Rock ‘N’ Roll Hotel Review: Fuller Ambition

July 30, 2009 by  
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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HOTEL: Friday 31st July, BBC1, 10:35pm Alert Me

We’re half-way through the first episode of Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel when we find out that someone committed suicide while working in Mark Fuller’s finance department. This does not come as a surprise.

Here is an entrepreneur that wants things just so – and to hell with the financial consequences. Obviously that changes slightly when he finds out that he is the best part of £2m over budget.

This crazy programme is the first of three which track the progress of Fuller’s ambitious bid to open one of the world’s most exclusive celebrity hotels in the centre of London. The onset of the most viscous recessions ever spices things up adequately.

At first I am unable to decide if I want him to succeed or not.

The project is already nearly nine months behind schedule, and it’s not long before we find out why.

More often than not, as soon as something is built, the demanding hotelier takes an instant dislike to it and a team of people frantically return to the drawing board. Symbolically, as he is ordering the latest installation to be ripped out, across town his financial controller is doing the same thing to his hair.

When he is not heckling builders, Fuller is running his swanky nightclub in Mayfair, his hotel in rural Buckinghamshire and a handful of other ventures. The recession is certainly affecting his business network, but the storm could easily be weathered if it were not for the strain this new super-project is putting on his resources.

But like every entrepreneur worth his salt, Fuller has put his faith in a massive gamble.

Despite his extravagances, he comes across as a reasonable man who maintains a degree of humour even as invoices escalate – making him the perfect protagonist for such a programme.

For these reasons this is great disaster TV, and as the camera follows Fuller from an accounts meeting in which he smashes up a mobile, to his countryside hotel where he threatens the manager with death by sabre, I decide that I’m rooting for this guy.

Sean Marland