Irish tourism showcase to millions of global viewers

Millions of TV viewers in the US last night watched the latest episode of a hit romantic reality series filmed against a background of spectacular Irish scenery.

Irish tourism showcase to millions of global viewers

A 100-strong cast and crew of the ABC network’s series The Bachelorette were here in April last and backdrops around the country, mainly in Co Kerry, were used.

Upwards of six million people in the US tuned in to the first episode last night which will later be syndicated and viewed by millions, both on TV and online.

In the storyline, bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe is in Ireland on a romantic journey to meet 25 young men. As she gets to know each one, she continues to narrow the field hoping to get one who will win her heart.

All accommodation and transport providers along with others engaged by the filmmakers were bound by confidentiality agreements.

“Something big is going to happen in the show this week, but we cannot divulge some of the information,” said Tom Randles, of the Randles Court Hotel in Killarney which hosted the cast and crew.

Two episodes had been planned in Ireland but the filming was so successful they decided to make three, he said.

“This is huge exposure for Ireland and some of our leading tourist areas. When syndication is taken into account there could be up to 50 million viewers,” hotelier Mr Randles said.

The hush-hush shoot also took place in Dublin, Clare, Cork and Galway but chiefly Kerry.

They filmed at the Cliffs of Moher and spent several days in Kerry, at places like Innisfallen, Ross Island as well as Muckross House and Gardens in Killarney.

Also featured are Skellig Rock, Inch Strand, Tralee and Dingle.

Meanwhile, speculation continues that the Star Wars team which filmed on Skellig Michael, off the south Kerry coast, last July, may be returning for another film shoot.

Director JJ Abrams, actor Mark Hamill, and other cast and production members had been based in the Portmagee and Waterville areas for the three-day shoot.

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