On monday Monique and I had our debut on Korean TV in the show 시골경찰3 (Rural Police) on MBC Everyone! Thankfully it wasn’t because we were on the wrong side of the law. But there is a little story behind how we finally ended up on TV!
How it all started!
It started when Monique and I were spotted on the ferry coming to Ulleungdo by the crew for the show. They managed to get hold of my co-teacher and set up a meeting. The crew had been surprised to see two waygooks going to the island. They wanted to know why we had decided to go. They also wanted to ask if we could be part of the show by going to a police station. We would be asking for directions to show how the police would deal with English tourists. It was pretty standard and we were excited to be involved. Unfortunately there was a little delay with getting equipment to the island and they had to postpone filming; it was here that nearly messed things up!
During this delay my parents arrived and we made friends with a local cop, Mr Ryu, who we happened to be on the same bus with. His English is pretty decent but most of our conversation has been through Google Translate; a really useful app but it can cause some humorous misunderstandings like when you want to buy tea and end up asking if it is diseased (story courtesy of my mom!). My parents visited him at the police station while they were here. He had invited me and Monique to visit as well.
Actually Being on Korean TV
A few weeks later Monique and I were contacted to go for the filming. We met the TV crew in Cheonbu and got given the low-down. Go in and ask for directions to Gwaneumdo and be natural. Pretty straightforward right? Well we head off to the station and walk in, greeting the police, when suddenly we get a big, cheerful, “Teacher!” Mr. Ryu hadn’t been expecting us and was immensely happy that we had come to visit.
The Faux Pas
So he introduced us to everyone as English teachers on the island and completely destroyed any illusion that we may be tourists! We kept with the plan and asked for directions which the police were happy to help us with and at one point even offered to drive us to Gwaneumdo. It was quite late on Sunday afternoon and we didn’t really want to get taken there as we had already visited the place! We were willing to go along with it but suddenly the plans changed and we suggested that we would go the next weekend.
After coffee, being shown photos of one of the planted actor’s trips to Cape Town, getting shown the bus timetable numerous times, where to find Gwaneumdo on the map and generally being treated with the utmost care, we were able to leave. We said goodbye and headed out.
The second Faux Pas
Mr Ryu then chased out after us wanting to talk quickly. Still in sight of all the cameras. Through Google Translate he told us that he was really embarrassed that he couldn’t treat us properly because it was unfortunate that we by chance happened to visit on the same day as the TV show was filming… It was such a crazy coincidence that that had happened! We tried to assure him that we knew but it didn’t translate well and as we left to go home the TV crew told us that they possibly couldn’t use any of the footage because we shouldn’t have been recognised…
I met Mr. Ryu twice after that and both times he tried to explain to me that they were filming a TV show when we visited. I had to try not laugh by that point! I do think I eventually got him to understand that we were meant to be there!
So we were a little sad that we may had unknowingly ruined the shot by knowing one of the cops but in the end they edited it to suit themselves and kept us in the show! And that was how we ended up on Korean TV. I have been sitting on this story for well over a month. I hope it is not still too early to post it!
Our 5 minutes of fame on Korean TV