Benidorm (TV series)
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|Created by||Derren Litten|
|Written by||Derren Litten
|Directed by||Sandy Johnson
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||6|
|No. of episodes||(List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Ben Cavey
|Running time||44–48 mins (2009–)
22–25 mins (2007–08)
|Production company(s)||Tiger Aspect Productions|
|Original channel||ITV, STV, UTV|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i HDTV (2010–)
16:9 576i SDTV (2007–09)
|Original run||1 February 2007– present|
|Related shows||The Catherine Tate Show|
Benidorm is a British sitcom written by Derren Litten, co-writer of The Catherine Tate Show, and produced by Tiger Aspect for ITV. Exploiting the working class stereotype of the popular Spanish tourist destination Benidorm, the television series features an ensemble cast. Set primarily in the Solana all-inclusive resort hotel, Benidorm follows regulars and first-time holiday makers on their holidays abroad. Despite their disparate backgrounds they all have one thing in common-a quest for getting value for money.
On 12 April 2013, along with series six, a seventh series was confirmed which started filming on 24 March 2014. Johnny Vegas as Geoff, Elsie Kelly as Noreen and Crissy Rock as Janey will be returning to the new series, whilst Siobhan Finneran, Steve Pemberton, Oliver Stokes and Sheila Reid as the Garvey family are to be written out. 
Series 1 introduced the main characters, the Garvey family: parents Mick (Steve Pemberton) and Janice (Siobhan Finneran), teenage daughter Chantelle ('Telle' – Hannah Hobley) and eight-year-old son Michael (Oliver Stokes). They are on their first holiday abroad, paid for by Janice's mother – the sun-worshiping, chain-smoking Madge (Sheila Reid), who doesn't have a kind word for anyone. Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski) and Donald (Kenny Ireland) have been coming to Benidorm for twenty years and are enthusiastic, middle-aged swingers. Kate (Abigail Cruttenden) and Martin Weedon (Nicholas Burns) are going through a rough patch during their third year of marriage. Within seconds of arriving they realise that the Solana is the worst place for them to make a fresh start. Geoff Maltby (Johnny Vegas), who calls himself 'The Oracle', has an irritating computer-like knowledge of trivia, he claims to be the Lancashire pub quiz champion, and is prone to fits of competitive behavior; he has always come on holiday with his mother, Noreen (Elsie Kelly). Gavin (Hugh Sachs) and Troy (Paul Bazely) are on their first holiday together after setting up a successful hair salon. They consider themselves superior to the other guests but are happy enough to get drunk and snigger at them; later in the series their relationship hits rock bottom when Troy is caught with another series regular.
Guest artistes include Ella Kenion, playing a woman who cons the Garveys out of money at the beach but is caught when she turns up at Neptune's, and Niky Wardley, playing Kelly, Mateo's lover until she finds out about his fling with Kate.
The first series was a modest hit for ITV, although critics said it was 'beautifully written and performed'.
Series 2 was broadcast in April 2008 and saw all the main characters from series 1 return to the Solana Resort for eight new episodes. However there were two new arrivals for the Garvey family: Mel Geoffrey Hutchings - the owner of five sun bed shops and "Didsbury's answer to Julio Iglesias"; plus 17-year-old Chantelle's new baby.
Niky Wardley returned as Kelly this time with her mother Sylvia (Wendy Richard) who was a wheelchair riding love rival for Madge, Margi Clarke made a brief appearance as Dorothy, Gavin's estranged mother, and Elliott Jordan played Jack, a British bar-owner in whom Janice found temptation.
Benidorm returned for a one hour summer special which featured all the regular cast plus Jack (Elliott Jordan) and a wanted murderer named Enrique (Christopher Sciueref). Starting with a recap of Mel and Madge's wedding, the main plotline involved the abduction of Janice and Madge by Enrique and a subsequent helicopter rescue from the Solana rooftop. The crew took the opportunity to shoot some areial footage of Benidorm from the helicopter, used as scene bridges in subsequent episodes.
