Catherine and Jacques Sasson


Many of the over three million people who have been to see the Pirates Adventure dinner show in Magalluf live here. And tomorrow night, lovers of the show will be treated to a one-off look behind the scenes on prime-time Spanish TV.

Founded by the late great Jacques Sasson over 30 years ago in Benidorm, the Pirates Adventure show and its various spinoffs have become some of the most popular attractions in Majorca, attracting millions of people Last year, the current owner and CEO, Catherine Sasson, was approached by top Spanish TV channel La Sexta to be featured in their version of Undercover Boss - El Jefe Infiltrado.

"The programme approached us over a year ago. They had done some filming in Majorca but wanted something more visual, musical and exciting. Initially I said no, but they came back and after some persuasion from my colleagues I agreed to do it," Catherine told the Bulletin yesterday.

"It was all very hush hush. All of the staff were told they would have the opportunity to be in a TV programme and that the winner would get a different job at Pirates, a promotion if you like, and nearly everyone signed up. Over the past year they were all interviewed. This was how the programme’s directors managed to decide which jobs I would be doing undercover and unknown to the rest of my staff.

"So, I was given the job of cleaner, waitress, an artist in the show and maintenance woman - and of course a disguise. That was/is a shocker, well everyone will see tomorrow night. Giving it away would spoil it, but anyone who knows me will see that they could not have come up with a worse look for me."

In the programme we will see the high-level executive leave the comfort of her office and secretly take these low-level jobs within the companies to find out how things really work and what their employees truly think of them.

Catherine spent a week undercover. Having completed the task, she said yesterday that it was a fantastic experience and a learning curve. In a way, it is the beginning of a new chapter in her life which began when she was very young. "It’s a new media outlet for us."

The enchantment began when Catherine was a little girl. Her father, Jacques, would tell her his own bedtime story. This was a tale of historic battles over rumours of hidden treasures. The story features Sir Henry Morgan who had fought and defeated the evil pirate Jacques Lafitte, leaving his galleon shipwrecked in the Caribbean. However, feeling vulnerable to a revenge attack, Morgan enlisted the help of Sir Francis Drake, Blackbeard, Barbarossa and Captain Scarlet to help him defend the treasure and crush Lafitte once and for all.

From this he created a show to entertain guests at his Benidorm hotel in the evenings, which in turn grew bigger and better. Today, Pirates has a purpose-built theatre in Magalluf and a cast of world champion artists. Pirates Adventure Dinner show is a favourite for families visiting the holiday resorts across the island.

And now it is part of the Globo Balear Entertainment Group, the parent company of Pirates Adventure Dinner show, Pirates Reloaded 18+, Radio One Mallorca and Minorca and a very special new evening entertainment show this year.

"It was a very interesting experience. I’d obviously waited tables for my dad many years ago, but I am not accustomed to wearing different coloured finger nails every day etc., and I had to dress myself every morning. It was a nightmare and we were working ten hour days all week.

"But I learnt a lot of things about how the whole show comes together. I saw things I had never seen before, heard stories from staff which I had never known. Like I said it was a real learning curve and despite being somewhat apprehensive at first it was a very positive experience for me and all of us I think.

"We’re a tight ship, we try to be professional as possible and I think we all took something away from taking part in the programme. Moreover, I think it is a great tribute to my father. He would have loved it, so I couldn’t really say no, with him and all he achieved and created in mind."

So, don’t forget, El Jefe Infiltrado featuring Pirates Adventure airs on Thursday 30 March on Spanish channel La Sexta at 10.30pm.