Scottish television personality Neil Oliver films with
cameraman Jeff Aldridge on the Queenstown lakefront at the
weekend. Photo by Philip Smith
Scottish television personality Neil Oliver has filmed a
promo in Queenstown for a potential New Zealand spin-off of
long-running BBC series Coast
Fresh from filming a second series of Coast Australia,
Oliver told the Otago Daily Times he was visiting the
resort as part of a South Island holiday with his wife and
While here, he had taken the opportunity to film the promo on
the lake shore with Queenstown-based television and film
producer Philip Smith.
''Based on what I've seen, we're looking at the possibility
of doing some television in New Zealand.''
Smith said Foxtel Australia had commissioned his company,
Great Southern Television, to make two eight-part Coast
The first series, which screened on Foxtel Australia's
history channel over two months from last December, had
been ''hugely successful'', scoring the highest ratings ever
for a factual programme on Australian cable television.
It had also just finished screening to more than two million
British viewers a week on BBC2, and he hoped to get a New
Zealand broadcaster interested in a local version.
''If we can get it on BBC2 for two million people to watch on
prime time every week, then that's an exceptionally good
promotion for New Zealand.''
Oliver, an archaeologist and writer who also presented BBC
documentary series A History of Scotland and
Vikings, said he hoped to return to film the series
It would use the same template as the other Coast
series, but draw on the knowledge of New Zealand academics
and experts in natural and social history.
''There's a kind of Coast family of shows now and
there are clear physical resemblances between them, but each
has a unique character that's dictated by the landscape and
by the stories that are here.''
He had spent time in Queenstown a fortnight ago, and spent
the weekend in the ''gorgeous'' resort before returning to
''My wife says the scenery here in Queenstown is uplifting.
''She says it makes her feel better just being here, and it
is. It's good for the soul.''