BBC shows including Ashes to Ashes and The Mighty Boosh are to be available to buy and download via Apple's iTunes store in the UK for the first time.

The corporation's commercial arm BBC Worldwide secured the deal with Apple, which will offer a selection of BBC shows at iTunes' standard UK rate of£1.89 an episode.

The BBC is the first UK broadcaster to strike such a deal.

Viewers will be able to watch the shows on Macs, PCs, video iPods, iPhone and Apple TV.

The BBC will offer mostly archived series, though some recently-aired shows such as Ashes to Ashes will be on iTunes after their seven-day catch-up window on BBC iPlayer.

Other shows on offer include Life on Mars, Torchwood, Little Britain, Spooks, The Catherine Tate Show and Robin Hood.

"We want to give audiences a wide variety of options on how and where to view their favourite BBC shows,” said Simon Danker, Director of Digital Media at BBC Worldwide.