Bedford pub landlord fronts national ‘support your local’ campaign

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The landlord of a much-loved Bedford pub has been chosen to front a national campaign asking people to support their local.

Ronnie Toms, who runs the Devonshire Arms with his wife Rebecca, was chosen to star as the landlord in an advert by Carling after sending in an audition tape.

The ad is part of a campaign highlighting the importance of local pubs, who have been hit hard during the coronavirus lockdown.

In the ad, Ronnie describes the appeal of local pubs as “the cornerstone of the community” and “where you know everyone by name.”

“It’s where the Sunday leagues are really played,” he says, “it’s called a local for a reason, it’s because it’s where the locals go.”

He ends the emotive monologue with the call to arms, “go and support yours, because your local serves more than just beer.”

Ronnie is no stranger to being on camera, having been acting on stage and screen since his early twenties.

Over the years, people will have seen him on TV in London’s Burning and Eastenders, he’s also been in a few other adverts including McDonalds, Maplins The Dog’s Trust and RBS.

Devonshire Arms
The Devonshire Arms

More recently, while his acting career gave way to what he calls “a proper job”, Ronnie says taking over at the ‘Devyy’ was the best thing he ever did.

“Fours years go we moved into the pub and it’s one of the best moves we’ve ever made. We love the pub, we love the community, and the customers are superb,” he says.

And working at the pub has given him a chance to keep his hand in acting and satisfy his need to tread the boards too.

Working with Bedford’s Swan Theatre Company, he most recently performed as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in ‘Jerusalem’ at The Place Theatre.

“And now I’m the face of Carling,” he laughs, “which is quite amusing as we’re the North Bedfordshire CAMRA pub of the year.”

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