After a transformation in front of the cameras last year, one Bridlington hotel is hoping its time in the spotlight will bring in more guests in 2018.
The Ransdale Hotel in Flamborough Road took centre stage in the first week of Steph and Dom’s One Star To Five Star in October.
Steph and Dom Parker are the posh, tipsy couple from Channel 4’s Gogglebox. Last autumn, instead of watching other shows and giving their opinions, they fronted their own programme.
Having run their own B&B in Kent, they passed on their expertise to other hotel owners around the country.
First stop was the Ransdale Hotel, with the challenge of giving it a new lease of life.
Did it work? Are the couple as funny off-screen as they are on TV? And what happened when the cameras stopped rolling?
Ransdale owner Tim Butler said: “I honestly only did it for a laugh and that’s what it was. They were a really nice couple, very genuine.
“Steph is quite a comedian and they both like a drink. They were really good fun.
“On the day the first episode went out, they phoned us up from on the beach in Tenerife to wish us good luck, which was a nice touch.”
Tim, who runs the hotel with his wife Louise and manager Lisa Beasley, had been wanting to refurbish the Ransdale for a number of years, after buying it a decade ago.
But he was busy running the hotel and the Bull and Sun at the same time until he sold the pub last year.
So Steph and Dom’s new show was a case of perfect timing and Tim has no regrets.
“I think Bridlington came out of it pretty well and they didn’t stitch us up with the editing,” he said.
“We were really glad we did it. Some of it was a little bit stage-managed - kedgeree for breakfast isn’t going to be what the families who come here want.
“But it acted as a reminder that there are things you can do when you are a smaller hotel which the larger chains can’t - like arranging days out for people.
“And it helped to move us out of the 1970s”
After the TV show the bar and restaurant was refurbishe, a seaside theme introduced to one of the bedrooms and a new ‘love room’ created.
That idea has remained, although not quite in the style which viewers saw, with the decor toned down. However, it is one of the elements customers remember from the show, which went out in five half-hour episodes.
Steph and Dom were in Bridlington for a week, although they didn’t actually stay at the Ransdale themselves.
Tim said: “The crew were here for about a week and they were long days. We started filming at about 8 in the morning and finished at 10 at night.”
So, has it had an effect on business?
“Sometimes we get people coming in and saying they saw us on TV,” Tim told the Free Press, while serving breakfast to guests from Ireland and Scotland last week.
“But the show went out in October which wasn’t a great time of year for us so we are hoping they might repeat it on one of the other channels nearer the summer.”
And despite Tim’s brush with fame, he still loves running a hotel.
“It’s a great job,” he said. “You meet all sorts of different people and talk to them for a week and then hopefully they come back a few months later.
“And most of the people come to see you because they want to have fun.”