Six publicans have reached the finals of the BII 2013 Licensee of the Year award.
The finalists are:
Dennis Forsyth from Cheers Café Bar and Tavern in Fraserburgh, Aberdeedshire
Steve Herbert from the The Old Spot Inn in Dursley, Gloucestershire
Cheryl Hickman of The Bull Inn at Barton Mills, Suffolk
Marc Jones from The Sportsman in Lower Kingswood, Surrey
Ashley and Kelly McCarthy from Ye Old Sun Inn at Colton, York
Annie Power from The Coal Hole in London.
The finalists will now face a nine-strong panel of judges, including industry veterans John Vereker and John Sharratt, British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds and head of people development at Marston's Joy Levesley, before one of them is named Britain's top pub licensee.
As finalists, each licensee will benefit from professional advice from judges John Vereker and John Sharratt, as well as BII CEO Tim Hulme.
Hulme, said: "We have been delighted by the standard of entries this year which indicates there are many pubs out there with extraordinary standards, an amazing commitment to customers and a passion to deliver outstanding service.
"The award, sponsored by Britvic, is highly coveted and not taken lightly by any entrant, given the tough judging process, which is what gives the award its credibility. It is a big achievement for our finalists to have reached this stage, and it is exciting to be so close to finding the very best in our industry. Each of our six finalists showed strong business acumen, a clear ability to succeed at the highest level and a commitment to staff development and training. They are highly deserving of their place in the final."
The 2013 Licensee of the Year will be announced to an audience of publicans and industry professionals during the 25th BII annual lunch at Grosvenor House on 14 May.