The Best Job In The World – BBC One

It’s the job that dreams are made of: sandy beaches, year-round sunshine, free luxury accommodation and a £70,000 salary for six months’ work as the caretaker for a beautiful Barrier Reef island. In January 2009, Queensland Tourist Board set up a marketing campaign amidst a blaze of publicity. The search for the right candidate began via their website, with a competitive three-month selection process for the once-in-a-lifetime job.

There were 35,000 applicants from across the world, and this documentary follows the fortunes of four young British candidates who made it through to the final 50. The programme witnesses the emotional highs and lows of the four young men and women as they try to sell themselves to the public by any means necessary. With crucial votes and vital attention at stake, how could they beat their rivals to the dream job?

The programme joins the selection process as the hopefuls are whittled down to the 50 most promising candidates. Just 11 of those 50 go forward to the next stage, held on a number of Barrier Reef Islands. The Best Job In The World finds out how British candidate Ben Southall – a former events manager, charity fundraiser and tour guide – landed the plum job.

Ben’s duties include strolling along the pristine white sands, snorkelling in the reef and reporting to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates to promote the region. And Ben says he did it all to be with the love of his life.

But there is more to the job than meets the eye. There’s the world’s media to contend with and the challenges on the way are a lot tougher than anybody could have predicted.

The Best Job In The World is an insight into one of the most successful marketing campaigns for years and a story for our times, with the young candidates typically either stuck in dead-end jobs, travellers or looking for work. The programme asks if everyone is just waiting for that big break.

Thursday 2 July
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE