Intense media interest in the BBC docu-soap Castaway 2000, based on
the previously uninhabited island of Taransay, has prompted Western
Isles Council to seek a communications guru to ensure the islands
achieve maximum positive publicity and the best economic impact.
As well as raising awareness of the islands, the appointed PRO will
assess the impact of the series on the Western Isles’ economy. The brief
will be to encourage ongoing positive media interest with a view to
increasing tourism and attracting inward investment to the islands.
’Interest in the islands is at an all time high and hopefully we will be
able to turn that to the advantage of the people of the islands,’ said
councillor Donald Maclean, chairman of the development services
The council has allocated a four-figure sum for the part-time six-month
The hunt for a communications guru also has the blessing of TV chiefs at
London-based production company Lion Television.
Executive producer Jeremy Mills said the council was being very
’I am delighted that the potential benefits of the islands are being
brought to the attention of so many people. Good on the council for
making the most of it,’ he said.
The search for a PRO coincides with the broadcasting - due to unexpected
public demand - of four update programmes on the castaways.
The town of Tarbert, the main port to Taransay, has become a regular
base for the media pack which avidly follows every whisper about the ups
and downs of the castaways’ lives on Taransay.
Castaway 2000 was commissioned by the BBC as a social experiment into
how 36 men, women and children could live together on an island for a
year. It started in January but has been beset with problems which led
to some volunteers leaving the island.