Lights, camera, action... businesswoman Kerian set for TV stardom

A unique idea for an iconic hotel in Blackpool to have its own bespoke illuminations caught the attention of TV producers.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 11:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 1:07 pm
Kerian at the big switch on for the Carlton Hotel's own bespoke illuminations with Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and Andrew Lester, assistant general manager of the hotel and young scout from Blackpool.

And it will mean TV stardom for Burnley businesswoman Kerian Barnes, who came up with the unique idea and even managed to enlist the help of TV presenter and interior designer Laurence Llewellyn Bowen.

Kerian, who is Operations Director of the Holiday Inn Express, Burnley, will appear on the popular Channel Five documentary series Bargain Lovin' Brits in Blackpool on Thursday night.

When show producers heard about the epic story of the Best Western Carlton Hotel's innovative project to launch its own illuminations, the brainchild of Kerian, they sent a crew round to film it.

Kerian, who heads up the Holiday Inn Express for owners Starboard Hotels with general manager Steve Walmsley, was filmed in creative meetings with Laurence and the hotel's assistant general manager Andrew Lester, discussing the art deco designs Laurence created.

It was Kerian and her team who introduced Laurence into this popular series which takes an affectionate look at Blackpool, its people and the businesses who help give the resort its unique personality.

Laurence, who is well known for his creative flair and his love of Blackpool, worked on the top secret project with Kerian and the hotel team, to produce a set of fountain light sculptures as part of this year’s Blackpool Illuminations.

Kerian said: "Laurence was brilliant to work with, a real pro, and yes he did give me one or two helpful tips on being in front of the cameras.

"To be honest, we got so used to the film crew being around at the hotel that we all became quite relaxed.”

In a spectacular finale to the programme, Kerian is filmed helping Laurence switch on the Carlton illuminations helped by local scouts.

Kerian said: “That was such an amazing night.

“To have our own illuminations switch on with the official team there to help and Laurence was quite incredible and the cameras were there to capture it all.

“It has certainly been an amazing experience working with Laurence and with the television crew."

A mum of two with two grandchildren, Kerian has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry.

She is a former governor at Sir John Thursby Community College and a member of the Burnley Bondholders.

Kerian (56) added: “I have had some experience with broadcasters in the past particularly when I was general manager at the Holiday Inn in Burnley, but this was on a different level.

"The attention to detail by the film crew was very impressive and we worked closely with the producer over the summer period.”

The show, which airs at 8pm, has up to two million viewers and is winning rave reviews for its witty and affectionate look at Blackpool.

Executive producer Andrew.Nicholson said his team could not thank Kerian enough for all her help and it ishoped a second series will be commissioned for next year and see the film makers return to the popular holiday resort.