KERRY Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, says that the Top Gear visit to Kerry appears to have been an enormous success and anticipates a huge boost to Kerry tourism when the programme airs in the coming weeks.
Top Gear presenters Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc spent the weekend in Kerry with their crew filming for the new series of the show, which has the highest viewership in the world.
Deputy Griffin was delighted to finally learn that Top Gear was coming to Kerry, having been in contact with the BBC since 2014 inviting Top Gear to the Wild Atlantic Way. Deputy Griffin subsequently raised the matter in the Dáil and with the tourism agencies.
Deputy Griffin met with Chris Evans during filming in Gallarus on Saturday.
“I was glad to have the opportunity to welcome Chris Evans and his team to Kerry and as the local TD, I thanked them on behalf of the people of Kerry for choosing our county to feature on Top Gear.
“I explained to Chris the reason why I had been pursuing the Top Gear visit and emphasised to him the importance of tourism for employment in Kerry in the context of the economic challenges facing the county and the difficult times experienced in recent years.
“I also expressed our huge appreciation for the opportunity that the programme will give to showcase Kerry internationally and wished him and the Top Gear team the very best of luck in the future.
“He was hugely impressed with the landscape and the warm welcome that the people of Kerry extended and was very happy with the fine weather.
“Chris Evans was a huge hit with everyone who met him and was most generous with his time, posing for photographs with everyone and paying particular attention to the children who showed up to greet Top Gear. He went out of his way to create a great sense of occasion and his professionalism was clear to see.
“I look forward to seeing the finished product air in the coming weeks, and hope that this will lead to increased bookings from the UK and beyond, as people chose Kerry and Ireland for their holidays.
“In the mean-time, in what is a double win for Kerry following the Top Gear visit, it is brilliant to learn that Chris Evans is now also giving massive exposure to the county through his daily national radio show in the UK, which has 9 million listeners. This level of exposure could not be bought and his audible enthusiasm and excitement about his experience in Kerry is a testament not only to the beauty of the county, but to the people of Kerry, who did the county and country proud at the weekend by extending the warmest welcome imaginable to our visitors, a quality that comes naturally to our people.”