Book yourself in to watch pub owner Keith on Four in a Bed
A former Sawbridgeworth resident is to appear on Channel 4 TV’s Four in a Bed.
Keith Reynolds, 61, and his partner John Jackson, 37, moved to Devon in December 2019 after buying The Bickford Arms, a pub with 11 rooms.
Keith, a former mainframe computer engineer, lived in Sawbridgeworth for a decade in an old barn conversion at Three Mile Pond, near the town’s cemetery.
He and John, who worked at Kecksy’s Farm, have been together for four years and met while Keith was walking his great dane Denzel.
The couple decided to begin a new career as publicans after Keith found himself yearning for a new challenge. He took early retirement at 57 but grew bored of life sitting at home watching daytime TV.
He said: “That’s the problem with retirement. You enjoy it for a little while then think, ‘What am I going to do next?’”
Keith and John toyed with the idea of buying a bed and breakfast in Barbados and even went so far as to visit the Caribbean island five times to view potential businesses.
“It was a lovely dream, but because we were brought up in this climate I think we would have struggled – and the dog would certainly have struggled,” said Keith.
Eventually the pair settled on The Bickford Arms in Brandis Corner, a village near the small market town of Holsworthy. “They [the locals] have been so supportive – it’s a nice community down here but we’re in the middle of nowhere,” said Keith.
If starting a business right before a global pandemic was not challenging enough, Keith is now set to open his business’ doors to Channel 4 viewers.
In September he was filmed for Four in a Bed, in which B&B owners take turns to stay with each other and compete to be the best host.
John, who suffers from back pain, struggled during the Zoom casting interview so Keith decided to go it alone on the show.
Over five daily episodes, beginning tonight (Monday Mar 15), Keith features alongside three other sets of B&B owners, who take turns to stay with one another and pay what they consider fair for their stay. The winner is the establishment named best value for money.
“They were a nice bunch. There wasn’t a nasty one among them,” said Keith.