Global spotlight on Bermuda
Bermuda is now just a week away from hosting its biggest ever international event — and the eyes of the world are on the island.
Yachts have arrived in their dozens, noticeably growing numbers of tourists are on the streets and, with construction work nearing completion in Dockyard, the signs are clear: the 35th America’s Cup is nearly here.
Yesterday, millions of viewers tuned in to watch movie star Michael Douglas showcase Bermuda’s charms on the popular NBC Today television show.
Today broadcast live from the Hamilton Princess, with another show scheduled for today, and featured a prolonged segment of Mr Douglas showing host Kathie Lee Gifford some of the island’s attractions.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Horseshoe Bay and the Mid Ocean Golf Club all came under the spotlight, while Mr Douglas detailed some of his family’s history on the island.
The pair enjoyed a codfish breakfast, learnt a touch of Bermuda slang from Twisted Spoon mixologist Stephan Gitschner and were introduced to island fashion with several local models donning TABS Bermuda shorts.
Other local figures appearing during the broadcast were environmentalist Chris Flook and Jeremy Madeiros, who brought a cahow chick and a Bermuda skink among other examples of local wildlife.
Ms Gifford and Hoda Kotb told The Royal Gazette they were thrilled to be in Bermuda.
“We are excited about the America’s Cup being here, and I’ve been friends with Michael Douglas for a long, long time, but not been able to spend time with him for years, so it was so much fun to reconnect with him,” Ms Gifford said.
“He took me out on a boat and gave me the official Michael Douglas Bermuda tour. Hoda joined us at the end and we had Dark n’ Stormies at the Harbourfront.
“I forgot where I was. It was like getting lost in paradise.”
Ms Kotb added: “This is like a postcard. It’s like we are walking into a postcard and spending the day.”
While both hosts have been to the island before, Ms Kotb said her visit took place when she was just a child.
“You know when you don’t have really clear memories of something? Well, this trip just cleared up the memories for me. It’s spectacular, and the fact that you can get here lickety-split from New York surprised me so much.
“Everyone sort of lumps Bermuda together with the Caribbean islands, but you get on a plane and then 90 minutes later you’re here.”
Both hosts praised the kindness of those they had met, with Ms Gifford noting that Peter Green, the owner of the Hamilton Princess, had personally brought her flowers.
“It’s going to be pretty hard to go back to being with Al Roker,” she joked.
Ms Kotb added: “Something about seeing Bermuda from a boat, it paints such a great picture of everything that goes on and everyone we met has been so happy and friendly, and Michael is calling them out by name.
“You feel like you are in a tiny town of friends.”
Asked about the America’s Cup, the hosts said that they had not heard much about the event, but Ms Kotb added that it would be a welcome relief from political news.
“It will be a welcome break from all of that,” she said. “It will be something fun to watch.”
Mr Douglas is set to make a live appearance on the show today, which will air at 11am on NBC.
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