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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

FIJI




DORIS VISITS FIJI
To make the movie Bula Quo starring Status Quo and her real life daughter Laura Aikman


To be honest, being a working actress, presenter and producer, I do get to see more than my fair share of places. I sometimes wonder why I have a house especially as my son Luke lives abroad and when home is in Bristol where his company is, and my daughter Laura is a very busy actress and often away. Last year she was bouncing between Glasgow and South Africa for the BBC. Both are married and it is easy for me to travel now with no worries.  Hence the addition of the travel show, Doris Visits.

However, Fiji was different. Our company made the Status Quo movie Bula Quo and the whole family was involved. Stuart (husband) knew Quo and their manager Simon Porter from the 1970's when he was a radio DJ. They re-met on Coronation Street in 2005 and agreed to do a movie. It was then to happen with Vinnie Jones but Rick Parfitt had a health scare and it got put off. Then it stumbled for other reasons before being mounted when we all had matching breaks in our calendar in 2012.

So as an advance party with a finance deal to shoot in Fiji we went with 4 weeks to find locations. Whilst most cruises currently go into Suva the capital, most tourists fly into Nadi. Then are separated by a poor road and a drive that can be anything from between 2 and a half hours, our best time with speeding ticket, took four hours. There are local buses, but I would find a car. We decided to base in Nadi as there was more to offer in the terms of flavour to a film, but Fiji is like the Maldives in that it is a collection of islands, most islands are a resort and the resorts are where most tourists will stay.

Day visitors to Suva can head for some of the hotels on the sea, or the Grand Pacific Hotel which is a renovated colonial building that has been modelled on Raffles in Singapore.

Visitors to Nadi have a wealth of resorts, and Denarau which hosts a number of themed restaurants and a Hard Rock Cafe. There are boat trips and the best golf course is at the Intercontinental which is a wonderful resort hotel on the coral coast between Nadi and Suva so a little out of the way.

If you are adventurous, and I mean adventurous, there is a waterfall. It is one of the few attractions on the island and the climb to it is as much a joy. If you ask how long it will take, the only answer is "you have to cross seven rivers". Depending on rainfall that can range from a doddle to an unnerving challenge.

Our story of Fiji is based around its biggest storm ever when roads were washed away, bridges destroyed and the band rang to ask if they should fly as they saw news stories of people being air lifted out. We will cut a travel film from our footage, again it has been thrown at the edit suit and they are likely to throw it back until 2016, but watch for updates. The film on the floods is very interesting. You will see what film makers have to deal with. In the mean time there are many films of Fiji on our Bula Quo channel which has had over a quarter of a million views.


Jean can be seen here with American star Jon Lovitz. The shot was taken in Denarau near Nadi.

Here we shot a fight scene in a restaurant, many of the restaurants are owned by the same family but the themes / franchises often change.

Denarau is the stop for boats to the islands and tours from the coast.





I would appreciate you finding and following me on Facebook DORIS SHADES and on Twitter as DorisVisits.

Your numbers, clicks and likes are very important to me. I hope to see you on board a cruise ship very soon, but similarly (try) to stop me and say hi !!


If you are on holiday and love reading from your Kindle, and belong to the Kindle library, you might care to down load the book Shades Of Bad - WHO DIES TODAY which is the book covering the first 40 episodes of the dark comedy series Shades Of Bad, where Doris, me, deals with her husband leaving her by becoming a serial killer who works from home. The book is also available as a paperback.

The series can be viewed from the web site www.shadesofbad.com or YouTube.



A LIST OF LOCAL CONTACTS - also check in the comments sections here and of the films on YouTube for locals bars, restaurants, tours and amenities who have connected.

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