Babbacombe Inn barman Lee Pritchard got more than he bargained for last week when he was mistaken for the real Al Murray, Pub Landlord. Lee was working on the outside bar that the Babbacombe Inn was running at Babbacombe Theatre that night. Shortly after they’d set up Lee, who was dressed in an Al Murray style, sporting hair that had been cut as short as was possible, along with a white shirt and burgundy waistcoat (borrowed from Babbacombe Cliff Railway), was busy getting things organised when passers by stopped to talk to him. Lee said “I didn’t think I looked that much like the real Al but people were asking if I always run a bar before the show and then go on stage to do the actual show. I couldn’t believe it. Some people were even taking photos of me.”
Babbacombe Theatre doesn’t have a bar and, with the Al Murray, Pub Landlord show coming to town, the Theatre and the Babbacombe Inn got together and decided to put a temporary one outside. Martyn Strange, owner of the Babbacombe Inn, said “We’re all big fans of Al Murray and bought our tickets for the show ages ago. Then, we suddenly thought about the lack of bar and it just didn’t seem right so we came up with the idea of a small mobile bar out the front. Our colleagues at Fosters got some ‘Al’s bar’ signs made for a bit of fun and Lee offered to take on the role of Trainee Al. It went down really well with the crowds. Unfortunately, Al himself was caught up in traffic after the water pipe burst in Newton Abbot so was running a bit late and never got to see what we’d been up to. Hopefully he would have approved.”
Weather on the night was pretty awful and the whole crew got fairly soaked serving and packing up afterwards so Lee’s quite happy now to be back in the warm embrace of the Babbacombe Inn. Should you wish to catch him, he’ll be there all week!