THRIFTY Yorkshireman Neil Sean has cocked a snook at the posh hotels to become writer in residence at budget chain Travelodge.
Mirfield-born Neil is a celebrity showbiz writer and TV presenter who brushes shoulders with the stars.
Now Neil, who comes back to Mirfield most weeks, is writing a book called: ‘How to live like a celebrity for FREE’.
Neil, a former pupil at Mirfield High School, will stay at Travelodges up and down the country while he pens his book.
Neil, the Royal correspondent and entertainment reporter for NBC News, told the Examiner how the idea to become a writer in residence struck him after he saw a man with a laptop flitting around The Savoy in London.
“I couldn’t understand what this man was doing and when I asked I was told he was a writer in residence,” said Neil.
“Apparently he would be living in the hotel for free for three months while he wrote a book.”
Neil, who also writes showbiz columns for local and national newspapers, thought he could do that and approached other upmarket hotels in the capital but said: “They looked at me as though I was mad!
“So I thought I’d forget about the snobby hotels and try where I often stay, Travelodge, where you get exactly what you see, good clean rooms at a good price.”
Neil struck an agreement with the chain and landed a publishing deal for his austerity-busting book.
Neil will share a compendium of money-saving tips and facts he has obtained from interviewing A-list movie stars, TV and sports personalities, pop idols and even Royalty.
He will also reveal the tricks of the trade to indulge in a celebrity lifestyle for free.
The book will also contain never seen before celebrity pictures.
Celebrities featured on the book include Jennifer Lopez, who got a free make-up counter makeover before auditions; Sir Michael Caine who travels the world for free; and Beyonce who shares the cut-price secret of beautiful hair.
Neil’s tip for success when ‘blagging’ is to look the part and be confident.
“If you look presentable and ask in the right way you’ll be surprised at what you’ll get,” said Neil.
“Brits sit back and dare not ask but you need to think big. You can sample cheese for free at Harrods but if you ask in the Co-op they’ll think you’re mad.”
Neil also suggested impressing Americans by buying a meaningless title for as little as £30.
“It’s amazing the clout these Lord or Earl titles carry, particularly in America.”
The book will be published in June.