O’Brien has been manager of Fuller’s pub the Churchill Arms in Kensington, west London for 30 years. Every year the pub celebrates the festive season with its spectacular Christmas tree display acting as a magnet for customers.
The tourism accolade was launched three years ago as part of English Tourism Week (this year running 14-22 March) and is supported by the Daily Mirror.
The shortlisted individuals are:
- Andrew Archibald – Doorman at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester
- Mark Brattle – Head Falconer at Leeds Castle in Kent
- Sue Copp – Guest Service & Inclusion Manager at Sandcastle Waterpark, in Blackpool, Lancashire
- Chris Green – Zoo Keeper at The Cotswold’s Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford, Oxfordshire
- Matthew Henderson –Engagement & Participation Team Assistant at Beamish Museum in County Durham
- Katie Neville – Period Interpreter at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon
- Gerry O’ Brien – Publican of The Churchill Arms in London
- Clive Phillips – English Heritage Steward at Wellington Arch, London
- Kevin Shurmer – Museum Sales and Interpretation Assistant at STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, Wiltshire
- Angela Tidmarsh – Tourism Officer at Wychavon District Council in Worcestershire
David Curtis-Brignell, chairman of English Tourism Week, said: “Tourism Superstar 2015 serves to highlight the passion and dedication that abounds in the tourism industry. This award recognises the people on the front-line who meet and greet visitors on a daily basis, and whose unfailing hard work and creativity ensures that visitors to England have an unforgettably wonderful experience.”
The Daily Mirror will host an online public vote from 31 January which shows a short film of all nominees. The winner will be announced on 14 March, the first day of English Tourism Week and will be invited to attend VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence held in May.