Hospitalised, robbed, arrested

A 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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