Well known Lancashire business woman Kerian Barnes, Operations Director of the Best Western Carlton Hotel Blackpool, is set for television stardom this week when she appears on a major smash hit Channel 5 documentary series, Bargain Lovin’ Brits in Blackpool.
Kerian, who heads up the operations at both the Carlton and Burnley's Holiday Inn Express for owners Starboard Hotels, faced the cameras together with celebrity TV presenter and interior design guru Laurence Llewellyn Bowen after this dynamic mum of two enlisted his creative help in designing bespoke illuminations for the Best Western Carlton.
When Channel 5, who were in the resort filming for the series heard of Kerian’s project with Laurence, producers leapt onto the story, working closely with Kerian and her team at the Carlton to film the epic story of the hotel’s innovative project to launch their own bespoke illuminations.
In the series, which is attracting upwards of two million viewers, Kerian (56) is shown in creative meetings with Laurence and hotel assistant general manager Andrew Lester, discussing the art deco designs Laurence created.
In a spectacular finale to the programme, Kerian is filmed helping Laurence switch on the
Carlton illuminations helped by local scouts.
“That was such an amazing night,” explained Kerian. “To have our own illuminations switch on with the official team there to help and Laurence was quite incredible and the cameras were there to capture it all.”
“It has certainly been an amazing experience working with Laurence and with the
television crew,” added Kerian who has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry. “I have had some experience with broadcasters in the past particularly when I was GM at the Holiday Inn in Burnley, but this was on a different level.
"The attention to detail by the film crew was very impressive and we worked closely with the producer over
the summer period.”
It was Kerian and her team who introduced Laurence into this popular series which takes an affectionate look at Blackpool, its people and the businesses who help give the resort its unique personality.
Laurence, who is well known for his creative flair and his love of Blackpool, worked on the top secret project with Kerian and the hotel team, to produce a set of fountain light sculptures as part of this year’s Blackpool Illuminations.
“Laurence was brilliant to work with,” says Kerian
“A real pro and yes he did give me one or two helpful tips on being in front of the cameras.
"To be honest, we got so used to the film crew being around at the hotel that we all became quite relaxed.”
The documentary series which is on air at 8pm on Channel 5 on Thursday, is receiving rave reviews for its witty and affectionate look at Blackpool. Executive producer Andrew Nicholson said his team could not thank Kerian enough for all her help and it is hoped a second series will be commissioned for next year and see the film makers return to Blackpool.
Kerian said:" It has been an absolute joy working with the film crew and Laurence. We have had many discussions with him about the design as it has been so important to get this right.
"We wanted to bring back childhood memories from years ago which truly reflect Blackpool’s uniqueness and history. The fact that we were able to gain network television coverage has made it even more amazing. ”