| Baywatch stars (from left) Carmen Electra, Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff. (Reuters)
Forget California. A cast of stunning swimsuit-clad stars will soon hit Egypt’s Red Sea coast to film a Baywatch — inspired television series which promises sun, sea, action and romance.
Producer Yousef Mansour thinks Baywatch, a US show about sexy lifeguards in California nicknamed “Babewatch” by viewers, offers the perfect formula for showing off some of the natural attractions of Egypt — a predominantly conservative, Muslim country where many women are veiled.
“I loved Baywatch and decided it was a good vehicle to promote many things in modern Egypt, to show beautiful beaches and the reefs — our underwater treasures,” Mansour said. “And we will show beautiful girls. Yes, we will have beautiful girls and we will have beautiful guys,” he said.
The series, called Action in Hurghada, will revolve around a team of lifeguards of Arab and other nationalities, who perform sea rescues, crack crimes and capture villains. Filming is due to begin in October.
“It’s an action, love, adventure drama,” said Mansour, a middle-aged Egyptian kung fu film star who will play a starring role.
Action in Hurghada has drawn support from the diving organisation PADI International, which said it had agreed in principle to offer support, including a contribution to the initial production costs and diving-training for the rescue team of 10 women and five men.
Casting for the swimsuit roles is due to begin in June.
“We are looking for good-looking people but it’s not a beauty contest. They have to be charming, they have to be a certain height and they have to have a sportive attitude,” Mansour said.
The good looks of candidates who had already come forward from Lebanon and Syria promised to make the cast of Action in Hurghada even more beautiful than that of Baywatch, which shot buxom actress Pamela Anderson to global fame, Mansour said.
“Our models are even better looking than in the US,” said Mansour, spreading a dozen photos of Syrian and Lebanese women across his desk. “On the beach they will wear swimsuits.”
Bare skin is rarely seen in seaside towns frequented by average Egyptians, where if women bathe, most of them do so fully clothed. More revealing swimwear is the norm in Egypt’s Red Sea resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh which are popular with foreign tourists.