Christine Bleakley set to front new ITV series Wild Atlantic Way

Christine Bleakley set to front new ITV series Wild Atlantic Way

CHRISTINE Bleakley will front a new ITV series showcasing Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way which hopes to draw British tourists to Ireland next summer.

The six-part series, due to air next year, will be presented by the Co. Down native, who began filming in Donegal this month.

The fiancée of ex-England soccer player Frank Lampard said last week: “It’s brilliant to be here in Ireland filming for this great new ITV series.”

Having taken in the vistas at Malin Head and later Rossnowlagh, the television favourite added: “Growing up, we always enjoyed holidaying in Donegal and Galway and drives along the stunning Atlantic coast – so, this is a dream job for me.”

The series, a joint initiative between ITV and Tourism Ireland, will showcase the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way to millions of viewers – or potential holidaymakers –  across Britain next year.

christine bleakley2-n Christine with John Connolly, Burren Wild Tours, on the Connolly family farm during filming in the Burren (Photo: Joanne O’Hagan/Big Mountain Productions)

The series is devised by Big Mountain Productions, a Newry-based production company, but supported by Tourism Ireland, within their strategy to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way around the world.

With filming due to be completed this autumn, the series will air on ITV in a primetime slot in spring 2015.

The Wild Atlantic Way is being promoted by Tourism Ireland across a range of platforms, including TV, print and online advertising; on and through social media channels.

The Government body is also sharing the tourism initiative at major international consumer and trade fairs and through familiarisation visits for influential travel agents and tour operators, as well as travel and lifestyle journalists and bloggers from around the world.

christine bleakley3-n Christine with Paddy Clarke, Slieve League Cultural Centre, during filming at Sliabh League, Co Donegal (Photo: Joanne O’Hagan/Big Mountain Productions)

Overseas tourism business accounts for 59 per cent of all tourism revenue in Ireland, according to Tourism Ireland.

In 2013, the year of Tourism Ireland’s The Gathering initiative, an estimated eight million overseas visitors visited the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €3.64billion.