Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun – review

Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun – review

An eight part fly-on-the-wall, lighthearted documentary on life in Gibraltar.  Visiting varying walks of life, from Dr Eric Shaw, who affectionately looks after the apes, to the friendly Gibraltarian policemen, lifeguards and a particularly cuddly couple of jolly boys.

For those who already know or live on the rock it’s a fascinating watch, but not so sure for those who’ve never been before.  Even with the colourful editing it’s a little slow moving in pace, editorially speaking, with long shots and unnecessarily drawn out story lines, or lack of them.

eric shaw

Eric Shaw is definately the star of the show, an absolute natural in front of the camera, at ease with his animal friends, a man who comes across as relaxed and friendly, no airs and graces, just a plain old down to earth guy.  What’s not to love there?

Then there’s the ‘Jolly Boys’ Shane Athey and Tony Watkins of Dive Charters.  Just a couple of lads messing around on boats.  Running the local dive centre in Gibraltar, these two come across as playful, harmless jokers just soaking up the sun and having a bit of a laugh.  But unlike Eric Shaw, who’s daily routine, out of the oridinary, has a certain interest, there is a lack of understanding of exactly what the point is in hearing about a couple of lads having a good time in the sun.

tony watkins2

Aside from frollicking around on expensive boats and playing with torpedocams, Tony and Shane of Dive Charters are also contracted by local Marina Bay and Ocean Village Gibraltar (soon to house the new Sunborn superyacht floatel), to conduct underwater maintenance on the moorings and keep all the sailors sleeping safe in their bunks.  But does that run anymore smoothly than their boyish Laurel and Hardy antics?  Or is it just another Jolly Boy cock up?  In the words of Tony Watkins, when reviewing his video footage, ‘To be honest I don’t think it could get an awful lot worse.’

Well that’s another story coming soon …

Written by John Middleton –

Gibraltar Britain in the Sun

Gibraltar Britain in the Sun

First episode attracted 1.26 million viewers

Watch episode 2 here

An eight part documentary about life in Gibraltar, but will they cover the endless bullying that goes on in Gibraltar schools, Gibraltar work places and in Gibraltarian society.  All very well filming half a dozen middle aged lucky Brits who have enough cash to start a business in the sun, or police officers and lifeguards who hold privileged positions with cushy jobs, but what about the real Gibraltarians and their stories?

Everywhere has it’s failings, and Gibraltar is a great place, sometimes, but is this series really going to just show Gib as a honey pot for those with money?

Tantalising tasters from the Daily Express by Neil Clark

Gibraltar: Little Britain in the sun

IT’S just like Britain – except that the sun shines more than 300 days a year on average and people finish work at 2.30pm between June and September so they can go to the beach. Gibraltar is visited by six million holidaymakers every year – many of them on cruise ships. But how much do we really know about everyday life in the British colony?

Nice little article to wet the appetite, even if the picture of Gibraltar rock is back to front …back to front rock

From the trailer it looks like it’s going to be a great piece of Tabloid TV.

But how will Gibraltar fair from it?  Will the participants be happy with their depictions?  Will it be a true representation of Gib and life here?  Do you know any of the characters in it?

Quote from the Guardian comments, opinions and reviews

Gibraltar: Britain In The Sun
8pm, Channel 5

There are at least two good reasons to go to live on Gibraltar: the climate is good; and, by and large, nothing much happens. Whether these are good reasons to make an observational documentary series about the tiny British Overseas Territory is quite another matter. That caveat aside, episode one of Gibraltar: Britain In The Sun does at least find some interesting characters to follow, notably Dr Eric Shaw, who looks after the island’s 200 macaques and comes across like a veteran roadie happily going to seed. Jonathan Wright

Quite right Jonathan, Eric Shaw could have gone to the hairdressers before being filmed, deary me, what’s going on with that barnet.


I’m not gonna lie I saw the trailer and watched this because of the bikini babes on the beach! 😉

But not everyone agree’s Gibraltar is a fabulous place


We (as a family) were sentenced by the R.A.F. to two and a half years in that rathole during the early seventies. The border wasn’t open and it was like a prison camp as far as I was concerned. The happiest day of my life was when we boarded a ‘plane in July 1973 to bring us back to the UK.

And much heated debate on the monkeys

They’re APES not monkeys! Hence the name Barbary Ape. Can you please stop misinforming the public on this issue.

Mandy Jewell

So looking forward to this programme. We got married in Gibraltar 3 years ago, it was our anniversary last week, so great timing for this series!

Gav Cairns

Just returned “home” to the UK after 3 yrs in Gib. You either love it or loathe it – I loved it in the main but it has to be the strangest place in the world for “weird” behaviour / habits.

Chris Ringrose

Looking forward to this although it is slightly ironic that this page comes up a blocked if viewed from Gib!