Local singer Derek Sandy has been made an honorary Isle of Wight Ambassador following his success on Britain’s Got Talent.
The Isle of Wight Council wanted to recognise Derek’s outstanding contribution to Island tourism after his successful audition on the popular prime-time talent show.
Derek wowed the judges with his original song, ‘Welcome to the Isle of Wight’, and earned 4 yeses — taking him through to the next stage of the competition.
During his audition, Visit Isle of Wight saw a 165% surge in page views on its website — the official tourism destination website for the Island — while unique visitors went up by 200%.
The council contacted the tourist board, as well as the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, and all agreed it was right to formally recognise Derek’s outstanding contribution to promoting the Island.
The Chamber agreed to issue him with an Isle of Wight Business Ambassador lapel pin, while Visit Isle of Wight created a marketing campaign poster featuring the singer against a backdrop of The Needles.
Local business, Oasis, also recognised the singer’s achievement with a large framed photograph of Appley beach and tower — Derek’s favourite Island location.
He was presented with the commemorative gifts at the Isle of Wight Council’s AGM last night (Wednesday).
Steven Holbrook, IW Chamber chief executive, said:
“Congratulations to Derek for his sterling work in promoting the Isle of Wight to a huge mainstream audience.
“Derek has helped to put the Island on tv screens and into social media timelines for millions of people.
“It’s great to welcome him as an honorary Business Ambassador for the Island.”
Will Myles, managing director at Visit Isle of Wight, added:
“Everything that helps brings a positive awareness of the Isle of Wight is a great help.
“Derek Sandy’s appearance on Britain’s Got Talent was a fantastic advert for the Island on prime-time Saturday night television.
“We wish him luck in future episodes of the competition.”
Speaking at the presentation, Derek said:
“When I went into Britain’s Got Talent I was just thinking about the Isle of Wight. Everyone fell in love with the song.
“There’s more to come from Derek!”