Bognor Regis on TV — BBC One to delve into the history of the seaside town

Having 'suffered the indignity' of coming bottom in a poll of 100 seaside resorts, Bognor Regis is set to show what it is really like on the big screen.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 3:37 pm
Bognor Regis seafront. Photo: Kate Shemilt

In a documentary at 7.30pm on Monday (November 11), called The Great Staycation - Bognor Regis, BBC One will give the town centre stage to showcase why it should be more appreciated.

The programme synopsis reads: "An international mecca down the years for royalty, poets and artists alike, the West Sussex town recently suffered the indignity of coming bottom in a poll of 100 seaside resorts. Locals maintain that’s simply nonsense not least because Bognor has something all holidaymakers want — sun.

"Its unbeaten record of nearly two thousand hours of sunshine a year is more than any other mainland resort."

Mum and daughter team, Katy, right, and Georgia Alston, left, opened Pinks Parlour in Waterloo Square in May. Photo: Goble Photography

Bognor was ranked as the joint worst coastal destination in the UK in a new survey — just days after another study rated the town as one of the 10 best seaside towns for families. The latest survey by saw Bognor share the list’s bottom spot with Clacton-on-Sea, with visitors giving Bognor just one star out of five for aspects including its beach, seafront, attractions, scenery, shopping, peace and quiet and value for money. Read more hereGeorgia Alston and her mum Katy, who run Pinks Parlour in Waterloo Square, are pictured in the documentary preview on BBC One's website.

Georgia said the programme is about 'proving the survey wrong'.

She added: "We are really excited [to appear on the programme]. We are counting down the days. We might hold a viewing party at the parlour.

"They were looking for local businesses that were proud of Bognor Regis. They could see how passionate we were.

"They decided to film us and find out more about Bognor. They shot at several different locations. They filmed at the parlour, our ice cream van along the promenade and by the seafront but no one really knows what they are going to broadcast on Monday. It's about helping to promote Bognor Regis."

Georgia said she loves Bognor for its longevity and believes it is a 'lovely place to live and work'.

"We have a lot of issues to sort out like anti-social behaviour but it's a lovely town with a lot of organisations trying to do their best to turn it around," she said.

"The programme will be about the local people and the history of Bognor as well."

Bognor is one of 11 locations which the BBC explored for separate documentaries on its regional channels.

The Bognor documentary will also be following this year's Illuminations Gala preparations.

"A highlight of the year for tourists and locals is the Illuminations Gala – a competition held at the height of summer every year in which contestants dress up — and light up — and parade round the town after dark," the synopsis continued.

"Bookshop owner and former professional clown James Passingham is Mister Illuminations, having run the gala for 15 years. It’s a stressful business with much to do and one element he can’t control — the weather.

"Gales saw last year’s gala cancelled altogether. We follow this year’s preparations by volunteers and competitors alike. Will Bognor’s sunshine record hold or will the gala be a washout once more?"