In July 1997, Ibiza Uncovered was first broadcast on Sky One, introducing the world to a motley crew of characters seeking escapism, sex and employment on the white isle…
While ‘Brits abroad’ documentaries are widespread these days, Ibiza Uncovered set the tone, introducing the world to a ragtag bunch of characters such as Sam and Kes, a Cockney duo who pack in their London jobs for a job in Ibiza Town (only to find, when they get there, the job doesn’t exist); Jay and Dee, whose lifetime ambitions are to become Club 18-30 reps; and John, an Ibiza regular who pledges to give up drinking for the summer in order to lose some weight… (tenner bet he doesn’t make it).
The conversation, when it occurs, is all too predictable:
“What have you been up to?” one punter is asked.
“Shagging and drinking,” comes the reply.
“He’s nice, he’s really nice,” one young lass says about the object of her affection. “But he keeps shagging other people, so I don’t know where he is.”
The fact that almost the entire series is filmed within the square mile (if even that) of San Antonio’s West End doesn’t do the island any favours either. Breasts and bottoms are bared incessantly, and as the series drags on, it all goes a bit Benny Hill – the Manumission ‘sex show’ being a particularly memorable low.
Twenty-something years on, Ibiza Uncovered is not how the island deserves to be remembered. But having said that, as a time capsule of the mid-90s – the era of Loaded and FHM, of pints of Snakebite and Jennifer Aniston-style bangs (Peter Andre for the lads), it’s fairly bang on the money. ‘Oi oi saveloy’ and all that.
Have we evolved as a species in the years since? I’ll leave that up to you… And whatever happened to the word ’shag’?