We caught up with Four in a Bed winner, Lez Cope Newman, who owns Holywell House with Derek Hunter. Lez explains he is no stranger to being on camera and shares what he liked most about competing.
NOTE: The opinions expressed by the programme participant in this interview do not reflect the views and opinions of the Four in a Bed production team, Studio Lambert, or any other party involved. These opinions belong solely to the interviewee and are for entertainment purposes only.
Did you find it quite hard being on camera all the time?
Lez: I work in that world so not for me, but it was difficult for Derek. I work in Tv and film as an actor on independent films and things like that.
It was definitely an experience. My main worry was for Derek because it’s not his world. Derek’s a Musical Director so he’s used to being in an orchestra pit with an orchestra around him or teaching music.
So although we do have the guest house in common and a love for theatre, we are operating in different worlds. So I worried about trying to drag him into my world.
Did you enjoy creating the videos for the application process?
Lez: Yes, we did. That was quite a laugh. There’s a lot of outtakes and I think they would have been better actually.
Derek wasn’t used to it so he got dry teeth every time he wanted to say something. His lips got stuck on top of his teeth, so there were lots of laughs trying to put the trailer together.
What surprised you most about the Four in a Bed process?
Lez: How many times you have to do something. Everything was done three or four times, like putting the breakfast down, taking it back and putting it down again.
What was your favourite part?
Lez: My favourite part was the arrivals. I just loved the arrivals and the anticipation of what you’re going into.
Like when you’re in the car, travelling, and all of a sudden the car in front indicates for you to turn left and then you go into something amazing.
And your least favourite part?
Lez: I think worrying about Derek because he’s not used to this way of working.
But everyone is saying Derek really shines through on the programme.
I’ve not actually seen the programme, but everybody is saying Derek really shone.
How come you didn’t watch it?
Lez: Well, I’ve never seen any work I’ve ever done in the 40 years I’ve been working in this industry.
It’s just my choice. It’s not because of the way I look or the way I sound. I’m just hypercritical of the work I do, so if they’re happy with it, then I’m happy and I leave it alone.
I’m just hypercritical of myself. Not of everybody else.
How did people react to Holywell House?
Lez: The reactions have been absolutely lovely. We’re well known in our town anyway, but we’ve had some amazing people that we don’t know come up to us and tell us they watched it.
They always say things like we were fabulous, that our home is beautiful and that the right people won. I’ve signed two copies of our local newspaper and we’ve had umpteen photographs taken.
It’s been amazing.
And we’ve had comments from all over the world. As you know, in the hospitality industry, you meet people from all four corners of the world. So Derek, bless him, has been so kind to those who can’t get the programme abroad. He had discs made so that we could send them a copy of the programme. So there’s lots of happy people all over the world that Derek sent discs to so that they can watch the show.
A friend also showed us how to operate Twitter and she showed us how to look at what was being said online as it was being aired. The comments were astounding, absolutely lovely and it was nice to see that.
Has your business benefited from appearing on Four in a Bed?
Lez: Massively. Within a couple of weeks of it being aired, guests have signed our visitors book saying that’s why they came and how much they enjoyed it.
Also, the Great Central Steam Railway is at the back of our house. We did part of the show on that and Studio Lambert hired a train with a beautiful veranda carriage at the end of the train. So we had high tea on the carriage while we travelled up and down the line. And because of that, the railway is delighted because of all the bookings they received.
It’s nice to see other businesses benefitting from the show, other than just the businesses…
Lez: Well that’s what I always wanted. I wanted my town to be shown in a good light. They filmed the town and showed it off brilliantly, apparently. The town is very happy.
So what’s come out of this programme has been absolutely amazing. And I thank the Four in a Bed team dearly for what they’ve done, and the care they gave us was second to none.
Do you have any top tips or advice for people who might want to go on Four in a Bed in the future?
Lez: Yes. Go for it if you think your business will stand up to scrutiny. Remember that you are exposing yourself not just to the other contestants, but the outside world as well, where everybody has got some criticism or comments.
We were very lucky I feel, but I’ve seen what’s been said about other businesses, so be careful.
If you agree, think about it long and hard, about the exposure that it will give you. But for us, it’s been perfect to show that we’ve come back after COVID and that we’re still trading
Do you have any advice for the filming process?
Lez: If you’re camera shy, don’t look at it. They’ll ask you not to look at the camera anyway, so you’ll soon forget that it’s actually there. It’s only when something goes off and they say they need to move the cameras that you notice them, but you soon forget they are there to be honest.
The most difficult thing we found was filming the greeting. Saying “Good Morning, Welcome to Holywell House” whilst you are being filmed. I think it took about four or five takes on that for each contestant.
But just ignore the camera and try to be yourself as much as you can. There’s no point in trying to be an actor. Be yourself and be genuine.
About Holywell House:
Owned by Lez Cope Newman and Derek Hunter
Located in Loughborough, Leicestershire
Multi-Award winning guest house
Close to Bradgate Park, Beaumanor Hall, Prestwold Hall and Donington Race Track
Four in a Bed info:
What is it?
A popular tea-time show aired on Channel 4, Four in a Bed is a week-long competition taking place over five daily episodes.
Owners of four boutique hotels, B&Bs, holiday lets or glamping sites, try to convince their competitors that their business offers the best value for money.
Each week is a different competition. In the first four episodes of each week, the owners take it in turns to host their opponents. In the final episode of the week, everyone reveals how much they are prepared to pay for the visits to each of the businesses.
It’s a consistently successful show on Channel 4 and first began in 2010.
How do I take part in Four in a Bed?
Interested in applying to appear on Four in a Bed? Want to showcase your business on TV to the nation?
Apply to appear on the show!
Head to the Studio Lambert website and head to the ‘Take Part’ section.
To apply for a future series of the show, email your full name and name of your hospitality business to:
You can also check out their Instagram, where the team often share casting updates: @fourinabed
Want to learn more?
For our April 2022 magazine, we put together a feature with multiple Four in a Bed participants.
Read ‘Four in a Bed… Is it worth it?’ online today!
Back in April 2021, Luxury BnB Magazine’s Editor, Juliet Horner, interviewed the Executive Producer of Channel 4’s Four in a Bed, Mark James.
Mark gave Juliet a glimpse behind the scenes so that you, our readers, can discover the inner workings of the popular tv series.
Find out what the producers look for when reviewing applications submitted by business owners just like you!
Read online for free or check out the April 2020 magazine.
You can also check out the interview with Four in a Bed winners, Gables Pod Camping in our April 2020 magazine, to find out what it’s like to appear on the show.