COMEDIAN Lenny Henry snubbed the £29-a-night hotels that he advertises to stay at one of Dorset’s most upmarket venues.
Lenny, 54, performed at Wimborne’s Tivoli theatre on Saturday night but, instead of choosing to stay in one of a number of budget Premier Inns around the area, elected for a little more luxury at Christchurch’s Captains Club.
In the television adverts Lenny boasts that ‘everything’s premier but the price’, but clearly it just wasn’t premier enough.
Lenny could have chosen to stay at several Premier Inns close to Wimborne – at Fern-down, one of several in Poole, Bournemouth or even Highcliffe, but elected for the Captains Club, where rooms can cost up to £319 a night.
A spokesperson for the Captains Club said: “Due to guest confidentially we cannot confirm that Lenny Henry has stayed with us, but obviously someone has taken pictures of him at the hotel.
“We hope this has not caused Mr Henry any embarrassment with Premier Inn.”
Lenny, who refused to comment on the story, has been the face of the low-cost hotel chain since 2009.
One Captains Club guest told a national newspaper yesterday: “Lenny seemed to enjoy his stay, but it was noted by a few guests that Premier Inn wouldn’t be too happy, especially when there was one nearer to where he was performing.
“He is no doubt being paid a handsome sum to be the face of their chain.
“So for him to openly show he prefers staying somewhere else hardly makes him a very good ambassador for the company.”
The Captains Club, on the banks of the River Stour, has a spa and a two-AA rosette restaurant.
Premier Inn said Lenny often stayed at its hotels and added: “But variety is the spice of life. I’m sure we’ll be welcoming him back soon.”