In­stant fame for lo­cal pair in ‘In­stant Ho­tel’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE - Shane Ni­chols

PORT Dou­glas is in for a mas­sive pub­lic­ity boost thanks to a new TV se­ries, In­stant Ho­tel, which pre­mieres on the Seven Net­work very soon.

The 12-part se­ries in­volves par­tic­i­pants from all over Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing a res­i­den­tial cou­ple from Port Dou­glas, Leroy Belle and Brent Beach, who have op­er­ated the Orchid Hill hol­i­day house in Port Dou­glas.

Each week the pro­duc­tion brings the cast to stay in the “in­stant ho­tels” cre­ated by each host­ing cou­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to Leroy and Brent, the weather was per­fect – in the wake of Cy­clone Deb­bie, as it hap­pened – and the district was at its best.

It is typ­i­cal in each episode for the vis­it­ing cou­ples to go and out sam­ple the lo­cal at­trac­tions, and not just the ac­com­mo­da­tion they’re stay­ing in.

“I think the view­ers are go­ing to see how fab­u­lous Port Dou­glas looks,” Leroy, an in­te­rior de­signer, told the

“We said to each other ‘it couldn’t be look­ing any bet­ter’ – which is fan­tas­tic be­cause at the end of the day we want the star of this whole thing to be Port Dou­glas, be­cause this place has been sit­ting un­der wraps for too long.”

“It’s just great to see some­thing we some­times take for granted through the eyes of peo­ple see­ing it for the first time.”

“And one of the most dra­matic mo­ments in the se­ries take place up here,” added Brent.

“Quite an in­ter­est­ing mo­ment.”

The in­vi­ta­tion to take part in the se­ries was a bolt out of the blue.

They got a phone call from a pro­ducer, took part in some tests and found them­selves ad­vanc­ing through the ranks to fi­nally they were among the cho­sen con­tes­tants for the se­ries it­self.

“The whole thing just hap­pened,” said Leroy.

“A lot of peo­ple had ap­plied for the show but we weren’t two of them!”

The men say it was a fas­ci­nat­ing and worth­while ex­pe­ri­ence but in­volved a crazy amount of trav­el­ling and lots of hard work.

At times they were trav­el­ling with eight suit­cases and on the road for three weeks, re­turn­ing to Port for about 36 hours and then off again.

And you spent a of time with the other peo­ple on the show.

And a lot of wait­ing around on set.

“We used to call it ‘hurry up and wait’,” Leroy said.

“They’d mike you up at 6:30 am but then on site you could be stand­ing around for hours while they re-shot some­thing and then the light had changed.”

Brent and Leroy ex­pect noth­ing about their lives to change from the heavy ex­po­sure of the TV se­ries, but they do find it amus­ing that their friends in Syd­ney – the cou­ple moved to Port Dou­glas nearly five years ago – re­port see­ing their faces whisk­ing by on the back of Syd­ney buses lately.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Brent Beach and Leroy Belle

In­stant Ho­tel is about to pre­miere. One episode is cen­tred on Port Dou­glas

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