The Hotel Inspector
|The Hotel Inspector|
Title card from Series 4–11
|Starring||Ruth Watson (2005–08)
Alex Polizzi (2008—)
|Narrated by||Richard Vranch (2005)
Mark Halliley (2006—2015)
Alex Polizzi (2016—)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||17 (total)
The Hotel Inspector: 12
|No. of episodes||109 (as of 30 August 2016) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Original network||Channel 5|
|Original release||29 September 2005– present|
|Related shows||The Business Inspector
The Restaurant Inspector
The Hotel Inspector is an observational documentary television series which is broadcast on the British terrestrial television station, Channel 5, and by other networks around the world.
Since 2008, each episode sees celebrated hotelier and businesswoman Alex Polizzi visit a struggling British hotel and try to turn its fortunes by giving advice and suggestions to the owner. Between 2005 and 2008, Ruth Watson was featured in this role.
The series began in late September 2005 and was an instant ratings hit; the show attracted 2.5 million viewers at its peak and this prompted Channel 5 to commission another series. The second series was broadcast in July 2006, followed by a third series in September 2007. The show won a Royal Television Society Award in November 2006.
Accompanied with the third series, an additional complementary series, The Hotel Inspector: Unseen ran on Fiver (now 5*), one of Channel 5's digital channels, immediately after the main show. It showed unseen footage, including video diaries shot by the hoteliers, revealing their reactions to the inspector's opinions.
After three series of The Hotel Inspector, Ruth Watson left a message on her website stating that she would not be filming another series, despite being one of the channel's most watched shows. Watson subsequently signed an exclusive contract with Channel 4 and fronted shows such as Country House Rescue and Ruth Watson's Hotel Rescue (which is similar in format to The Hotel Inspector).
Hotelier and businesswoman Alex Polizzi, the niece of Sir Rocco Forte, took over as The Hotel Inspector for the show's fourth series, and has remained in this role since. Polizzi has also hosted five other series: the first in which she inspects and improves failing family businesses (BBC Two's The Fixer), a second and third in which she explores her ancestral Italy (Secret Italy and Italian Islands), a four in which she auditions head chefs for various hotels and restaurants (Chefs on Trial), and a fifth in which she finds employment for military veterans (Help Our Heroes).
The twelfth series of the show began being broadcast in June 2016. One of the hotels that will feature in this series will be the Edwardian Hotel in Blackpool. The role of a separate narrator was dropped with the commencement of this series, with Polizzi herself providing the narrative, in both voiceover and in-vision (in segments filmed separately, in which she talks directly to the viewer). Mark Halliley however continued to Narrate the "Hotel inspector returns" which followed series 12. The opening theme, titles and on-screen graphics were also revised, with a notable new feature being the presence of a computer-generated Smartphone graphic providing excerpts of a hotel's online reviews, taken directly from websites such as TripAdvisor, in order to establish possible reasons for a hotel's apparent unpopularity.
The show will return for a thirteenth series, again hosted by Polizzi, with a new focus on high end hotels.
The format of the The Hotel Inspector has since been used twice for other series for Channel 5, both of which recreate the concept of an expert visiting and suggesting improvements for failing commercial ventures. In March 2010, The Business Inspector was broadcast, starring Hilary Devey, who advised struggling small businesses on how to become successful. In June 2011, The Restaurant Inspector was broadcast, starring Fernando Peire, who advised struggling restaurants on how to achieve higher profits, with a second series which broadcast in 2012.
- Dowell, Ben (28 November 2007). "Watson checks in to Channel 4". theguardian.com. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Miller, Julie. "Channel 5 commissions Twofour to produce Alex Polizzi’s Italian Islands & The Hotel Inspector". Channel 5. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Davis, Tom. "New series of The Hotel Inspector seeks out “high end” properties". Hotel Owner. Retrieved 30 May 2017.