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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
TV village expects Easter boom
Cold Feet
The cast of Cold Feet at Portmeirion
A holiday destination on the Gwynedd coastline expects an Easter boost in visitor numbers after providing the backdrop for a TV series.

Interest in Portmeirion was reignited after the final episode of Cold Feet was filmed there - featuring the cast paying their last respects to one of the lead characters.

The Italianate village south of Porthmadog already enjoys cult status thanks to the 1960s series, The Prisoner.

Now the holiday heatwave combined with curiosity about the ITV drama is expected to bring in more crowds.

The final episode of the show saw the characters visit the resort to scatter the ashes of Rachel Bradley - played by Helen Baxendale - where she and husband Adam - played by James Nesbitt - had enjoyed romantic times together.

It could mean a five to 10 per cent increase over the season
Robin Llywelyn, Portmeirion

Robin Llywelyn, Portmeirion's Managing Director, said: "Visitor numbers have increased over the past month and quite a few have mentioned that they came to see the place after watching the programme.

"It is difficult to say what effect it will have but we think it could mean a five to 10 per cent increase over the season."

Already popular as a wedding venue, the village has also reported the small screen drama prompted a surge in the number of requests from couples eager to tie the knot there.

Long wait for weddings

The resort attracts 250,000 visitors each year, drawn by the beautiful coastline and the village designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis which opened in 1926.

It usually holds around three weddings a week but, since the tear-jerker episode of Cold Feet, more than 50 would-be newly-weds have been in touch.

But many of the couples will have to wait until well in to 2004 as the tourist destination is fully booked on Saturdays for this year and much of next year.

Portmeirion in north west Wales
Portmeirion expects to be full over Easter

The village first came to the attention of TV viewers in the 1960s when the cult television show, The Prisoner, was filmed there.

Interest in the series remains "evergreen" says Mr Llywelyn with the annual Prisoner Convention going from strength to strength.

Now fans, who account for about a tenth of all visitors to the village, will be able to retrace the steps of Patrick McGoohan's character.

On the Trail of the Prisoner by American author Catherine Nemeth Frumerman is being launched at the village on 6 May.

The authors say it is the first-ever dedicated walking guide to Prisoner sites in Portmeirion.

Weddings bliss for TV village
31 Mar 03  |  Wales
Village hopes for TV spin-off
16 Mar 03  |  Wales
Number's not up for The Prisoner
03 Sep 98  |  From Our Own Correspondent
Record ratings for Cold Feet finale
17 Mar 03  |  TV and Radio
Easter heatwave to fade
17 Apr 03  |  UK

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