With ratings rising Series 3 followed in October in a new 45 minute format. It was set one year after the summer special as the holidaymakers took up the offer of a free holiday given to them by the Solana Resort. The regulars from series 2 returned but this time Martin did not bring Kate, instead he brought mischievous Brandy (Sheridan Smith) who was not all she seemed. The featuring of well-known guest stars was becoming something of a tradition with Keith Barron playing a very English Deputy Mayor, Tim Healy playing Geoff's transvestite blind date Les/Lesley, Robin Askwith playing Gary, a conman and a thief who was revealed as Brandy's lover, and Una Stubbs making an appearance in the final episode as Martin's mother Diana. Cast regular Kate Abigail Cruttenden made her only Series 3 appearance in the same episode, flying out to help Martin in the aftermath of a mass robbery by Gary and Brandy. It was later revealed she was seeing someone else, dashing Martin's hopes for a reconciliation.
By the end of Series 3 the show was regularly attracting 6 million viewers and had won two National TV Awards and been nominated for both a BAFTA and a British Comedy Award. Series 4 was commissioned a few days after Series 3 finished airing, however there was some cast changes as Johnny Vegas (The Oracle), Paul Bazely (Troy), Hannah Hobley (Chantelle), Abigail Cruttenden (Kate), and Nicholas Burns (Martin) all left the show.
As filming was just about to begin on the new Christmas special that would precede the fourth series, the production was thrown into chaos. Geoffrey Hutchings who played Mel, died suddenly from a suspected viral infection. As result of his untimely death the scripts had to be heavily re-written, and the storyline became that Mel had died off-screen on a business trip abroad.
The Christmas special, however, aired on Boxing Day 2010 and had some special guests including Marvin Louie Spence who was a member of the Middlesbrough Swingers Association Su Pollard played herself as a guest star. Tim Healy returned as Les/Lesley this time working for Mel and directing the Garveys to Madge's villa. Asa Eliott made a small appearance singing for the Benidorm Palace. Wizzard made a brief appearance at the end of the special singing their big hit "I wish it could be Christmas everyday" whilst that was being played Madge found out Mel had died. Brian Murphy appeared as Noreen's love interest Clive; he proposed to her but did not return in series four.
A number of new characters were created for Series 4 to fill out the cast list again. Following his guest appearances in Series 3 Tim Healey became a full-time cast member as barman Les, with his teenage son Liam Adam Gillen tagging along to Benidorm for a cheap holiday. A whiff of a Benidorm holiday romance was soon in the air for Liam, as he took an immediate shine to new girl Natalie Kathryn Drysdale - but her friend Sam Shelley Longworth has other ideas on their potential romance.
Gavin was given a new holiday companion called Kenneth Tony Maudsley with the story being that Troy was at home caring for his sick dad. Plus, Noreen brought her stressed-out daughter Pauline Selina Griffiths on holiday in place of Geoff. Pauline, having spent the past few years in South Africa with her husband but now going through a messy divorce, is irritable and doesn't make friends easily and later throughout the series became an alcoholic which annoyed and upset some of the regulars
Returning characters for the fourth series included the Garvey family, who start the series embroiled in a typical Garvey holiday disaster. Meanwhile the legendary Middlesbrough Swingers Association lost its two most popular members for the summer as Benidorm once again welcomed back Donald and Jacqueline.
Hotel staff Mateo and Janey continued to watch on through it all as the holiday chaos unfolds around them. There were a few special appearances such as Lucky Kev Neil Fitzmaurice who appeared in a number of episodes and there were one-off appearances as Cilla Black playing herself but now living in Madge's previous villa and Scary Mary Denise Welch and Mr Pink Melvyn Hayes, both Madge's enemies and looking for her to pay up her debts. Michael Fenton Stevens made a brief appearance on the last episode playing a British consulate but he could smell a rat and uncovered Donald and Jacqueline secret.
Ian Reddington made an appearance as Johnny Neptune, who was an old flame of Janice Garvey and friend of Janey.
This was the last series to feature Janey Crissy Rock as the Solana manager and regular in the programme
After the fourth series it seemed as if Benidorm might end, as creator Derren Litten said he didn't want to write any more episodes, However, he was persuaded to bring the show back for another series with, other writers helping out (including cast member Steve Pemberton).
