Visit Isle of Wight nominated Jim O’Reilly wins Daily Mirror Tourism Superstar 2018

Isle of Wight Man Wins National Competition To Discover the UK’s Tourism Superstar

An Isle of Wight man has come top of a national poll to find the UK’s Tourism Superstar 2018.

Jim O’ Reilly came top in a vote organised by the Daily Mirror to become the Visit England Tourism Superstar, beating 9 others to the top place – which saw over 20 000 votes cast, the most ever in the competition’s history.

Jim will officially receive the title at a glitzy ceremony in April, organised by Visit England.

Jim was nominated by Visit Isle of Wight as their Tourism Superstar.

54 year old Jim, from Cowes, regularly greets visitors to the Island in his job as a marshall at Red Funnel’s Southampton car ferry.

However, Jim goes the extra mile and has become known as ‘the dancing man’.

Jim, famed for his ‘disco’ dance moves when directing cars on and off the Southampton to East Cowes ferry route, has won the hearts of thousands of visitors who use the Red Funnel crossing.

Jim said:

“I’m totally overwhelmed. I was just ecstatic to be nominated, to win it is beyond my wildest dreams, I’m ecstatic.

“The support here [at Red Funnel] has been absolutely fantastic , everyone’s been 100% behind me, but I’d like to give a special thanks to the people of the Isle of Wight, who’s support has been phenomenal, I really feel like the whole Island was behind me and I can’t thank the people enough for their support.

“You could have knocked me for six to be honest with you, I was more than happy with the customers compliments and the smiles as they go past, I’m happy with that. To be nominated on a national scale, it’s beyond my wildest dreams and what’s gone on these last few weeks has just been incredible, just incredible and a special thanks to Visit Isle of Wight this is where I am today, because of that.”

Will Myles, MD of Visit Isle of Wight said:

“Isn’t it amazing that Jim O’Reilly, the dancing man from Red Funnel has won the Visit England, Daily Mirror Tourism Superstar. I just wish I could bottle half of what he’s got and give it round to everyone!”

Murray Carter, Director of Customer Services at Red Funnel said:

“[we’re] very, very proud. What Jim does is embody the core values of our company, it’s about being caring and friendly, it’s being professional and being ambitious and Jim has really done that and given our customers a fantastic experience, so a huge well done to him and the wider team at Red Funnel for continually putting our customers at the heart of everything we do.”

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s Chairman and CEO said:

“Jim’s legendary dance moves have been delighting our customers for the last two years and we are absolutely delighted he’s now won Visit England’s Tourism Superstar Award. We are grateful to Visit Isle of Wight for nominating him and we’d like to thank all of Jim’s fans for their support. Red Funnel is proud of its award-winning customer service and Jim is part of an amazing front line team who take great pride in exceeding the expectations of the travelling public.”