A couple who ran a luxury boutique hotel in Norwich that featured in a TV reality series were wrongfully dismissed from their jobs, an employment tribunal has ruled.
Carleton and Lana Van Selman, who had run the 24-bedroom St Giles House hotel in Norwich, were awarded £40,000 in compensation.
The tribunal heard evidence that the Van Selmans had featured in the 2005 TV documentary series From Hell to Hotel as they renovated and refurbished the hotel.
But in 2007 funding dried up and they were forced into liquidation but stayed on as managers under the new owners, who were also the landlords of the hotel.
In September of last year, Lana Van Selman was sacked for gross misconduct and Carleton Van Selman was made redundant shortly after.
The tribunal in its ruling accepted in the main the claim by the Van Selmans that they had been dismissed because the landlord wanted to sell the hotel and it would be easier to do so if they were not there.
However, it is unlikely that the Van Selmans will receive any of the money as the company that had been running the hotel has gone into liquidation.
St Giles House is now being run by Patrick and Rachel Roofe, who had no involvement with the business at the time of the Van Selmans' dismissal.
Commenting on the case Mrs Van Selman said: "We were absolutely elated at the judgement. It was such a relief. We feel we have got our lives back."
By Andrew Smith
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