Community pub landlady gets surprise visit from Noel Edmonds and Jean-Christophe Novelli

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Jean-christophe novelli, Public house

The Nightjar was given Christmas gifts by Noel Edmonds in recognition of landlady Di Bradley's work in the community
The Nightjar was given Christmas gifts by Noel Edmonds in recognition of landlady Di Bradley's work in the community
Pub landlady Di Bradley received a surprise visit from TV presenter Noel Edmonds and chef Jean-Christophe Novelli after her daughter nominated her for a special Christmas present in recognition for her tireless work with her local community.

Bradley, who has run the Nightjar in Weston-super-Mare for the past eight years, was shocked when Edmonds and Novelli, disguised as old men, made a visit to her pub in October last year to film for the Sky 1 programme Noel's Christmas Presents.

Her daughter, Kim Whitehead, had put her forward for the programme to recognise her hard work in not only keeping a business going, but by turning it into a community hub. The pub boasts a free lending library, a lunch club for the elderly and serves as a space for church groups among other things.

"She uses her position to help more people than you could imagine a pub landlady ever could," Whitehead wrote to TV producers. "Far aside from the thousands she as raised for the local childrens hospital, she works tirelessly every day to improve the quality of so many lives, even if just by a little."

Christmas presents

Edmonds awarded Bradley with a day off, during which Novelli cooked for her and lunch club regulars, before announcing he would be giving her new books and armchairs for the pub's lending library, a five-day trip to London and a new kitchen.

Bradley told BigHospitality she was shocked but really pleased to see the pair visit the pub and said the Christmas gifts were 'fantastic'.

"The kitchen's going to make life so much easier," she said. "and the library's a lifeline for some people - it's just a place they can come and read, some don't even drink, they come and have a cup of coffee and pick up a book."

Business in the community

Bradley worked as a cleaner at the Nightjar before taking it over eight years ago. She believes pubs should be at the heart of a community and that serving that community can help save pubs from closure.

Events and schemes she has introduced include hosting art exhibitions for local groups and a weekly computer club. She has also raised an estimated £20,000 for charity.

She said: "The business and the community side of things compliment each other. The community has helped keep the pub alive and I have been helping my customers.

"The community thing doesn't work for everyone. We are in the middle of a housing estate, so what we do works here, but it might not work for a pub in the middle of town.

"I think the key to a successful pub is to listen to customers and find out what they want. My lunch club for isolated elderly residents started from a conversation with my milkman, who'd mentioned that he and their meals on wheels driver was often the only person they saw for days.

"Pubs need to find their footing again, so working with the community is a way of doing that."

See the moment Edmonds and Novelli visited the Nightjar and Bradley's appearance on Noel's Christmas Presents in this video:

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