Millions of British TV viewers to see Ireland on BBC’s “Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape

11 Aug 2011

Millions of TV viewers across Great Britain will tune in to see images of Galway and the West of Ireland this evening, in the latest ‘Great Escape’ series presented by marine biologist Monty Halls.

Called Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape, the six-part series was filmed last summer in the West of Ireland.  It will air for the first time this evening (Thursday 11 August) at 8 pm on BBC2, with anticipated viewership figures of over three million.  Tonight’s episode sees Monty return to his roots as a marine biologist, living on an island near the village of Roundstone and trying to feed himself from the sea.  He (and his enthusiastic dog Reuben) spent the summer living and working in Connemara, enjoying dolphins and seals, doing some conservation work, tracking down and tagging basking sharks and assessing dolphin numbers.

Tourism Ireland is capitalising on this wonderful exposure, highlighting the airing of the programme on its website in GB.  Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “The publicity value of a programme like “Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape” is incalculable; it really is an excellent way of showcasing Galway and the West of Ireland to a huge, nationwide audience of potential holidaymakers across Britain. 

“Great Britain is the largest and most important market for tourism to the island of Ireland, delivering about half of all our overseas visitors each year.  We have a really busy promotional programme under way right throughout 2011, to win business and to keep the island of Ireland ‘top of mind’ with the British consumer.  The good news is that interest in visiting Ireland remains high.  Tourism Ireland’s job is to remind people around Britain that this is a friendly and fun place to visit, and to convert their interest into actual travel.”

Monty Halls in Roundstone, during filming for “Monty Halls’ Great Irish Escape” with his enthusiastic dog, Reuben.

Further media information:
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland  
t: 087 685 9027

Notes to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
• Approximately 6.9 million overseas visitors came to the island of Ireland in 2010, delivering revenue of approximately €3 billion.  Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is; there are 42 different websites, providing information in 14 different languages covering every continent.  In 2010 attracted almost 12 million unique visitors.


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