Tale of two islands

MALLORCA will be stealing the thunder on British television this week as two very different but hugely popular shows adopt the island’s beautiful backdrop and see it cement its emerging status as a premier filming location.

Dating reality show Love Island is back after last summer’s successful outing and is presented by Caroline Flack of X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing fame. Featuring a few dozen young and telegenic singletons the ITV2 show sees them based in a spectacular Mallorcan villa while scriptwriters try and couple them up with engineered romance and ‘surprise’ dates.

Meanwhile, just a few miles but a world away in the notorious party resort of Magaluf the cast of crass Newcastle based reality spin-off show Geordie Shore returned to the strip to get drunk and embarrass themselves to the delight of the tabloids, although they were subsequently banned from filming by angry authorities and the release of footage placed in jeopardy.

Though both British reality television shows, Love Island and Geordie Shore manage to represent very different stereotypes of the island, with the former focusing on Mallorca’s magnificent scenery and romantic setting, and the latter on its ongoing battle with Europe’s worst partiers.

While neither truly reflect the wide range of island lifestyles, from Palma to the lucrative south-west and rugged northern coast, local authorities and businesses will surely hope the Love Island vision triumphs, attracting a more sophisticated brand of tourist looking for a romantic getaway or even a second home.

With Mallorca gearing up for its busiest summer on record, amid lingering controversies on the impact of tourists on residential life and the environment, it can only be hoped that the Geordie Shore crowd are here for a farewell tour.

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