Comedians raise a glass... and a laugh

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COMEDIANS Armstrong and Miller helped an Old Town pub travel back to the 1940s.

The popular double-act, well known for their TV sketch show, entertained regulars at Ye Olde Pump House after the George Street watering hole won a nationwide competition organised by brewers Shepherd Neame.

Each barrel of Spitfire ale unloaded at bars across the country had a code printed on it which staff were encouraged to text through to the brewery. And, much to the delight of locals at Ye Olde Pump House, the winning number was found here in Hastings.

The prize was an evening of fun with Armstrong and Miller and the pair did not disappoint. To fit in with the Spitfire theme the funnymen adapted their pilot personas from their TV show and told stories, performed traditional songs and even ran a pub quiz.

Customers were encouraged to turn up in 1940s dress and the brewery – which filled the pub with suitable decorations - also supplied a hairdresser who was on hand to give people retro-styled looks for the evening.

The free event was not publicised beforehand because the numbers were restricted to regulars, but social networking site Twitter was abuzz with excitement as Armstrong and Miller were spotted in their outfits leaving their hotel.

Ben Miller – who is also known for his starring role in the BBC show Death in Paradise – was full of praise for Hastings, in particular the Hastings House hotel which he recommended to his 111,411 Twitter followers.

And, with Alexander Armstrong king of the hit quiz show Pointless, there was no better person to take control of the pub’s general knowledge contest.

Licensee Jo Dixon said the night had been an overwhelming success.

“It was brilliant,” she said. “Everyone got into the spirit of it and had a great time. Armstrong and Miller were great and went down well with the locals. We couldn’t believe it when we won but we are very happy we did.”