RTE have mounted 24 hour security around the grounds of Bellingham Castle ahead of the launch of their flagship reality show, Fáilte Towers.
Bellingham Castle owners, the Keenan family and their staff, have been out of their hotel since Saturday and are anxiously waiting the start of the programme next Saturday.
Celebrities including Big Brother star Brian Dowling, Euro flops Donna and Joe McCaul as well as former Green MEP Patricia McKenna are among 13 competing in front of three judges. The aim of the show is to make celebs scrub the toilets, make the dinners and provide 24-hour room service for the real-life guests at Bellingham Castle.
Thousands of people applied online for a chance to stay overnight in the historic hotel. For 16 nights, the show will broadcast the highs and lows of running a hotel all in the name of charity. A massive logistics operation has been underway since last weekend with a large number of cameras and microphones installed around the sprawling hotel to capture every single moment.
Hotel owner, Damien Keenan, said the family was looking forward to the show starting, though they are understandably apprehensive about letting a TV crew and 13 celebs run loose in their premises. He said: ‘We will of course be watching it but I can see myself shouting at the TV if they’re doing something wrong. I’m looking forward to the start of it.
‘It is, of course, great publicity for the hotel, which will reopen for ordinary bookings on August 20th. Everything is going well so far and our staff have been off site since Saturday. ‘Although we are naturally a bit apprehensive, I know it’s all a bit of fun and we are delighted to have the opportunity to be involved.
We will be tuning in every day’. The show airs live on RTE One on Saturday next from 9.35am.