TV limelight gives hoteliers lift-off

Simon Dooley, James Reay and Karen Carey from The Winterbourne hotel celebrate winning Channel 4's Four in a Bed.

Simon Dooley, James Reay and Karen Carey from The Winterbourne hotel celebrate winning Channel 4's Four in a Bed.

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WINNING a national television show has secured the future of a Blackpool bed and breakfast.

That’s according to James Reay, owner of the Winterbourne Hotel on Clarendon Road, who recently appeared on Channel 4’s Four in a Bed with his partner Simon Dooley.

The couple visited three hotels around the country, and ended two weeks of filming by being crowned best value for money.

Although the programme’s winnings only offer a framed certificate, James said the publicity boost it had given the hotel, also co-run by Karen Carey, was priceless.

The 45-year-old said: “This programme has secured our future for at least this year, and maybe next year too.

“It’s a massive boost to us, as we’re now at the point where that light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer.

“People have been getting in touch, thanking us for the positive publicity for Blackpool.”

During filming, which took place at the end of September, James and Simon, 36, visited the Wizard’s Thatch in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, Northrise Lodge in Hastings and the Salutation in Sandwich, Kent.

While they didn’t get on with one couple, James and Simon say it was an amazing experience which has secured new friendships.

James added: “I think the whole thing came across really well.

“I’m surprised we won. We didn’t go in it to win, and fully expected the Salutation to win.”

Although it was a particularly tough experience for James – who was coping with the news that his father, Malcolm, was terminally ill – he puts their success down to his father.

James said it was his dad, who died in October, who forced the couple to stay on the show, and therefore their winning was all down to him.

“It’s thanks to my dad we have got this far,” he added.

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