Interview with John Ford of Tudor World Stratford about their T.V debut with Ruth Watson on Channel 4 on the 19th December.

Written by on November 25, 2013

Tudor World in Stratford upon Avon are to appear in a new series called Ruth Watson Means Business! The show looks at the impact of online reviews on individual businesses. Tudor World was chosen as one of 20 businesses.

Tudor World is an independent visitor attraction set in an historic house in beautiful Stratford upon Avon. The owners, Janet and John Ford, took over the business 6 years ago and have renovated the museum; added a gift shop; cleared the entry to reveal the beautiful cobbled courtyard; added an outdoor covered rustic theatre and developed a thriving schools programme. They also have various tours from the museum including a haunted pub tour with dashing Jack; a ghost tour of the museum at night by lantern lit; a tour with William Shakespeare of his beloved town on Saturdays and school holidays; Shakespeare’s Supper and overnight paranormal events. All managed by a very small team.

Ruth Watson had been a food editor for many years for such publications as the Daily Mail Weekend but really came to prominence when she became the star of the Channel 5 television series The Hotel Inspector. In each episode of this observational documentary series, Watson would visit a struggling British hotel and try to turn their fortunes by giving advice and suggestions to the owner. Watson’s direct style appealed to viewers and The Hotel Inspector has became one of Channel 5’s most popular series of the 2000s and has also presented such shows as the Country House Rescue.

In this new series Ruth looks at businesses who have mainly good reviews and the occasional negative review and examines how this effects them, both personally and financially, as well as offering business advice. Ruth Watson herself is a business owner and has suffered first hand from unfair negative reviews at her hotel and restaurant.

Many different types of businesses were used during filming and Tudor World was chosen due to the uniqueness of the business. During filming, Janet and John Ford were taken to a secret location to see if they could gain further inspiration. The programme ends when some of the (genuine) negative reviewers (as any business knows they receive a number of fake negative reviews by rivals) and the owners are put together.

Janet and John said “The viewers get to see behind the scenes as well as glimpse different elements of the business in action. We also hope it shows how much hard work and passion it takes for small business owners to survive and their commitment to improving and developing their business. There is still a public perception that small business owners have lots of funds to play with or are given grants, but you only have to look at so many empty shops to see that the opposite is true. We trust the programme will dispel many of these misconceptions and educate online reviewers that there are real human beings behind the businesses with their livelihoods at stake and also deter rival businesses from putting on false reviews”.

The programme will be aired in on Channel 4 on Thursday 19th December 2013 at 11am.

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