IT was the TV deal that producers had golden hopes for, but after just a year and two series Eldorado turned to lead.
The BBC soap famed for its wooden acting, dreadful sound quality and unknown actors was cancelled.
And its purpose-built set in Coin, inland from the Costa del Sol’s Fuengirola, was left abandoned.
In the years since, the mini-town has been used as a hotel, tourism attraction and most ignominiously as a paintballers ‘battleground’ before being finally left to crumble.
But now the set has been taken over to be turned into a plush new hotel and commercial centre.
So any fans of the programme (and there weren’t too many) will be able to relive the golden days of Eldorado with a nostalgic holiday on the new Versus Resort.
Hotel bosses have signed a deal with the local council for 8000 metres of commercial space, 4000 metres of gardens and a hotel with 170 rooms. The company will pay €90,000 per year for the privilege.
The contract has been granted for 50 years. Versus Resort will hope that it lasts longer than the one year which Eldorado ran for.
Focusing on the lives of expats on the fictional town of Los Barcos on the Eldorado coast, the BBC had hoped the programme would be as much of a hit as soaps like Eastenders with the twist of the exoticism of Spain.
The production, which cost the BBC around £10 million, is widely considered one of the BBC’s biggest disasters and has become a synonym for fiasco.
Before its launch, staff inside the Beeb thought the show could become the first “Eurosoap”, according to writer Tony Jordan speaking in The Guardian.
Instead, the ratings were amongst the worst ever, with everything about Eldorado deemed dreadful from the sound quality to the casting – which included a German teenager who had never acted before and said he did not even know what the BBC was.
The new hotel will have up to four stars – which some unkind critics might say is four more than the BBC soap had.
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