What’s it really like to be a contestant on Four In a Bed?

There’s a lot of reality TV out there, but few are as brilliantly British as Four in a Bed.

Essentially, they are four groups of B&B owners who take turns staying with one another. They pay a reasonable price for their room and give their feedback.

It’s been made for some of the best television series on the box since it first aired in 2010, with viewers absolutely living for the little drama of it all.

An episode quickly turns into two, turns into three, and before you know it, after you’ve swallowed a whole series, you’re covered in fresh dust under the covers (absolute bliss, we must say).

It’s a great TV, but what is it really like to be on the show?

We spoke to Julie and Neale of Copperfields Vegetarian Guest House, who won the show a few years ago, about their experiences with the successful Channel 4 program.

The show comes to you – sometimes you don’t even have to apply

Four in one bed

Julie and Neale reveal all about their time on the program (Image: Channel 4)

The program can be a pretty good advertisement for B & B’s across the country, but while owners can apply to participate (here actually), the program often reaches out to potential guests.

“I think they must have a lot of researchers” [because] they just send emails to various bed and breakfasts and organizations, ”said Neale.

“We must have had about half a dozen emails from them in the first three years asking if we wanted to continue. We have decided that it is best to wait until we know what we are doing before moving on. “

Are you thinking of moving on? It helps when you have a USP

Four in one bed

The couple won the series – and they have a few tips for new candidates (Image: Kanal 4)

It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, but Julie and Neale believe that a unique theme can make a big impression on viewers.

“I think because we’re a vegetarian B&A that helped,” said Julie. “They love controversy and people hate vegetables.”

It turns out that the most important part of the whole show happens right at the beginning

Four in one bed

The series has become a British institution (Image: Channel 4)

Before the show starts, a producer is sent to do a very long interview with the stars of the episode – and the answers to their questions have a big impact on the program, so answer wisely.

“They sent us a short questionnaire that we filled out,” said Neale, revealing what happened after they accepted the invitation. “Then someone comes over to film an interview with you. That basically took about four hours. We had to completely rearrange one of our rooms and move because it wasn’t very camera friendly.

He added, “They just asked us a lot of questions that we later realized the importance of because the questions she asked had a huge impact on who they put you with on the show.”

The producers are always looking for ways to add drama

The preliminary talk shapes who the show brings the candidates together – and Neale and Julie wish they had known that back then.

Julie added, “They asked us things like,” What do you hate the most when you go to another bed and breakfast? “If you said,” I hate dogs, “they’re exposing you to someone who Had dogs.

“We didn’t know then, we were just very honest and direct. So they played us off with a Scottish couple who were very meat-oriented. ‘

Neale continued, “You all had notes of what others had said and they were definitely trying to get you to say things that were very controversial.”

Enter a game plan – even if this game plan should not have a game plan

Copperfields Guesthouse-6952

The other guests were impressed with the Copperfields Guest House (Image: Copperfields Guest House)

Do you want to make a name for yourself on reality TV? Four In a Bed is not the place for this, say Neale and Julie.

“We had a certain strategy. We decided not to be controversial, but to be as nice as possible and really present our Bed & Breakfast, ”said Neale.

Julie explained her plan: “We tried to be as uncontroversial as possible, which may be a little lame, but we thought we basically wanted to advertise the bed and breakfast on TV.

“Even if you win, but you win really ugly and undercut everyone, if you come out victorious, people won’t want to stay with you anyway.”

The whole process is very tiring – and it takes forever

Four in one bed

Four in a Bed has attracted all sorts of characters over the years (Image: Channel 4)

“I didn’t expect it to be so extremely exhausting. The process takes two weeks, ”said Neale and discussed the logistics of the shooting himself.

“If you are filming and, for example, you enter a building, you have to go inside 10 times. And then they film you again, coming in from the inside. ‘

“It all took five times as long as we expected. We must have had breakfast around 10 a.m. We were out doing things and having dinner in the evenings. ‘

Even if you finally sit down to eat, there is no guarantee that you will get your food

“The first meal they filmed they had us all together. That was around 10:30 pm, ”said Neale.

“I was literally mad at this food because I was starving and the waitress came and put the food in front of me and” [the director] said, “Okay, pick this up and put it back down” and I said, “No!”

Just give the man his food, my god …

What actually happens before a day of shooting?

Four in one bed

The show has been running on our screens since 2010 (Image: Channel 4)

The first thing you do is drive to a nearby hotel where you will be filming the next day, ”said Neale. “You are not told the name or the location of the place where you will live. They keep this secret all the time.

“Then they come in the morning and pick you up, pick up a microphone and put a camera in the car. Then all you have to do is follow them and drive around. ‘

“With that, they have all of the recordings of your conversations, but they’ll call you through the little walkie-talkie that you have in the car before you get to the venue.”

The money in the envelopes? This is the participants’ real money

“We had to put our own money in the envelopes when we actually paid for the value of the room,” said Julie.

It’s not all bad, however, as they will eventually get the money back.

“But then you pay back the money from them. I think they said there is some kind of contract that you can make your own money on. But then they’ll pay you back when you pay the hotel. ‘

You need thick skin to endure criticism

Feedback from the other B&B owners can be tough to take.

“Some people take criticism a lot better than others,” said Neale. “And if it’s constructive criticism and people take it well, I think that really gets through on the show.”

However, some of the feedback at the time “really, really annoyed them” – so they advise people not to continue if they can’t handle it.

Also, expect a lot of negativity on social media

Four in one bed

Are you thinking about going on the series? Take Neale and Julie’s advice (Image: Channel 4)

Unfortunately, after the episode aired on the internet, Neale and Julie saw horrific comments and warned people to be aware of the possible setback on social media before participating.

“We got some nasty comments from people. Really, really bad, ”said Julie. ‘People really get pretty angry about it [our veggie policy]. ‘

What advice do you have for people considering going to Four in a Bed?

If the couple have wise words it is to make sure the owners don’t get on the show too early in their B&B careers.

“First, clean up your house and make sure you know what you’re doing,” Neale said. “Make sure your business is doing the way you want it to be and that you are happy with the way it works.”

It is also very important to consider how you are also perceived on the screen.

Julie added, “Just to pay a little attention to how you come across. Because even if you win it, if you’re an idiot, or a bit of a bully, or a gamer or something, people still won’t come and stay with you. ‘

Four in a Bed can be seen on All4.

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