Life on the Bay: New TV series to turn spotlight on Scottish holiday park

A new Scottish TV series set in a seaside holiday park might sound like a set-up for a sitcom.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 11:25 am

But in contrast to the 1980s favourite Hi-de-Hi, there is nothing fictional about Life on the Bay.

The new BBC Scotland show will depict the realities of running one of the nation’s biggest holiday parks – including the challenges thrown up by Covid.

The series, which launches on Sunday, will turn the spotlight on its staff, its entertainers and its regular holidaymakers, over the next eight weekends.A production team spent the whole summer at the Pettycur Bay Holiday Park, in Kinghorn, which is run by three generations of the Wallace family and overseen by 82-year-old grandfather Tom Wallace.

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    The Red SKy Productions documentary will explore the evolution and expansion of the holiday park over more than 40 years to the present day, when it boasts more than 600 caravans and a hotel and leisure centre complex, including the nightclub “Images.”

    Among the stars of the series are Victoria, an American writer of Gothic stories and a semi-retired college lecturer, Andrew and John, who have long dreamed of owning their own place in the park.

    Early episodes will see the holiday park revive live events when Covid restrictions are lifted, including a quiz night, a magic show and cabaret from one of the residents, preparations by a maintenance work for his own wedding on site, and the arrival of several new residents at the park, which overlooks a sandy bay and boasts views across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh.

    BBC Scotland’s announcement on the launch of Life on the Bay states: “On Fife’s coast, three generations of the Wallace family built and now run one of Scotland’s biggest caravan parks, mucking in whatever the job.

    Life on the Bay will be launched on the BBC Scotland channel on Sunday. Picture: Robert Pereira Hind

    “The staff who help them are like extended family – from the bars and restaurant manager to the maintenance team.

    "And then there are the hundreds of caravan owners who have made the bay their second home.

    “Whether the residents and visitors are there for the sunny beaches, seaside fairs or to get hitched, life on the park is never dull.”

    Steven Wallace, one of the third generation of the Wallace family who run the holiday park. said: “Needless to say, we are all very excited.

    Some of the team who run Pettycur Caravan Park, including members of the Wallace family. Picture: Robert Pereira Hind

    "It’s not every day you have an entire series dedicated to your holiday park – of which we are immensely proud. It will really put our family business on the map.

    “Lots of our customers past or present got involved in the shoot, from those who’ve owned a holiday home here for years, to those who have just joined our community.

    “As we’ve always said, Pettycur belongs to its guests as much as to our family. It is a place that holds many special memories and has meant a lot to people over the last four decades.

    “We have the personal touch and we hope this series will reflect that. Who knows, one of our customers, or even a staff member could become the next big reality TV star.”

    Tom and Steven Wallace are two of the stars of Life on the Bay. Picture: Robert Pereira Hind

    Series producer Declan Healy said: “We really enjoyed our time filming at Pettycur Bay Holiday Park and have captured some lovely heartwarming and funny tales along the way. Plus, needless to say, we have discovered some real characters."

    Tom Wallace at his desk in the new BBC Scotland documentary Life on the Bay. Picture: Robert Pereira Hind
    The Pettycur Bay Holiday Park will be the focus of the new BBC Scotland documentary.