Can Tom save the boozer?
Tom Kerridge is on a personal crusade to save the British pub in a new BBC2 show.
The 46-year-old celebrity chef will head into pubs under threat of closure in the four-part series and work with both staff and local people in a bid to save them.
But, with nearly 1,000 pubs closing across the country last year, Tom knows he’s facing a huge challenge.
Talking about Tom’s Pub Rescue, he said: “When a community loses its pub, it loses its soul. Pubs are a vital part of our history and culture, and communities with a decent pub at their heart are stronger for it because people from all walks of life mix and socialise there.
“While many local services and shops are closing down, there are clear opportunities for reinventing what a pub can be. I want to work with locals to give them what they most want and need and create a place where they all feel welcome.
“That’s the foundation for building a pub that will survive. I need to prove that 21st century pubs can serve their communities and thrive.”
Pubs are closing down at an alarming rate – an estimated 13,000 closed between 2001 and 2018 – for all sorts of reasons, including drinkers buying cheap booze from supermarkets and the often high rents.
So, viewers of Tom’s Pub Rescue will be wondering if Tom can really do something to help halt this huge decline?
Talking about the show, Controller of BBC2, Patrick Holland, said: “Tom has set himself a big challenge in his fight to save Britain’s pubs, but with his extensive knowledge of the industry and his fresh ideas, Tom has the foundations to inspire and restore each local back to its previous success.
“With Britain’s pubs on the decline, it has never been more important to shine a light on one of our most treasured British traditions.”
The new Tom Kerridge show will air on BBC2 next year. Tom’s Pub Rescue is only a working title, so it might change.
Main picture: Getty Images