A celebration of the pub landlord and landlady.
With pubs disappearing at the rate of more than three a day, signalling one of the most rapid cultural shifts of recent times, half a dozen landlords and landladies reflect on life as a licensee and explore what we're in danger of losing besides the beer and the buildings.
This rueful view from behind the bar includes reflections on the qualities of a good landlord or landlady, their role as community confessional and settler of tap room fights, dispenser of best bitter and pearls of wisdom.
The programme hears from from old hands like Barbara, an ex-Bunny girl who runs The Grapes in London's Limehouse; Tetley Dave who fought a battle to keep The Shoulder of Mutton from closing in Castleford; Maureen from Langsett who's famous for her pies; ex miner Dennis from Barnsley, whose bête noir is health and safety; and former Cambridge academic Tim, who's taken early retirement to open his first pub in York, The Pheonix, just as others around are shutting up shop.
How have they kept their marriages together, living and working on the premises? How much of a temptation was it to hit the top shelf after a hard day's graft behind the bar? Why do they think the pub can help teach the next generation how to hold their drink? And how do they bar an objectionable customer without starting a Wild West-style bar room brawl?