On Monday evening, Trail’s mayor-elect, Mike Martinliz, was heard on the airwaves all the way in Europe chatting about the Silver City.
Jeremy Clarkson, the host of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s hit show “Top Gear,” was in the area filming for the car-based program when his flight out of Trail Regional Airport was delayed by weather, leaving him stranded in the city for the afternoon.
The show receives 350 million viewers per week in 170 countries and when Clarkson posted on Twitter about his predicament, it lead BBC reporters to search for “Trail, B.C.,” on Google.
They found contact information for the newly elected mayor and reached out to him for an interview.
“A BBC reporter from London picked up on it from one of Clarkson’s tweets and I guess he somehow linked up to my election website,” said Martin the day after the interview.
Martin could be heard on BBC Radio chatting about what makes Trail a great place to live.
“We didn’t want (Clarkson) to make a negative comment about Trail,” he said, with a laugh. “We wanted to cut that off. He wasn’t trying to slam Trail. They were just stuck here wondering what to do on a Sunday afternoon with a few hours to kill.”
Martin even had a bit of notice that the grounded flight could lead to more when he heard from a family friend that Clarkson was in town.
“It is incredible and really shows you the power of social media,” he said. “A friend of ours is in university in Calgary and he phoned me around noon on Sunday and gave me a heads up. While I was trying to figure out where in Trail this guy might be, I got the email (from the BBC).”
Along with the on-air interview, Martin and Trail’s communications and event coordinator, Andrea Jolly, sent the BBC plenty of information and pictures of the city at its best.
The interview aired on BBC Radio at 5 p.m. on Monday night.
but Martin only has a memory of the conversation to look back on.
“We tried to get a tape of it, but they don’t do that,” he said. “We had a recorder set up, but it didn’t work. There were a few people listening, like Andrea (Jolly) and my wife, though, and they said it went really well.”