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16 Dec 2014

1.5 million Swedes watch reality show couple on ‘dream date’ in Northern Ireland

Tourism Ireland invites popular Swedish TV show to film in Northern Ireland

Images of Northern Ireland were beamed into the homes of about 1.5 million television viewers across Sweden last week. A TV crew – filming for an episode of one of Sweden’s most popular dating TV programmes, Bonde Söker Fru (meaning Farmer Searches for a Wife) – was in Northern Ireland during the summer, as guests of Tourism Ireland.

Bonde söker fru features single farmers meeting a number of potential partners during the show; and then the farmer and his ‘favourite’ partner go on a dream date to a foreign location – in this case to Northern Ireland. It’s one of the top reality TV shows in Sweden, attracting more than 1.5 million viewers each week – with many more fans chatting online about the programme.

The episode filmed here saw the farmer, Peter Karlsson, and his chosen partner, Helena Johansson, on their ‘romantic break’ visiting Dunluce Castle, the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. Their itinerary – prepared by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board – also featured some of the sights of Belfast, including Titanic Belfast, City Hall, Queen’s University and Belfast’s nightlife around the Cathedral Quarter.

Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s manager in the Nordic region, said: “This was a fun and different way to showcase Northern Ireland and some of the many things to see and do here to a huge audience of potential Swedish holidaymakers. Bonde söker fru is hugely popular in Sweden, so we were delighted that the show’s producers chose Northern Ireland as its dream date location. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with overseas TV and production companies to facilities the making of travel and lifestyle programmes, to get positive exposure for Northern Ireland around the world.”

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.

  Farmer Peter Karlsson (second left) and his potential ‘wife’ Helena Johansson (third left) with the Swedish TV crew during filming this summer at Dunluce Castle for Bonde söker fru; also pictured are Niall Corcoran, Tourism Ireland (left) and tour guide Dee Morgan (third right).

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is responsible for in excess of 4.9% of GDP in Northern Ireland and supports approximately 40,000 jobs.
  • In 2013, almost 1.7 million overseas visitors visited Northern Ireland, delivering revenue of £474 million.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for 30+ markets around the world this year.