A Berwick bed-and-breakfast owner says she has received so much hate mail and abuse after her appearance on prime-time TV that she had to call the police.
Lizzie Middlemiss, who runs No.1 Sallyport on Bridge Street, claimed the episode of Three in a Bed filmed at the end of August last year and screened last week was edited to make her look bad.
The programme, made by Studio Lambert for Channel 4, puts three B&B businesses under the spotlight with each being visited in turn by the other contestants who then make a critique.
In the episode, Lizzie was up against Richard Findlay and his partner Kath Hayler, who run the Old Bath Arms in Frome, Somerset, and Sarah Bryant, who owns the Babbling Brook in Shurton, also in Somerset.
Despite her confidence that she would win, Lizzie finished third and last. “I was convinced mine was going to win, but the other contestants absolutely crucified me with no justification other than wanting to win themselves,” said Lizzie, 53, whose premises was once voted best B&B in England by The Sunday Times.
“We’ve had to get the police involved due to the amount of abuse we’ve had since it has been on air. We’ve had so much email filth it is unbelievable.”
Lizzie says she has stopped running No.1 Sallyport purely as a B&B. “We do professional long lets now,” she said. “There have been lots of bad reviews on Trip Advisor, but they are clearly made up because I haven’t run it as a B&B for a long time.”
Lizzie, who also runs Deyn’s Deli on Castlegate, says she did not watch the show last week, but her performance has been the talk of the town.
“My sons thought it was hilarious and said I was really funny. But in my deli others have said they are really disappointed with me and that I’ve let the town down. The criticism is way over the top. I shouldn’t have to put up with hate mail.”
Lizzie is furious with the producers and editors of the show and believes she has been badly treated.
“I went into it with the best of intentions but have come out feeling humiliated. I had no intention of taking it seriously. The truth is that I hate Three in a Bed. I wanted to do a spoof. But that is not how it has turned out.”
“As far as the producers are concerned, it is simply entertainment. It is manipulation.
“They are only interested in the number of viewers they get. They are not interest in the people who appear on the show... and we don’t get a penny.”
“They edit it to suit them and make people look bad. It is sensationalism and they do it to make people ridiculous. They they’ve stitched me up and edited it to make me look like the baddy.”
A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “The programme is both balanced and fair. Programme makers take duty of care to all contributors very seriously; all are briefed on how to manage any reaction from the public and all contributors receive the offer of follow up support after filming and after transmission.”
Berwick historian Jim Herbert, who accompanied Lizzie on the show, added: “Making Three in a bed was a really interesting experience.”
Lizzie insists the experience has not put her off making another TV appearance. She hopes to make an appearance on The Great Bake Off to demonstrate her patisserie skills.