Phil Spencer is a presenter, author, businessman and property investor. As co-presenter of the long-running Channel 4 series location, location, location he has become one of the best-known faces on British television and is widely credited as being an expert in all things property related. Over the last 13 years he has hosted numerous TV series and continues to be an anchor for Channel 4 viewing figures.
The Beach Hut of the Year team are extremely excited to work with Phil this year. He undoubtedly brings star quality and personality to the competition, a great reflection of the kind of huts that are likely to do well in the competition. With his extensive expertise in all things property, we’re sure Phil will bring a different dynamic in what he’s looking for from the winning hut.
Commenting on being chosen as a judge, Phil Spencer said,
Beach huts have long been an iconic part of British seaside culture and personally hold many happy memories as my parents had a hut on Kingsdown beach in Kent when I was growing up. From a hut painted to look like a saucy seaside postcard to ones paying homage to all that is British, there are plenty of stunning beach huts across our coastlines. I’m really looking forward to not only seeing all the entries but to presenting the winner with their certificate in person. So come on, show us your hut and good luck.
Dr Kathryn Ferry
Dr Kathryn Ferry is a historian and writer who specialises in seaside subjects. For her books 'Sheds on the Seashore: A tour through Beach Hut History' and 'Beach huts and bathing machines', she has researched hut history going back to eighteenth century bathing machines and toured the coast to visit most of Britain's beach hut sites.
The Beach hut of the Year team are delighted to welcome Dr Kathryn back to the judging panel after working with her in the previous incarnation of the competition. She brings a wealth of beach hut knowledge and there are few worthier of judging a competition like this.
On returning as a judge, Kathryn has said:
Britain can boast some fantastic beach huts. I counted nearly 20,000 when I made my beach hut odyssey in 2002 and more have been added since then. I'm thrilled to be on the panel judging this year’s competition to find the best of the best. These little structures have a surprisingly long history and their appeal shows no sign of diminishing. The pride people take in their seaside 'home-from-home' is evident all around the coast so I'd encourage every hut owner out there to sign up and tell us what makes their hut special
Pat Bevan was the winner of Beach Hut of the Year 2012 with her traditional red white and blue themed hut located in Westward Ho! She always dreamed of owning a beach hut and was delighted to be able to kit hers out with traditional décor and accessories, which helped her to hold the crown for the Britain’s best hut back in 2012. She is very passionate about the beach hut community, enjoying the friendships and relishing the friendly rivalry of competitions such as Beach Hut of the Year. She’ll be keeping her eyes open for 50’s era themed huts in her role as a judge this summer.
We're delighted to welcome Pat back into the fold as someone who knows better than most what it takes to win.
Pat gave this year's competitors some words of wisdom:
Well basically it’s a tradition isn’t it, try and keep it within the 50’s type era. I know some people have got really magnificent beach huts and have done them up to very modern standards, but I think just keep it traditional and that’s really it!
Susanna Lazarus is the Assistant News Editor at the Radio Times and is an avid beach hut enthusiast. She’s also a drama nut and lover of musical theatre.
The Beach Hut of the Year team are excited to welcome Susanna to the panel. It's great to have such an enthusiast on board.
I doubt there are many beach hut lovers who can trace their obsession back to a row of yellow, blue and green structures near Bognor Regis. But while the collection of huts along the Sussex coast is unassuming, it ignited a life-long enthusiasm for these quintessentially British sheds and the seafront they line. My dream of one day becoming an owner is yet to be realised, but I have filled the gap with endless photos, pictures, postcards, books and beach hut-inspired trinkets. For me, no one has better beaches than Britain and no British beach is complete without a row of beach huts.”