There has been a late surge in bookings by Britons seeking to extend their summer. Planes filled with ordinary working people from the BBC, Sky News and the nation's tabloid newspapers have headed off to try and grab a few extra days of sun-soaked reporting in Portugal.
“The last chance I had for a break in the sun was in May. We stayed for as long as we could afford, but we are just normal journalists, and we had to go back to the day job - writing about celebrity drug problems and David Cameron's hair,” said Mary Billingsworth of Sky News.
Increasingly as their standard of living increases many Britons are now able to enjoy two or more foreign breaks a year.
“We are very pleased that we have reached a position where we can go out to the Algarve again and extend the summer,” said Ms Billingsworth. “There were so many people that we talked to, for hours, that we hoped would become interesting and we are quite happy to interview again. And again.”
Like holidaymakers the world over, people form holiday friendships that don't last any longer than retrieving their luggage on the carousel at Gatwick.
“There was one couple in particular that nearly all of us spent a huge amount of time with,” explained Mary. “We took hundreds of photos of them and are trying as hard as possible to get in touch as everyone on the plane kept saying that they would soon be going away for a long time.”
The holidaymakers are concerned that their idyll in the sun may have been spoilt, now that this is the second season as the destination of choice for the average working member of the media with an expense account.
“When we first went, all those months ago, it was an undiscovered resort filled with tourists and the odd retired British Police Officer who everyone wanted to talk to. When we got here we were shocked as it has all changed. Some of the places for the media to stay outside the Police stations are just building sites. Everyone is wearing the same summer suits and brandishing microphones bearing British logos.” lamented Mary. “It's just like a little bit of England in the sun. For example, first thing in the morning you can easily get hold of the British newspaper reporters from the bar. Still we will just have to make what we can out of the situation, now that Big Brother has finished.”
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