A swearing chef and Basil Fawlty references during Kitchen 999: Emergency Chefs all made for great entertainment and showcased North Devon says Trimstone owner Philip Milton

Leslie takes exception when he hears of a diner's menu request. Picture: Channel 4Leslie takes exception when he hears of a diner's menu request. Picture: Channel 4

The owner of a North Devon hotel that featured on national television reckons Basil Fawlty was 'spot on' with some of his attributes.

Reflecting on Trimstone Manor's appearance on Channel 4's Kitchen 999: Emergency Chefs show last night (Thursday), Philip Milton said it had been a good promotion of North Devon.

Firebrand chef Leslie Wills was seen in the pilot show making references to TV classic Fawlty Towers and the character made famous by John Cleese.

But Mr Milton said: "I think Basil Fawlty has some very good attributes for anybody getting into the hospitality trade; you want to watch all those programmes and pick out all the good bits, he has it spot on in some degree."

John Cleese as Basil FawltyJohn Cleese as Basil Fawlty

Mr Milton, who runs the West Down hotel with wife Helen, watched the show for the first time last night and admitted: "I did not know what to expect."

The family sat down to watch it last night, including daughters Esme and Leonie Milton, who helped as waitresses during the show.

He continued: "I know that I would appear to be a bit eccentric and to some extent I am quite happy to be considered eccentric in some ways - in this trade you have got to be a bit like that.

"One of the reasons I was happy to do it is I am very proud of North Devon, I love North Devon and anything I can do to promote it, I will.

"I think people will think it was entertaining and that's a good thing from our point of view."

Mr Milton revealed the weekend last summer had been intended as an ordinary one, until the television company got in touch and pitched the idea of a fine dining weekend with an agency chef called in to help cope with the extra demand.

Trimstone's own chef Debbie Cole was still on hand, but stayed in the background for the show, with young apprentice Charlie featuring as the agency chef's helper.

Viewers saw visiting chef Leslie cursing liberally throughout the show, but Mr Milton said he was 'a very good chap'. He added: "He was a colourful character, but the funny thing was he didn't swear in my presence.

"The food was very good; you can see in the programme the design and how it was presented."

He said the guests were all impressed by the food and enjoyed the occasion and so far, the show appears to have been mostly well received locally.

He concluded: "Generally speaking the few comments we have had from people have all been very positive and I think it was good entertainment."

Producer and director Alex Wood of Double Act TV told Mr Milton: "You were a delight to film with and your eccentric attitude is what makes you so watchable and likeable!

"The hotel and the surrounding countryside looked beautiful, so I hope it serves you and Devon very well. It must have been nice to see your family on TV, I watched it with mine and they thoroughly enjoyed it."

* If you missed the show you can watch Kitchen 999: Emergency Chefs again online via Catch Up TV