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An online hoax claiming the Niagara Falls had frozen over initially attracted the BBC’s interest, but its clip could have a positive impact that lasts long after temperatures rise again.
This international travel destination is getting some attention from European television for its tourism and culinary efforts.
A crew from the BBC World Service‘s “The Travel Show” was in town Monday and Tuesday filming for an upcoming segment on the Falls.
The show hopes to provide its audience with insights into famous places and other sites they may never have thought of visiting, said Ade Adepitan, the reporter in the three-man crew on the Falls story.
“We heard about Niagara and about Buffalo and the Falls and that you guys have got some redevelopment going on, especially on the American side. And we were also quite interested, why does the Canadian side seem to be slightly more popular than you guys over on this side and what are you doing to address that fact?” Adepitan said.
“Also, we know you’ve got a burgeoning culinary scene, the foods coming up and you’ve got food from all over the world, which is great as well,” Adepitan continued. “It’s just opening the eyes of the world to what’s happening in this area.”
Adepitan, who was born in Nigeria and survived polio as a youngster, played on Great Britain’s Paralympic basketball team in Sydney and Athens. He was a co-anchor of Paralympic coverage on BBC’s Channel 4 for the London games in 2012.
While recent development activities in the Falls helped spur the attention, producer Mark Harrison said the online hoax purporting that the waterfalls at Niagara Falls had actually frozen earlier this winter also helped get the place noticed.
The crew, rounded out with New York City-based cameraman Andrew Blum, spent time filming at various sites, including in Niagara Falls State Park, and interviewed Mayor Paul A. Dyster in Council Chambers in City Hall late Tuesday morning.
The Buffalo Niagara Film Commission helped coordinate the BBC’s local shooting.
The BBC World Service reaches more than 70 million viewers globally.
After the Falls, the crew was headed to New York City for a segment involving the city’s comedy scene.
This week’s stop marks the second recent visit for British television.
The Travel Channel in the United Kingdom came to the Falls last year, said Michelle Blackley, communications manager for the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp., the tourism marketing agency for the Falls and Niagara County.
“It seems like we’re getting more and more attention from the British press,” Blackley said.
(c)2014 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.