Hospitalised, robbed, arrested – new TV series

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British Embassy Press Release: Hospitalised, robbed, arrested – new TV series follows consular staff as they help Brits in distress How the staff of British Consulates in Spain help citizens in distress is to be highlighted in a new TV documentary series to be broadcast next month on the UK’s Channel 4. The new TV series, filmed last summer, reveals how consular staff come to the rescue of Britons who find themselves in trouble. From helping victims of crime to advising Brits arrested by the police, the series also follows consular staff as they visit holidaymakers who end up in hospital and meet expat residents to hear their property concerns. In a three part series, ‘Our Man In…’, provides unprecedented access to the work of British consular staff. It will be shown on the UK’s Channel 4 on Thursdays 1st, 8th and 15th March at 22.00 GMT (23.00 CET). The first programme features Mallorca and Ibiza, the second follows the team in Alicante and the third covers Tenerife and Barcelona. “The series shows the hard work and professionalism of our staff in helping British expats and holidaymakers as well as highlighting the serious issues that Brits can face abroad”, says Paul Rodwell, British Consul in Alicante. “Some of the less serious cases can be avoided and I would encourage people to read our travel advice and have a look at the information we have on our ukinspain website.” The series reveals the consequences of failing to prepare properly for a holiday. Even if you’re staying with friends and family, travelling without insurance could cost you many thousands of pounds if you’re injured abroad. “Losing your passport will cost you time and money”, says Paul Rodwell. “And without an EHIC health card, you’ll find it harder to get medical care. By taking a few simple precautions, you can avoid a dream holiday turning into a nightmare.” The programme in Alicante, about life on the costas, shows the pro-active face of the consulate, with staff seeking out Brits caught up in a forest fire, organising outreach events to hear residents’ property concerns, and working with local police to manage an invasion of Scottish football fans for a big game against Spain. On the party island of Ibiza, consular staff tackle the fall-out from a new drug on club scene - the so-called 'pink pill'. A young tourist is found lost, nearly naked, and unable to recall anything but his name. Then the Brit dealers who supply the pills also need help after they're arrested. In Mallorca, staff deal with a young Brit who's been tasered by overzealous police. A holidaymaker from Essex has been run over by a drunk driver, and lies seriously injured in hospital. And a Lancashire couple's holiday is transformed by the arrival, nine weeks early, of their tiny baby son. In Barcelona and Tenerife, crime has its effects on visitors and on the workload of the Consulates. Street robberies and stolen passports lead to inconvenience, distress and unexpected costs for holidaymakers. Meanwhile consular staff are also busy helping some of the people who need it most – expat prisoners & homeless Brits who simply want to go home. ‘Our Man In…’ was filmed mainly in August and September last year and is produced by Screenchannel Television, a London-based independent production company. The executive producers are Emma Barker, a former commissioning editor and controller at ITV, and Peter Lowe, a former executive producer and programme editor at BBC Television and controller at Carlton Television.


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British expats to star in Channel 4 TV documentary programme 'Our Man In… The Costas'

British residents on the Costas are set to star in a widely-praised TV documentary series on the work of the British Consulates, due to be broadcast next week.

Expats at an outreach event in Torrevieja, shoppers meeting consular staff in Iceland supermarket and Brits caught up in a forest fire are among the British public who feature in 'Our Man In… The Costas', due to be broadcast on the UK's Channel 4 at 23.00 Spanish time (22.00 GMT) on Thursday 8th March.

The programme provides exclusive, behind-the scene access to the work of the British Consulate in Alicante in helping Brits in distress. The job of the eight-strong consular team is to provide assistance to an estimated 330,000 British residents in the Alicante district, plus 3.5 million British holidaymakers who visit the area every year.

Paul Rodwell, Alicante Consul, says: "The programme shows some of the expats we are here to help. Our pro-active visits to the community are designed to listen to the concerns of British residents, and help them with issues ranging from property to pensions.

"We're also very keen to get the message across that residents can do simple things to help themselves and their friends. Make sure your visitors have got travel insurance, or they could end up asking you for money to help with huge medical bills.

"There is a lot of help that is easy to find on the ukinspain website. It could save you from confusing and incorrect advice that circulates on the expat rumour mill."

'Our Man In… The Costas' is the second in a three-part series on the work of the British consulates in Spain that has been widely praised by the critics. "The job title may suggest a world of panama hats and ambassador's receptions but the life of a British consular officer is far from glamorous", says The Daily Telegraph.

"Her Majesty's representatives are there to pick up the pieces" says The Times, while the Mail on Sunday describes the series as "Insightful… light hearted and tragic by turns".

As well as helping Brits caught up in a forest fire, the programme shows consular staff working with Spanish police to manage an invasion of tartan-clad football fans for a Spain v Scotland game in Alicante, and dealing with a fatal road traffic accident in Benidorm

The three part series, 'Our Man In…', is being shown on the UK's Channel 4. The second programme about Alicante goes out on Thursday 8th March at 23.00 CET, while the final programme on Tenerife and Barcelona airs on 15th March. The first programme on 1st March features the Balearics.

The series was filmed mainly in August and September last year and is produced by Screenchannel Television, a London-based independent production company.

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