The BII has named 21 semi-finalists for its Licensee of the Year Award, with just two more rounds to go before a winner is announced.
Two independent judges will visit each semi-finalist to find the top licensees in the country.
Those that make the grade will be head to London in April to face a panel of judges who will challenge them on every aspect of their role.
All finalists will be invited to the BII's annual lunch at London's Grosvenor House on 8 May, when a winner will be announced.
The semi-finalists are:
• Mahdis Neghabian, the Camden Eye, Camden, London
• Victoria Steadman, the Whitmore Arms, Orsett, Essex
• Nick Stafford, Hare & Hounds, Claygate, Surrey
• Jason Read, the Plough Inn, Wrington, Somerset
• Barbara & Edward May, Steam @ Great Western, Newquay
• Chris Ludlow, the Springhill, Wolverhampton
• Tim Foster, the Wiremill, Surrey
• Mark & Hayley Foster, Hare & Hounds, Wiltshire
• Neil Ainsworth, the Argyll, Henley on Thames
• Chris Maskery, the Fighting Cocks, Horton Kirby
• Kath Ennis-Burton, the Priory, Tynemouth
• Tim & Liz Hore, Victoria Inn, Salcombe
• Chris Kemp, the Cricketers, Hook
• Jeanette Feneron, Banningham Crown, Banningham
• David & Christine Langley-Evans, Thomas Arms hotel, Carmarthenshire
• John Wyke, the Old Horns Inn, High Bradfield, Sheffield
• Nichola Green, the Rose & Crown, Wimbledon Village, London
• Denise Redding, the Queens Head, Leighton Buzzard
• Andrew Waller & Colin Stonehouse, Station Inn, Whitby, Yorkshire
• John Baker, the Ropemakers, Bridport
• Jonny Bramwell, the White Horse, Reading
Just two London licensees have made the final 21 - Mahdis Neghabian, who runs the Camden Eye in Camden, and Nichola Green, at the Rose & Crown in Wimbledon Village.
The BII Licensee of the Year Award, founded in 1981, is the longest-running award in the industry.
It aims to recognise excellence in the licence trade.
The award is open to all UK licensees.
By Andy Morton
E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs