Celebrities visit Northern Ireland’s famous north coast to ‘reconnect with the sea’ in a new BBC NI series.

B&B By The Sea is a new entertainment range in a unique seafront retreat at Downhill Beach, Co. Derry.

Despite the quiet surroundings, there won’t be just rest and relaxation for the famous faces.

The 15-part series will be available on BBC iPlayer after the first episode airs on BBC One Northern Ireland at 7.30pm on Friday 25 November.

The stunning location overlooking Downhill Beach and nestled beneath the Mussenden Temple is a haven of tranquility and offers guests the opportunity to explore their connections to the sea, gain new skills and a new perspective through a variety of activities .

Hostess Sharon McIlveen, gardener Mary Anne Farenden, chauffeur Rory O’Kane – who has extensive local knowledge – and Michelin star chef Alex Greene are on hand to welcome celebrity guests to the B&B.

In the first episode, Shirley Ballas from Strictly Come Dancing is the first to arrive at the Victorian boarding house. Thinking she could take a break from her hectic schedule, the Queen of Latin is quickly assigned to a pig farm in Bushmills, where she learns how to make pottery.

Novice cook Shirley also dons her apron to help Chef Alex prepare a delicious meal for guests using the best local produce.

B&B by the sea

In the second episode, Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden has a unique connection to the sea, making it a very personal visit for the TV star, who has never visited or cooked in Northern Ireland.

The next visitor to the B&B is TV presenter and famous Maître d’ Fred Siriex, who has worked in some of the best hotels and restaurants in the world.

Fred is happy to offer his hospitality skills to the B&B team and takes on the great challenge of finding the best local drink to complement a special pudding. He also visits the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world and tests his sausage making skills at a local butcher in Portstewart.

Later in the series, Gloria Hunniford, a native of Northern Ireland, is back on home soil to meet an award-winning flock of sheep in Macosquin and help Alex bake in the kitchen.

Deborah Meaden on horseback at Benone Beach

Other guests include football legend Neil Razor Ruddock, former soap stars Nina Wadia and Adam Woodyatt, and Hollyoaks actor Richard Blackwood.

B&B By The Sea is produced by Afro-Mic Productions with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

The series, a co-commission with BBC Daytime, will be broadcast in the UK in the new year.

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