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TV | B&B By The Sea welcomes famous faces to the North Coast

B&B By The Sea is a new entertainment series set in a unique coastal hideaway on Downhill Beach, Co Londonderry.

Despite the tranquil setting it won’t all be rest and relaxation for the famous faces checking in to reconnect with the sea and the coast.

The stunning location overlooking Downhill Beach and nestled beneath Mussenden Temple is a place of calm and gives our guests a chance to explore their connections to the sea, acquiring new skills and a fresh perspective through a range of activities.

L-R: Sharon McIlveen, Alex Greene, Gloria Hunniford and Rory O’Kane outside the B&B.

Host Sharon McIlveen, gardener Mary Anne Farenden, driver Rory O’Kane - who has extensive knowledge of the local area - and Michelin-starred chef Alex Greene are on hand to welcome celebrity guests to the B&B.

In episode one, Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas is first to arrive at the Victorian guesthouse. Thinking she will be able to take a break from her hectic schedule, the Queen of Latin is quickly put to work on a pig farm in Bushmills and learns how to make pottery.

Shirley Ballas.
Alex Greene and Shirley Ballas in the B&B kitchen.

Novice cook Shirley also slips on her apron to help chef Alex whip up a delicious meal for guests using the best of local produce. On the menu is roasted pork belly and a boozy pudding to get everyone in the mood for dancing.

In episode two, Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden has a unique connection to the sea which makes this a very personal visit for the TV star who has never visited Northern Ireland - or cooked a meal - before. Guided by chef Alex, can this Dragon handle the heat in the kitchen to produce a vegan feast?

Rory O’Kane, Deborah Meaden, Sharon McIlveen and Alex Greene outside the B&B.

Deborah Meaden on horseback on Benone Beach.
Deborah Meaden and Rory O'Kane.

The next visitor to the B&B is television presenter and renowned Maître d' Fred Siriex who has worked in some of the world’s best hotels and restaurants.

Fred Siriex and Rory O'Kane.

Fred is keen to lend his hospitality skills to the B&B team and is set an important challenge to find the best local tipple to compliment a special custard. He also visits the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery and tests his sausage-making skills with a local butcher in Portstewart.

For Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, the coastal location is the perfect place for the recently retired athlete to reset her connection with the water.

Ellie Simmonds.

Sharon and the team take Ellie on a whistle stop tour of Northern Ireland’s beautiful causeway coast and set sail on the Atlantic Ocean, visiting the site of the former Kinbane Castle.

Rugby star and presenter Ugo Monye has an adventurous spirit and is eager to get stuck in with all the challenges the B&B team throw at him. His first stop is a fishing trip in the cold Northern Atlantic waters to bring home the catch of the day for Alex to prepare a delicious scallop stew for dinner.

Host Sharon proposes the perfect activity for sportsman Ugo - stand up paddleboarding.

Ugo Monye.
Alex and Ugo paddleboarding.

Can he master a watersport people have been practicing for centuries in one morning?

Later in the series, TV legend and Northern Ireland native Gloria Hunniford is back on home soil to meet an award-winning flock of sheep in Macosquin and to help Alex in the kitchen with a spot of baking.

Musician and radio host Cerys Matthews fulfils a lifelong dream visiting the legendary Giant’s Causeway and the B&B team take actor Larry Lamb to meet a special Japanese herd of cattle and visit the local seaside town of Ballycastle.

Britain’s fastest ever sprinter Linford Christie discovers the art of beekeeping, Geordie biker Si King puts his foodie knowledge to good use and cooks up a storm in the kitchen and Debbie Magee sprinkles some magic around the B&B.

Ugo and Alex on fishing boat.

Other guests include football legend Neil Razor Ruddock, former soap stars Nina Wadia and Adam Woodyatt and Hollyoaks actor Richard Blackwood.

B&B By The Sea is made by Afro-Mic Productions with support from Northern Ireland Screen. The series, a co-commission with BBC Daytime, will also be broadcast to audiences across the UK in the New Year.

This entire 15 part series will be available on the BBC iPlayer after the first episode airs on BBC One Northern Ireland at 7.30pm on Friday 25 November.


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