THE tale of one Ilminster lady’s two-year battle to wrap up her Somerset business of 16 years and relocate her life to sunny Spain has taken centre stage as part of a Channel 4 documentary series.

Ali Mallett worked across Chard, Ilminster and Crewkerne with her successful yoga business but, in 2017, decided to follow her dream and settle on Spain’s southern coast.

Ali grew up in Ilminster before moving to Crewkerne when she was 21.

The programme started with her life in Somerset, which included a tour of the Ilminster Rec and classes at Wadham School and in Chard.

A New Life in the Sun then moved to a property Ali was renting in Fines, Almeria, and flying out at the weekend to set up a business hosting yoga retreats.

But, soon after Channel 4 picked up on her dream move, everything started to go wrong for Ali.

“I was in Fines, trying to get people to come to yoga classes, and a shop owner said a camera crew from ‘A New Life in the Sun’ were coming in,” said Ali.

After this chance meeting with the team, the crew agreed to visit Ali’s rented retreat and started filming her story almost straight away.

Most of Ali’s journey has now featured in Channel 4 but you can still watch it on All4 catch up.

It quickly became apparent that the property Ali was renting had been built on agricultural land without planning permission.

She could not use it as the hub for her dream business and the 12,000 euros she had spent on refurbishment was lost.

Having wrapped up her UK company and sold her Crewkerne home, Ali had already decided she would do anything to pursue her dream job in Spanish paradise.

“It has been a hell of a journey,” Ali told the News.

“I have never cried so much in my life.”

By the end of the programme, which finished filming in September last year, Ali was finally turning things around.

She has a new base of operations in Palomares, south of Murcia, and a successful series of yoga classes keeping some money coming in.

Ali said: “I am still in survival mode, and this year I am hoping to go from survival to the type of lifestyle I really want out here.

“At the end of September I was telling them what I was planning.

“Since then, I have moved to a roof terrace, I am still teaching classes but I have started opening some retreats.”

Ali’s first location was a cycling retreat.

She added luxury retreats and bell tents and is hoping to have six locations up and running very soon.

Channel 4 started to air Ali’s incredible journey five months after she had come through the other side, so it wasn’t easy for her to see it all again.

She said: “I was watching through my fingers. It was tough but I don’t see failure.

“I have been through plans A and B and now I am on to C.

“I will go through the whole alphabet if I have to.”

The Channel 4 crew is set to return to Ali’s story later in the year.

She is hoping to have completed her transformation from the tears of last year to a total success story.