A hotelier who achieved TV fame on Channel 4’s ‘Four in a Bed’ show says she now lives in fear following a campaign of abuse.
Jennifer McGirr says she has had her window smashed and received intimidating phone calls since she featured on the popular programme.
The 61-year-old said the window of her Tower View Hotel, on Bethesda Road, was shattered after a man threw a brick at it in a “premeditated” attack before being subjected to the “frightening” calls.
And police are now probing fears the offences are a response to her appearance on the hit TV show.
Ms McGirr, who has had the hotel for two-and-a-half years, told The Gazette: “It’s come totally out of the blue.
“It’s been very frightening really. Where does all this hatred come from?”
It’s been very frightening really. Where does all this hatred come from?
CCTV footage shows a man walk up to the hotel with a brick in his hand before waiting to check the coast is clear.
He sets the brick down and sits on a nearby wall for around three minutes, letting a car go past while he has a cigarette, before he picks it up again and hurls it at the hotel.
PC Phil McVicar, of Blackpool Police, said it was not yet clear if the incidents were perpetrated by the same person, but officers are now understood to be probing claims they are linked to her TV appearance.
He said: “This is a mindless act of damage carried out under the cover of darkness.
“She believes she has been targeted because of the ‘Four in a Bed’ programme.
“We are investigating”.
He added they were now looking into possible motives for the offence on the back of that report.
“He has gone with the intention of breaking the window. (The victim) was very concerned about the phone calls she received.
“We are reassuring her.”
Since featuring in five episodes of the Channel 4 show between March 16 and 20, where B&B owners visit each other’s properties and pass judgement, Ms McGirr says the abuse left her living in fear.
During one of the episodes aired she responded to criticism of her hotel from a couple who said there were cheap budget hotels in Blackpool by saying: “You try staying in them – they are grim.”
On Friday, March 20 – the day the last episode aired – she discovered the dining room window had been smashed.
Ms McGirr received an abusive phone call later that day, while police were at the hotel investigating the damage.
She said she also answered the phone in the middle of the night and could hear only the sound of someone breathing.
Ms McGirr added: “When I got this first phone call he just came out with this tirade of nastiness about the hotel.
“He said it was a disgusting, horrible hotel and he wouldn’t stay there if I paid him.
“I don’t know this guy – it’s not anyone who has stayed here. I passed the phone to one of the policemen and when he said hello the man hung up.”
Ms McGirr described watching back the CCTV footage of the brick attack, saying: “There was pure intent. He meant to do it.
“He just hung around waiting until he was sure the coast was clear.”
The man is described as between 5ft 8in and 6ft tall, of heavy build and with dark short hair. He wore a hooded jacket. Inquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made. Call police on 101 with any information.