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Local News in Ibiza

Local News
by Louise Wright

English Media

Ibiza Local News

This weeks issue of local news will be dedicated to the English media that feature Ibiza in their daily, weekly or monthly publications and broadcasts. This summer, more than any other, we have witnessed numerous television crews, reporters and photographers working all over the island.

After the enormous viewing figures reached by Sky's "Ibiza Uncovered" a few years ago, many television companies have decided to visit the White Isle in search of similar success. And so this year, programmes such as "Reps in Ibiza", "Babes in the Balearics", etc., etc. have been born.

Last week we have seen everything from all night television broadcasting from Privilege and Pacha to a week long broadcast of a world record breaking " Blind Date" to numerous reports in the English newspapers about the island, to the most popular British travel programme filming in Ibiza, to name just a few.

Manchester's famous radio station Piccadilly Radio, Key 103 FM, along with the Manchester Evening News and London Weekend Television, have spent over half a million pounds broadcasting the biggest "Blind Date" in the world from various locations around the island. The popular radio station held a competition in the UK to promote their event. The 160 fortunate winners enjoyed a week's holiday in the sun as well as getting a chance to meet their perfect partners. Key 103 FM broadcast daily live from Ibiza to keep their UK listeners up to date on the progress of the 80 "Blind Date" couples. The marketing manager of Key 103 FM, Paul Coleman assured me that the project has been a great success and they have managed to gain an entry in the "Guinness Book of Records".

Rapture TV were one of the biggest crews on the island last week with seven cameras and three truckloads of equipment. They broadcast a live five-hour programme from Pacha discotheque last Saturday night 21st July and recorded an eight-hour programme at Privilege discotheque on Monday 23rd July for transmission on Saturday 28th July.

Some English newspapers had a field day last week reporting on the uncollected rubbish that accumulated on the streets in some areas of the island due to the unfortunate strike action by the employees of the Herbusa company who are responsible for most of the islands rubbish collection. Thankfully the strike is now over and normal service has been resumed. This however will probably not be reported by the same newspapers that delighted in publishing images of the piles of rubbish last week.

On the other hand, one of the television companies (Thames Television) who were filming here last week will definitely give a positive overview of the island. Judith Chalmers and her famous travel programme "Wish you were here...?" has been on the island since Monday 23rd July making a programme about the Ibiza that we all know and love and that, unfortunately, the British public have seen or read very little about in the past few years, as most of the coverage of Ibiza has either been detrimental to the island or has only featured the youth market and their famous clubbing scene.

During a break from filming, Judith Chalmers took time out to speak with me about the island. When I asked about her views on Ibiza, she said: "In England when someone says they are going to Ibiza for their holidays, most people say oh gracious Ibiza! My programme wants to change that attitude, it starts by saying you might think you know Ibiza, you might think you have seen all there is to see, you might think Ibiza is not right for you but you might actually be wrong. It is not all-endless clubbing and all night parties, there is another side to the island and that other side is what we are trying to put across in our programme. We are staying in Santa Eularia and we are filming mostly the East Coast of the island with its lovely beaches and Ibiza Old Town. I think that if people can just realise the beauty of the island, the countryside, the beaches, etc. and the proximity to the UK everything should be all right for the future. There is so much positive side to Ibiza which I am delighted to see".

Judith Chalmers started her career in broadcasting at the tender age of 13 with Children's Hour for the BBC in Manchester. She went on to work for BBC News and reported on nearly every major event in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, for example the royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. In 1973, Thames Television started a holiday programme called "Wish you were here...?" hosted by Judith Chalmers and Jim Lloyd.

In the early days, the programme had a viewing audience of 19 million, and although today those figures have reduced, her programme is still watched by many millions of UK viewers and is very influential on their choice of holiday destination.

During our conversation, Judith commented on the changes she had witnessed since her last visit to Ibiza in the mid 1980s. "I think that all the building work is a positive aspect because it shows that Ibiza has grown up." When I asked her if she thought that "clubbers" and families could combine on the island she responded: "Yes, definitely. I have talked to a lot of British people that are here on holiday, some have been coming here for 20 years and others for the first time, and they are all surprised how quiet it is in some parts of the island. I am very glad that this is still the case and will be able to prove to my viewers that there is still a quieter side to the island, away from all the noise, that yes, has its place with the young people."

The new series of "Wish you were here...?" will be transmitted on ITV from January 2002.

Just a closing note, for the past few years the clubbers magazines DJ, MIXMAG, etc., among others, have been commenting on the number of accidents that occur outside the two main discotheques on the island (Privilege and Amnesia), and this week the Consell Insular (Island Council) have installed speed restricting traffic lights outside these two venues. I wonder if the British media have had any influence on the Consell's decision.

Louise Wright