The US TV travel show ‘Ireland with Michael’ is set to showcase Clare and Limerick as holiday destinations to audiences of 155 million people across the USA and Canada this month.
Michael Londra, the Emmy® nominated, Irish singer-producer is originally from Wexford town and is now a resident of the US. Michael hosts the travel show which airs across the PBS network in the US and Canada. In each episode, he takes viewers on an intriguing journey to the popular and some of the lesser-known Irish destinations to learn about Irish history, meets local artisans, experience small-town pubs and food, and enjoy unique musical and cultural experiences. He combines glorious video footage of Ireland’s storied landscapes, destinations, exciting cultural experiences, and performances from Irish stars.
In the Clare based episode, the crew first stop at the Cliffs of Moher, more than a little terrified by the heights Michael shares the story of the cliffs and how to view them. He recalls his college days in Limerick having many trips to the coast of Clare for traditional music and takes a tour of those pubs along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The gateway to that coast is the city of Limerick where he meets traditional fusion band ‘One for the Foxes’ at Saint Johns Castle on the banks of the Shannon. Viewers will enjoy a song from the band who recently won album of the year in multiple traditional music award shows.
Michael then heads out to Poulnabrone a Neolithic tomb in the heart of the county and on to see the celtic crosses of Kilfenora with a tour around the cathedral and stories of those mystic crosses with a performance by Cláirsí Neamhaí or heavenly harps. The Kilfenora centre houses the story of the Burren and the parlour hosts its music with performances by traditional dancing kids.
The show closes with a showcase from the legendary Kilfenora Ceili Band and Michael gets to visit during soundcheck for an interview and private performance.
Speaking of the new series release Michael says, “We are delighted to release Season 2 of ‘Ireland with Michael’, the show has been such a huge hit in Season 1 with a viewership of 75% of all U.S. households.
It is an honour to highlight our greatest asset. Be they singers, dancers, poets, artisans or storytellers, our creators share their Ireland, in every episode of the show. I’m so proud of the country and the people in it, it is a joy to be able to share that around the world.
Pre-pandemic North America has been the fastest-growing vacation market for Irish tourism, accounting for 33% of foreign earnings, I am very glad to be able to support the Irish arts, tourism and hospitality sectors and I very much hope that the show assists the international tourism recovery for Ireland post-pandemic.”
Aer Lingus, Tourism Ireland and CIE Tours sponsor the ‘Ireland with Michael’ series. Upcoming for 2023 is a new ‘Ireland with Michael’ series 3, which will be released in January 2023, and filming of these episodes will commence in March 2022.
At present, the crew are scouting locations and ideas across the country, so if think that you or your town should be featured in series three send your idea and contact details by email.
The ‘Ireland with Michael’ series is aired across PBS stations and can also be viewed internationally online via www.irelandwithmichael.com