COSYING up to three other couples in front of a camera and thousands of prying eyes is not for everyone.

But for the owners of a popular bed and breakfast it has resulted in a flood of intrigued people desperate to get in on the action.

The Bell Inn, located in Thorpe-le-Soken, featured in the most recent series of the long-running Channel 4 programme Four in a Bed.

The show sees a quartet of bed and breakfast owners take turns in staying at each other’s establishments, before they rate certain aspects of their experience.

Towards the end of each episode the guests pay only what they deem to be an acceptable amount for their stay before an overall winner is eventually crowned.

In last Wednesday’s episode, now former manager Ian Hawthorne and assistant and fiancée Karen Hunt welcomed the eagle-eyed visitors to The Bell Inn bistro.

Gazette: former manager Ian Hawthorne and assistant and fiancé Karen Huntformer manager Ian Hawthorne and assistant and fiancé Karen Hunt

During the show, the pair admitted to having only joined the small restaurant a couple of months prior to filming as they worked to accommodate their guests.

They also took them for a trip to Walton Pier where they spent the afternoon fishing.

Towards the end of the episode it was revealed all of the guests would stay at the establishment again.

Ian, however, did take issue with some of the lower scores the couple received, which he vowed to question his fellow competitors on.

Since the filming wrapped last summer, Ian and Karen have moved on, and the establishment is now managed by Robbie Nichol.

Glen Harms, who owns the Bell Inn alongside his wife Sally, said: “We were approached the previous year but turned it down as we had just renovated and reopened, so we decided to concentrate on standards and quality.

“The production company then called up again and asked about us doing the show, it really was as simple as that.

“Ian and Karen, who were the then managers, then had to be interviewed and go through a selection process.

“The rest is history.”

Gazette: Owners Sally and Glen HarmsOwners Sally and Glen Harms

The series was shot in between last year’s two coronavirus lockdowns, which have impacted Glen and Sally’s business.

But thanks to Four in a Bed’s national exposure the couple are now preparing for a wave of custom once the restrictions are lifted.

Glen added: “It was a really great experience, the films crew was great and not intrusive.

“The website has since gone mad with bookings and inquiries, which is remarkable considering we are still in lockdown.

“We’re now looking to take the standards even higher.

“We have a fantastic following in the community and once lockdown is over I’m confident we can really make the Bell Inn the place to go.”

The final episode of the series aired on Friday, in which the Bell Inn was crowned the joint winner.

To watch the episode visit