise in demand coming from China.
Robert Downey Jr, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the big screen, recently admitted having “screen envy” of Benedict Cumberbatch, aka small-screen Sherlock, because of the “smart writing” on the BBC show.
And he’s not the only fan abroad – Sherlock is watched in more than 200 ‘territories’ outside of the UK and when it returned earlier this year, the third series received 49 million hits on the Chinese website Youku, according to BBC magazine Ariel.
Top Gear and Call The Midwife are also among the Beeb’s big hitters, while in November 2013, 94 countries simulcast the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who.
The Chinese are also fans of a lovely cuppa, so much so that the UK’s only commercial tea producer, Tregothnan, near Truro in Cornwall, exports half of its tea to countries including China and India – ironic really, considering they’re the two biggest tea producers in the world.
Jonathan Jones, who runs the business, says: “The Chinese really love our British tea ceremony and our love of tea.”
Gavin & Stacey star James Corden has been fully embraced by America, ever since winning a prestigious Tony Award for the comedy play One Man, Two Guvnors which transferred from the West End to Broadway in 2012.
In the New Year, he’s set to take over from comedian Craig Ferguson as the host of CBS’ The Late Late Show, which he’ll have to juggle with parenting responsibilities, as he’s just become a dad for the second time.
He follows in a long tradition of funny British stars who’ve become the toast of Tinseltown (albeit briefly in some cases), including the Python crew, Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand.
Paul Smith, Burberry, Mulberry are all names to conjure with but Johnstons of Elgin, a 217-year-old cashmere company, that’s been dyeing, spinning, weaving and knitting at its mill in Scotland since 1797, is also big abroad.
In 2012, the UK was exporting £3.9 billion worth of clothing and footwear a year, thanks in large part to the bi-annual showcase that is London Fashion Week. It apparently pumps £30 million into the economy, with labels like Burberry, Mulberry and Stella McCartney all popular.
No round-up of British exports would be complete without a mention of Downton Abbey, which is loved worldwide. But, it seems, it’s sparked a global trend for importing British butlers to foreign climes.
For the super-rich of Russia and China, a real English butler is something of a status symbol. Months after Downton first aired in 2011, the Guild of Professional English Butlers reported a 20% increase in new trainees, but said demand was outstripping supply. China recently opened its first International Butler Academy.