Back to Blog

InSite Tours Features in New Channel 5 Travel Show

Channel-5-5

InSite Tours Features in New Channel 5 Travel Show

In August 2019, InSite Tours Ireland was approached by Viacom International, owners of the UK’s Channel 5, to take part in a brand new travel magazine show “Holiday with Jane McDonald and Friends”.

“Of course we (I) will”, I said enthusiastically.

The production team would be spending two days in Northern Ireland, with their first day spent in Belfast and their second day on our amazing Causeway Coastal Route which features in my popular Northern Highlights Tour. Of course, the Manchester based production team had no logistical knowledge of Northern Ireland, or of the region they had chosen to feature, so they would rely on me to make sure that Day 2 of the schedule would be perfect!

holidaying with jane mcdonald northern ireland

Chris Bisson (L) of Emmerdale with our very own Fergal Kearney

The format of the new series involves the show’s anchor Jane McDonald travelling the world to find hidden gems and lesser explored destinations, which meant that Belfast and Northern Ireland fitted the bill perfectly. Interspersed with her musings from far flung places, each week sees a number of celebrity guests take on a range of experiences and adventures. My journey featured Emmerdale’s Chris Bisson (not Jane herself!) who joined me on a day-long tour of our amazing Causeway Coast and Glens. With the production and film crew in convoy, we made our way first to Glenarm Glen and the beginning of a full day’s filming of the region.

 

 

Of course, having done plenty of television work in the past with the BBC, I knew that most of the filming would end up on the cutting room floor. It was therefore my responsibility to ensure that they had the very best footage to choose from and hopefully that the best would make the cut. The perfect weather on the last day of September was a bonus as we explored the lush Glens, the waterfalls at Glenarrif, a seafood lunch at Marconi’s Bar & Bistro in Ballycastle and finishing with a sea kayaking session at Ballintoy Harbour.

The Show is Available to Watch on the My5 Catch Up Service

Things will not always go to plan so we had to make some changes to the itinerary as the day progressed, for example swapping Murlough Bay with Kinbane Head. But as complex filming schedules go, I could say that this passed off almost perfectly – even the rain stayed away until we were returning to the utterly amazing Culloden Hotel and Spa that evening.

Suffice to say, Chris Bisson was a true gentleman and the production crew were utter professionals and great fun to work with. With the programme broadcasting on Channel 5 on Friday 31st January 2020 I will leave you to make up your own minds as to how Northern Ireland came across against such heavy weights as Malta and Spain!

insite tours to feature in new channel 5 travel show

Filming at Kinbane Head near Ballycastle, Chris Bisson does his piece to camera that features in the show