Spanish state television should be congratulating themselves on the success of their equivalent of Pop Idol. The concert on Tuesday night at Son Moix in Palma was a sell out. The finalists of the TV show came together for the round Spain tour and their response from the public was quite incredible, drawing larger crowds than the Rolling Stones or Sting. The most pleasing part of this whole TV saga is that all the finalists have given a clear message to their army of teenage fans: through hard work and dedication you can reach the top and they have also hit out against drugs and booze. Now this clean living message, we have all heard before, but the interesting and positive thing about “Operación Triunfo” is that their message is getting across and their fans are in the age group who probably need the most guidance. Unlike in Britain where the uglier sides of the Pop industry have been allowed to creep into the programme, in Spain it has been stage managed to highlight the better sides. Even though many of the finalists are probably made for life, the fact they have signed big record contracts and are earning six figure sums has not been allowed to cloud the programme. In fact, you could say, that for a British audience, it wouldn't make good TV, or so we are led to believe. But the Spanish loved it, and Operación Triunfo has done plenty to get the message across. It has also shown TV bosses that “bad news doesn't always sell a programme.” Perhaps TV stations in other European countries should take note, a clean-living pop idol could probably solve many of the problems which dog teenagers these days.

Jason Moore

Chain smoking a turn off

Dear Editor,
My husband and I have just returned from Majorca after a few weeks stay there, during which I was hoping to recover from the effects of chest infections due to our British winter weather, I also suffer from severe asthma. We stayed in a 4* hotel with at least 3 lounges, all 3 were used by smokers, I therefore found it impossible to use any of these rooms as smoke is one of the triggers for my asthma. I informed the manager of my condition his response was that it was no concern of his.

My reason for writing to you is this, during our stay, as you may be aware, it rained most of that period, this sadly left us with nowhere to shelter. I also wish to add that all staff, be it in shops, serving food and drink in hotels, were chain smoking, even those preparing food, as well as bus drivers and taxi drivers. I really think this is a dreadful state of affairs when one cannot get away from this continual smoking. We cut short our stay as I was risking my life by staying any longer.

Therefore, I think there should be a warning to visitors thinking of coming to Majorca of their smoking habits, especially asthmatics.
Regards

Mrs Clark. (by e-mail)

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