Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram. Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan's photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patron page to find out more.


  1. Karen S
    February 11, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

    Still got access to all the rubbish where we are! Not one channel lost. Yet!
    Does that mean I’ll have to start watching it………
    There is always Spanish TV to explore…… :D

  2. Brian McLean
    February 11, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    NEVER watched British TV here nor have I ever wanted to, except for those shows broadcast (in dual) on Spanish TV. I have ever felt the need to keep that umbilical cord. I also don’t classify myself as an ex-pat. From day one I came to live in Catalunya and maybe this is the difference between “living here” and an ex-pat skating on the surface. Not that I watch much TV in general and must admit to using the original version option offered by 90% of channels here when airing foreign shows, films and series.

  3. Karen Young
    February 11, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

    Hmm…you old cynic! Actually we’re not overly bothered about losing channels and if there’s anything we really want to see we can watch it online anyway. I stopped watching soaps when I moved here 6 years ago, and although I could watch them if I want, I don’t bother because we always seem to have more interesting things to do. However, you need to remember that there are quite a lot of fairly elderly people here who just love their soaps, so I’m not too surprised if some of them are a bit distraught at losing them! They are not the most active of people and those TV programmes are important to them. Look at it the other way round – if there were elderly Spanish people living in the UK would you be as harsh with them wanting to watch Spanish TV programmes?! As for the rest of the “ah-lah-ow dawleen!” brigade…..they have such little lives anyway and maybe aren’t very literate!

  4. Phil Burch
    February 11, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

    So even with a 3m dish you can’t watch coronation street any more — enough to make you move back to the UK …

  5. Carol Byrne
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

    Love Judge Judy. Hope Alan never stands before her…. ;) ouch.

  6. Claire Fuelling Wilkings
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    It’s amazing how many people who didn’t watch UK TV seem to have an opinion on it. I for one will miss it and those who want to judge me for that are wasting their energy. I don’t drink but if alcohol was suddenly outlawed I certainly wouldn’t go round being very smug saying well I don’t see what the problem is.
    By the way I checked with the TV License people some time ago – it is not illegal for us to watch Uk TV, however it may be contravention of their broadcasting licence to broadcast to Spain.

  7. Alan Gandy
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

    Sorry, no, no sympathy. Legalities aside. It’s a simple commercial fact that has been coming for a long time. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed having the choice, but hey, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get on with it, you won’t hear me whining about in on a terrace any time soon.

  8. Alan Gandy
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    Moved to a different satellite Phil, with a much smaller footprint over the UK (

  9. Alan Gandy
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    It would end up with Burt throwing me out ;)

  10. Alan Gandy
    February 11, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    Are you talking about me Claire? Nowhere did I say I don’t (or should I say didn’t) watch terrestrial British TV (though I did point out I don’t watch soaps or trash). There are aspects I’ll miss. The point is – it really isn’t the end of the world!

  11. M Andrews
    February 11, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    How patronising. Why is Alan Gandy the arbiter of good taste? Why does he assume that most ex-pats watch nothing but soaps and what he deems to be trash? He overlooks the fact that there are a lot of single people in Spain and their TV is a good companion on these cold winter evenings.

  12. Alan Gandy
    February 11, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

    Read between the lines and you might find a smattering of humour in there… Still, I stand by my point. Perhaps I may not be the arbiter of good taste. I certainly do not purport to be such. Though I will not apologise my high base standard and reserve the right to say whatever I feel. ;)

  13. Brian McLean
    February 11, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

    Anybody thinking of watching Spanish TV and not in Catalunya should be very wary. There is a LOT of crap on. Two things that ARE VERY recommendable on La Sexta are: El Intermedio (Government bashing satire) and Salvados (very well researched interviews and reports on modern-day Spain). Apart from that the two main private groups (Tele-5 and Antena 3 are the flagships) are in a very nasty battle for the lead and, as a consequence, are showing a large number of headline films and series most nights at about 10 pm but also throughout the day. Here is a link to the programme of channels which, for the most part, are free-to-air and should be available to most of Spain. The vast majority are broadcast in dual which means you can watch them in English (American) in most cases. Hope this helps.

  14. zone8zpsBrian
    February 13, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    Simple. Just connect a laptop or netbook and use (they have HDi app’s for both Android and Windows systems) for hundreds of TV channels from around the World, including all BBC and ITV channels – and the channels that disappeared from the satellite system like Channel 5, 5 USA and so forth. Better still, invest less than €70 for a good Android box (Quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM and a 1.6Ghz CPU speed), with WiFi keyboard that has mouse touchpad and remote controls for TV – gives excellent high quality via internet – so fine for anyone with WiFi at home of around (min) 2MB or higher speed for downloads. Or, of course, get a life outdoors! :-)

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