The BBC is set to launch an international version of its catch-up TV service, iPlayer, after the BBC Trust gave the project the go-ahead.

The BBC revealed it is still deciding whether it will charge online viewers to watch episodes of shows such as Eastenders, Doctor Who and Top Gear (all of which have big fan bases outside the UK) or whether to introduce advertising onto the service.

John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, told the Telegraph, the move would open up the "under-exploited" market for these UK shows.

"Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who can get their fix legitimately [rather than downloading programmes illegally], but it has the potential of opening up a new revenue stream for the entire UK production industry, alongside sales to traditional broadcasters," Smith said.

It is thought web users would pay up to $10 (£6.25/€7.25) to view an episode.

Until now, iPlayer has only been available to web users located within the UK with IP tracking technology used to block the service to users outside of the UK.

BBC iPlayer