Published: 19:40, 03 November 2018
| Updated: 08:37, 05 November 2018
Kent couple Sarah Lewry and Gareth Segrove (corr) are celebrating after a right royal performance on Channel 4's TV show Four In A Bed.
The pair, who run the Royal Hotel in Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, were pitched against three other bed and breakfast establishments across the country to see which was the best value for money.
Although the Islanders didn't win, they finished a close second and say the phone hasn't stopped ringing.
All of the other contestants rated them 10 out of 10 for hospitality and said they would visit the seaside pub again.
It was ironic because during the show, which was stripped across five nights last week at 5pm, Gareth insisted he knew nothing about running a hotel.
But his disarming honesty paid off and won fans on social media.
The reluctant TV star said: "Even now, I don't know why we did it. We obviously didn't think it through. But we wanted to put Sheppey on the map."
When his rivals turned up on the Island, he and Sarah took them on a cruise to see the wreck of the Second World War bomb ship Richard Montgomery which is still packed with explosives.
Gareth, 40, who was born on Sheppey and is a self-employed car inspector in Sheerness Docks when not changing beer barrels in the pub's cellar, said: "The others couldn't believe there were live bombs still on board."
He added: "I'd always wanted to visit the wreck but this was my first opportunity. It made a great day out."
The party then moved to the Aviator pub at Queenborough for dinner.
Sarah and Gareth got together when they were both working for car importers Gefco two years ago. Gareth said: "I was being stalked and Sarah pretended to be my girlfriend. But then we just hit it off."
He added: "We really enjoyed making the TV series. It was in June during the heatwave and took ages.
"I didn't realise it was all about the money you paid the others until then end. We lost by £11."
First prize went to married couple Charlie and Sam Cameron at The Family Tree, Derbyshire, mainly because Gareth and Sarah insisted on paying them £25 more than the £95 asking price.
But Gareth said: "I always find honesty is the best policy. And it couldn't have gone to a nicer couple. They deserved to win."
Clumber Park Hotel in Nottinghamshire run by Rajesh Saraf and colleague Yuanee Tampoe came third. Adhurst Yurts in Hampshire run by Alison Lubbock came last.
Gareth said: "We still keep in touch with Raj. He's even offered us a job."
Sarah said: "The only person we didn't really get on with was Julia. She said her yurts were eco-friendly but she imported carpets from across the world. Her carbon footprint must have been huge!"
Royal Hotel host Gareth Segrove admitted he knew nothing about hospitality in the TV programme Four In A Bed but his witty one-liners won him many fans.
When Rajesh Sarash told viewers “I believe all guests should be treated as gods,” Gareth piped up: "I have a similar philosophy where Gareth is god and guests come second.”
He added: "If people don't like the hotel they can jog on."
And on a trip to see the wreck he warned his rivals: "It could go boom at any minute."
Partner Sarah Lewry was just as fiery.
When Rajesh complained there was no iron or ironing board in his room, she quipped: "They'd only be stolen"
And when Alison Lubbock said her fried egg had not been cooked in butter she replied: "I never cook in butter. It's too fatty."
Sarah admitted: “When you run a hotel there are a lot of comedy moments. It’s a bit like Fawlty Towers.”
She added: "The feedback from the programme has been huge. The phone hasn't stopped ringing with bookings and messages of support."
The couple, who took over running the 17-room £69-a-night Royal in July, 2017, had one more surprise up their sleeve.
They are getting married in three weeks' time with an army truck, red London Routemaster bus and two ice-cream vans.
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