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23 Oct 2013

1.5 million French-Canadians watch reality show couple on ‘dream date’ in Belfast!

French-Canadian television shows off Belfast's "je ne sais quoi"

1.5 million Canadians tuned in to Belfast and Northern Ireland last week – when an episode of a popular reality TV show, filmed here recently, was broadcast on Canada’s TVA network. A ‘couple’, together with a production crew, came to Northern Ireland to film footage for an episode of one of Canada’s top reality dating programmes, Occupation Double, as guests of Tourism Ireland.  

Occupation Double is a French-language show, which is currently the number one reality TV show in Québec, with over 1.5 million viewers each week – and with many more fans chatting online about the programme (it has more than 289,000 Facebook fans and 15,000 followers on Twitter).

The show follows young singletons in their quest for their ideal partner, with selected couples travelling abroad during the series. The romantic journey sees them ‘earn’ prize money and compete for a grand prize worth thousands of dollars. Contestants Yannick and Camille won a ‘dream date’ to Belfast, where they filmed footage for a nine-minute segment, which aired last week. 

The couple were filmed visiting Titanic Belfast, taking a Segway tour of the Titanic Quarter, sampling some oysters at the Belfast Cookery School, enjoying the views from Belfast Castle and visiting Belfast City Hall and Victoria Square. Their itinerary – prepared by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – then took them along the Causeway Coastal Route, where they stopped off at the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle.  

Jayne Shackleford, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Canada, said: “Occupation Double is the top reality TV show in Québec and is seen by around a quarter of all French-Canadians – so, we were delighted that the show’s producers chose Belfast for last week’s ‘dream date’ location. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and we regularly work with overseas TV and production companies – as popular programmes such as Occupation Double are an excellent way for Tourism Ireland to get positive exposure for Northern Ireland in Canada. The episode filmed in Northern Ireland was seen by over 1.5 million viewers – or potential holidaymakers – showing them some of the many attractions and activities on offer for Canadian holidaymakers.”

Tourism Ireland undertakes a busy publicity programme around the world each year to raise the profile of the destination – and media visits to Northern Ireland are a key element of that programme. This was the second television crew invited to film here by Tourism Ireland in Canada over the last few weeks – capturing footage and filming here for programmes which will be seen by millions of Canadians.