Somerset locals fight to save Coldplay’s favourite pub

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A pub where Kylie Minogue has hosted the quiz night and Coldplay entertained regulars faces being forced out of business, its landlord has claimed.

The Ring O’ Bells in the Somerset village of Compton Martin has battled through both lockdowns to serve food and beer to their customers, delivering orders in an old Citroen 2CV van. 

But music industry mogul turned landlord Miles Leonard has been dealt a further blow after the brewery that owns the pub claimed it wasn’t a ‘viable’ business and more than doubled the rent.

Pictured: The Ring O'Bells pub at Compton Martin in Somerset. The pub's quiz night has been hosted by Kylie Minogue and Coldplay entertained regulars there

Pictured: The Ring O’Bells pub at Compton Martin in Somerset. The pub’s quiz night has been hosted by Kylie Minogue and Coldplay entertained regulars there

Mr Leonard, 53, a former chairman of Warner Brothers Records who held charity gigs at the pub featuring acts including Coldplay, the Stereophonics and Duran Duran, said: ‘When we took over, the pub looked very tired as though it was stuck in the late Seventies.’ He added it needed some care and passion to make it welcoming again.

He does not believe that the Butcombe Brewing Company, part of the Channel Islands-based Liberation Group, is ‘listening to or engaging with our community’, adding: ‘We have comedy nights, quizzes and music. We’ve had Kylie twice. She said it was the first time she’d performed on a carpet rather than a stage and the first time she has hosted a pub quiz.’

Pictured: Coldplay. Kylie Minogue has hosted the quiz night and Coldplay entertained regulars at the Ring O'Bells in Somerset

Pictured: Coldplay. Kylie Minogue has hosted the quiz night and Coldplay entertained regulars at the Ring O’Bells in Somerset

He added: ‘Contrary to what Butcombe have stated publicly, we are profitable. Even if we weren’t, how would putting our rent up by 130 per cent make us more profitable?’ Local residents have launched a ‘Keep Our Village Pub Local’ petition which has attracted almost 2,500 signatures.

A spokesman for Butcombe said: ‘We have made every effort to support the operators of the Ring O’ Bells over the past few years. Ultimately, Butcombe has to ensure all properties owned by the company are viable so they can continue to serve communities in a sustainable way. It was decided to bring the pub into the managed estate to protect its future.’

The Mail on Sunday is urging readers to buy food and drink from pubs that are offering takeaway services during the second lockdown.

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