RTE's Francis Brennan suffers 'Delhi belly' in India but new show brings in 362k viewers
Hotelier Francis Brennan has scored five stars for his new travel show, pulling in an average of 362,500 viewers for his Grand Indian Tour.
Figures released by RTE have revealed that he's claiming an audience share of 25pc for his light-hearted travel show that airs on Sunday nights.
But the Sandyford native (62) certainly suffered for his art.
He told the Herald how he got the dreaded 'Delhi belly' while filming there for two weeks and battled temperatures of 47C while shepherding 12 Irish tourists around the country.
"On the third day, I got a tummy dose that lasted for five days. Everybody had a touch of it at some stage and it was very debilitating, but I couldn't lie in bed. I had to keep going. I'm tough," he said.
He and his group of intrepid travellers visited the famous 'golden triangle' of Delhi, Agra and Japiur - and took in the Ranthambore National Park.
Francis, who filmed the show last May over 12 days, said it was one of the toughest excursions they've done.
"The camera stopped functioning twice as it got too hot at one stage. They were fanning it and talking to it to get it working again," he said.
"There was so much going on. But it all went well, we landed in Dublin Airport and nobody broke a leg, ruptured an appendix or fell over some rubbish."
The owner of the Park Hotel in Kenmare is also mid-way through filming the hit show At Your Service, which sees his brother John re-joining him after a 12-month absence last year.
The show involves them travelling around the country advising hotels and guest-houses on the best way to improve their businesses.
Next month will also see the launch of his first homeware collection for Dunnes Stores, entitled Francis Brennan: The Collection.
"It's going to be mixture of linens, towels and fragrances," he said.
Although he's known for his dapper style, he said Paul Galvin needn't worry as he won't be branching out into a clothing line.
"I'm not doing clothes, no. He won't have to worry about me on his patch," he said.