Liz and Gary Scottorn, owners of The Forge in Long Whatton, recently won Channel 4’s popular tea-time show Four in a Bed. Find out about Liz being camera shy, Gary’s ‘red card’ and what it’s like to appear on national television.
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.
Why did you apply to appear on Four in a Bed?
Gary: We didn’t actually apply. They rang us out of the blue. We didn’t apply, but the decision to do it was definitely commercially driven.
Liz: Gary dragged me on there kicking and screaming. I really didn’t want to do it at all. But Gary just thought it was good for business. His sort of motto is there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
How come you didn’t want to do it, Liz?
Liz: I just didn’t want to be on TV. I’m just not that sort of person. I don’t like being the centre of attention.
Gary: Liz is putting herself down a little bit. When she was on it, she was better than me actually! When it actually came down to doing it, she was absolutely fine.
Liz: When you’re in the moment, you just have to get on with it.
Liz, what convinced you to do it in the end?
Liz: I was adamant I wasn’t going to go on it, so Gary was looking at other people. Maybe taking his sister or his mum.
In the end I just thought, you know what, if anybody else does it, I would watch it and absolutely kick myself because there’s no way they could showcase it like I can. It’s my business.
So in the end I just thought, I’ve got to do it because it’s my business and just for the sake of a couple of weeks, we could really benefit a lot from this.
So in the end, that’s what persuaded me to do it. Purely because I knew it’d be great for the business.
Do you have any funny anecdotes from behind the scenes you’d like to share?
Gary: When you’re in bed at night being filmed, it looks like you’ve got your pyjamas on, but actually you’re fully clothed ready to jump out of bed and socialise with the others.
They don’t show you that because you’re not supposed to get on with people. Usually they film you being tucked up in bed around 10pm but we’re just thinking, “Get on with it, I want to go downstairs and have a beer.”
What you don’t see on the programme is that actually people do get along.
On the first day we got on very well with the first guy who we went to stay with and we’re all having a real good laugh with him. But behind us, one of the sound guys was laughing and shouted: “Red card! Red card! You’re not allowed to get friendly with people! Stop all that. It’s a competition!”
Are you still in touch with any of the people you were on Four in a Bed with?
Liz: With two of them, yes. I’ve actually been to stay at one of their places since.
In terms of the filming process, is there anything that surprised you?
Liz: How long everything takes. If you’re walking down the street, you probably do it six or seven times. Everything is repeat, repeat, repeat.
It takes about a day and a half to film one 20 minute episode.
Do you have any advice or top tips for being on camera?
Liz: Just listen to what they are saying otherwise you just end up doing it over and over again. It only takes one person in the group to be distracted, then they do it wrong and you’ve got to do it all over again. So just listen to the instructions.
Gary: I’ve done some stuff on live radio before and I found that really hard because you can talk yourself into a hole, which is very hard to get out of. But the great thing about filming this sort of thing is that it’s not live.
So don’t worry if you make a mistake, just keep going.
They carry on filming anyway and they’re only going to show 5% of what we film. So don’t worry about making mistakes.
Liz: You’re also not allowed to look at the camera. There’s always a man standing next to the camera and you’ve got to look at him, not actually in the camera.
What advice would you give to people who want to apply to appear on Four in a Bed?
Gary: I think you need to make sure you watch the programme plenty and pick up on what people do wrong. Not just a few episodes, because you need to watch the whole series and the payment day so that you can see where people go wrong.
Liz: Also, when we were on the show, I didn’t want to start overly criticising people and picking up on stupid little things that would annoy them. If you do that, you’ll end up getting tit for tat and they’ll just do the same to you.
My philosophy was just be nice, be honest, and be friendly. Don’t be ridiculous when you’re doing the room inspections. And if you’re nice to them, then they’ll be nice back.
Did you benefit from taking part in Four in a Bed?
Liz: We won, so it’s on our website now and it’s a great talking point. When guests come, they see the plaque and they ask when it was on and can they watch it.
Gary: Three of us finished with 100% or more on payment day. That shows that people think we’re worth what we charge.
It’s only been a couple of weeks since we were on TV, and we’ve already had quite a big uptake. We’ve had 100% increase in bookings.
We’ve also got another property in France, which we linked to the website for The Forge, and that’s had some business out of it as well.
Commercially, it’s worked very well for us. It’s met our expectations. We’re getting the extra business we thought we would and I think Liz, even though she doesn’t sound like she enjoyed it, I think looking back, she secretly quite enjoyed it.
Liz: [Laughing] No I didn’t. I enjoyed it when we weren’t being filmed, when we could just be ourselves and just be friendly with everybody, but I hated filming. It’s just not my thing. Some people love it, but it’s just not me.
So would you recommend Four in a Bed to other businesses?
Liz: We’ve had great things come out of it. You get the publicity, extra bookings and people just get to find out about you, which is always a positive.
Gary: Our family and friends loved seeing us on TV. My grandchildren keep saying “Look there’s grand-dad and grandma on the telly!” It’s really good.
About The Forge:
Owned by Liz and Gary
A Georgian Cottage built in 1779
3 recently refurbished rooms
2 of the rooms have a hot tub
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.