THIS week UTV will screen the concluding programme in a six-part series charting the restoration of Mount Stewart stately home.
On Monday July 27 at 8pm viewers will see the big reveal as the 18th Century mansion is finally opened to the public following an extensive refurbishment and renovation programme.
And the viewing public is so excited by the story of Mount Stewart that it has beaten EastEnders in the ratings war two weeks in a row in Northern Ireland is hoping for a third on Monday.
The programme saw an average of 167,000 across the country tuning in last week to give them a 29 per cent share of the viewing figures and beat BBC’s EastEnders by nearly 20,000.
Monday’s episode concludes the series with a big reveal of the completed project where staff are seen working tirelessly to complete the final touches of the restoration project ahead of opening day.
Viewers will see the restoration project finally complete after three years and an official opening ceremony by Prince Charles.
Jon Kerr, Mount Stewart manager who features in the show, said the success of the show has also seen a 25 per cent increase in visitor numbers across the week.
Speaking of the big reveal on Monday he added: “The house is still very much recognisable as the original Mount Stewart House but the restoration has brought back all the glamour and magic.
“Any old building needs some tender loving care and Mount Stewart is no exception, so the project has allowed us to bring it back to the glorious condition it was once in.”
And when it comes to the visitors, Mr Kerr said they’ve been impressed by the transformation.
He said: “I think for me the single biggest impact is seen in the reaction and feedback of our visitors. It’s returned the wow factor, they’re blown away by how beautiful and special the house now truly is.
“The reaction of our visitors who have been before is the most notable, they’ve commented on how fantastically the house has been restored and feel it has been money well spent.
“That means a lot, to know people feel we’ve done Mount Stewart justice.
“People have been enthralled by the series and it has encouraged people who have never come before to visit and experience the surroundings for themselves.
“Because of the fabulous job of the restoration we’re now going to open Mount Stewart at weekends during the winter season, the first time we have ever done that.
“We are also going to dress the house for Christmas as it would have been when the Stewart family lived there.”