About Bikini Beach - draft to document submitted to imdb

Bikini-Beach - Feb 2005 to November 2005

Viewers flicking through the channels of the European 'Sky Digital' Satellite system in February 2005 started to pause at the pleasant sight of a nice looking (female) model in a bikini, chatting away at the camera in front of a 'blue screen' background that displayed various exotic beach locations. On the left hand side of the screen would be (usually) a word puzzle with a banner encouraging viewers to telephone / text in the answer using a premium rate phone number. Once you had stopped at the channel your curiosity would take over as to the solution to the puzzle, hence you would hang around. Later you would find yourself flicking over to Bikini-Beach during commercial breaks, as unlike most channels having co-ordinated ad breaks, Bikini-Beach didn't have commercials. Once you had found the channel other factors kicked in ...

Unlike similar channels, the presenters of Bikini-Beach seemed to have a free reign to chat about whatever came into their heads. Viewers would marvel at what George Orwell in '1984' classed as 'duck speak' as the girls 'gibbered' nonsense at the camera. Inevitably they would chat about their lives, childhood, friends, hobbies etc and you would feel as you were getting to know them. I believe the fact they were only in a Bikini was a factor in this as it took away any pretension of grandeur! Over a few weeks, you would start to recognise the different presenters and gain favourites.

The Callers

Another factor was the callers, many of which didn't seem to grasp the simple concepts of having to turn the sound down on the TV on air & that they were running up massive phone bills with a very slim chance of actually winning anything! There would be 'regular' callers that you would recognise like Kathy who would chat away with the presenters before giving her answer, and of course "Crystal Dave". Dave with his monotone voice became a legend and when prompted by the presenters (often giggling!) would tell tales of his proposed Rabbit farm or search for the 'forth crystal' which he would buy once of course he had won the jackpot.

The programme really kicked off at the end of February when Zoe French & Anna Fowler did the Saturday evening show. The quiz was almost ignored whilst the girls flirted with the callers (both male & female!) and even managed to get Dave to hang up whilst trying to act 'sexy', hilarious stuff! After this, the girls apparently were separated but Ashly Rae & Zoe presented another show where it again 'deteriorated' into a comedy show with the puzzle pretty much ignored!

Audience Feedback

From very early on the girls on air would refer to their 'critics' on 'Digital Spy'. They were referring to a chat forum on the Digital Spy media information website where a fan of the show calling himself 'Fernando' had started a discussion about the programme. Like-minded 'fans' soon joined and it become one of the longest threads on the site! Eventually a fan run Bikini-Beach uk web site rose from this group with fans sending in screen shots, funny quotes etc from the girls.

The Technical Difficulties

One aspect of the show enjoyed by the fans was the constant technical breaks with the blue screen background going black, software crashes, mics being left on whilst presenters went to the little girls room, the girls screaming at a mouse in the studio (sorry beach!), the list goes on! It gave the impression of an amateur or even pirate TV programme which made the show even more adorable!

The End?

During October 2005 Anna & Zoe left the show to join rival quiz channel 'nation' & soon after other presenters started leaving. Friendly TV announced the show was to end and on 2nd September 2005 they broadcast the final show hosted by Claira Hermet & Oreke Mosheshe, featuring backgrounds sent in by some of the fans - a fitting end to what had become a cult show. Its replacement never caught the imagination of its original fan base, especially as most of their favourite presenters had left the channel. During December 2005 FTV announced there would be a new Bikini-Beach in 2006 but only time will tell whether it will happen & if its presenters who make or break the show will be given the same freedom to entertain as the following roll call...

Anna Fowler, Zoe French, Claira Hermet, Charlotte Mears, Ashly Rae, Kristina Yamamoto, Elisa, Oreke Mosheshe, Sally Callaghan, Casey Paul, Francesca Stone, Estela Mazonaite, Kelly, Emily with stand in presenters Claire Anstey, Kyle Cushman, Chantel Shafie, Gareth ("Pablo") & Jack Dita.

Dave Bullock - Bikini-Beach fan site