North Coast provides the backdrop for Chinese reality show

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Some of Northern Ireland’s top tourist attractions and spectacular scenery were seen by more than 400 million Chinese people yesterday, on one of the world’s biggest reality TV shows – I, Supermodel (China’s version of America’s Next Top Model).

Two and a half episodes of I, Supermodel were filmed in Northern Ireland last autumn. The final episode filmed here was broadcast (7 January) in China, on Hubei Satellite TV; and in Great Britain on Propeller TV, shown via Sky TV and aimed specifically at the Chinese community living there.

Previous episodes filmed here aired on 24 and 31 December. I, Supermodel is also streamed on the iQIYI online platform in China. In all, each episode was seen by approximately 410 million people, including fans in China and about 25 other countries around the world.

The episodes filmed in Northern Ireland saw the Chinese model contestants battle it out at places like Dunluce Castle, the Titanic Belfast (where the semi-final was filmed), Belfast City Hall, Mount Stewart and Donaghadee, in a bid to win a top modelling contract.

Tourism Ireland helped with itinerary suggestions in advance, as well as travel arrangements from London to Belfast for the show’s models, presenters, judges and crew.

Amanda Burns, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Asia, said: “With an audience of more than 400 million, ‘I, Supermodel’ is the kind of publicity that money simply could not buy. It was a fun and really different way to showcase Northern Ireland and some of our top visitor attractions to a massive global audience of potential Chinese holidaymakers.”