Much to the surprise of locals and art historians, Malcolm Broadbridge (of Shanklin’s ‘Red Lion’) has confessed that his eclectic decor was not due to five years studying at La Sorbonne, but was generated by a ‘job lot of brick-a-brac’ from a car-boot sale. Customers were shocked to discover that Damien Hirst did not have a hand in creating works, such as – ‘Industrial farming equipment on rope’, ‘Brass doodads’ or the eponymous ‘Grainy photograph of village paedophile’.
The publican further admitted that the authentic charm of his oak-panelled urinal trough and his flock wall-papered tables, were just a cynical marketing device to lure people into purchasing drinks. Any attempt to create an aesthetically pleasing environment was purely coincidental – and very much in ‘the beer-goggled eye of the beholder’.
Throughout the decade, aesthetes had flocked to experience Broadbridge’s audacious post-modern choices; be it the Tudor beams combined with 1970s’ light fittings, the wagon-wheel dartboard or to experience the chef’s salad in the ‘brutalist style’. Tourists would often make an annual pilgrimage to visit, what museum curators were describing as, the ‘eighth wonder of world – just after Ventnor’s Crazy Golf’.
Broadbridge’s confession may put a hold on his planned retrospective exhibition at the Tate Modern and cause a downturn in numbers for his Thursday Quiz Night. He was philosophical: ‘I may have to hand back my Turner Prize, but I just felt guilty, I couldn’t keep passing off a pile of shite as art. I don’t know how James Corden does it’.