The regular holidaymakers got a shock in Series 5 as the Solana resort was now staffed by a new manager... and she means business! Joyce Temple Savage Sherrie Hewson is on a mission to upgrade the Solana resort into a 4 star hotel - at all costs.
Mick, Janice and Michael Garvey all returned to their favourite all inclusive holiday resort, and Madge shocked her family and friends with a surprise announcement. Jacqueline and Donald also returned following Donald's faked death at the end of the last series.
Kenneth is now a Benidorm businessman with his popular new hair salon based at the Solana resort with a new colleague Carmen Alba Ortega Gavin comes out to join him on holiday but where was Troy? It seemed as though their relationship might have broken up.
Noreen was back for some sunshine and flying solo without her son and daughter for the first time, meanwhile Liam was now the newly employed handyman.
Transsexual Les/Lesley continued to don the latest cutting edge fashions at the Solana tropical bar alongside hunky Mateo, who was still on a mission to woo any female that passes by.
Meanwhile Benidorm good time girl Sam returned with a new friend in tow called Trudy Michelle Butterly and they both made it their mission to have a wild holiday.
Asa Eliott reprised his role since the Christmas special, now regularly appearing as the singer in Neptunes, as Joyce ditched Shaun Foster Conley. Elliott Jordan returned as Jack only this time he was pretending not to recognise Janice, he later was revealed to be Liam's new flatmate, but after he showed his true colours Liam changed his mind so Trudy glassed him. Crissy Rock appeared briefly after her daughter, who was revealed to be Carmen was caught out giving the press false reports about the Solana. Michael Fenton Stevens returned to help make it right with Donald and Jaqueliene
Like any other series there were many guest stars including Ian Lindsay who played Mr Dixon, causing a stir and was later revealed to be the hotel assessor. Matthew Kelly played Cyril Babcock, he turned out to be an old flame of Joyce, and was engaged at the hotel as a dance instructor. Shaun Dooley played Mick's brother Pete, he visited Mick while on a stag weekend, but it turned out that no one was getting married. David Bradley played Mick's dad Stan, he visited Mick with his other son Pete for the same storyline. Ted Robbins played Victor. Dhaffer L'Abidine who played Madge's love interest, he turned out to be a conman Siobhan Redmond played Scottish loudmouth Hazel, she was the instructor with a group of Olympic divers performing at the hotel. Naomi Battrick played Hermonie, one of the Olympic divers Kate O'Mara played Barbara Simmonds, a guest at the hotel who, in a case of mistaken identity, was thought to be the hotel assessor, but turned out to be a famous writer.
Hugh Sachs was previously a regular character, he made was his last appearance in series five, but hasn't been ruled out to return in future series.
A new family was added to the show at this point. The Dykes, a lively family from Watford, consist of father Clive (Perry Benson) firmly under the thumb of his no nonsense wife Tonya (Hannah Waddingham) - both bring their son Tiger (Danny Walters) with them, and further in the series, their daughter Bianca (Bel Powley) shows up, claiming that her rich boyfriend dumped her while they were holidaying in the Maldives. Both Tiger and Bianca are young, single and looking for fun. Returning to enjoy the newly announced four star hotel treatment are Mick and Janice Garvey, with acid-tongued Madge not far behind. The Garveys also brought Michael, their son, with them again, who has now grown into an adventurous teenager. With Michael and Tiger off on trouble-making adventures around the resort, it isn't long before the Dykes and the Garveys begin to argue.
Other favourites returning to the Solana Resort include popular swingers Donald and Jacqueline Stewart, who intended to claim their free holiday that manageress Joyce Temple-Savage promised them at the end of the last series.
Mateo and Lesley are still working at the hotel, however Liam is now working with Kenneth at his 'Blow & Go' salon - the very discreet and selective hair and beauty emporium within the Solana resort.
Series 6 also saw the return of Martin Weedon (Nicholas Burns) who arrives on the loud and drunken stag do of his rich friend. This time he's very single and finds himself having a 'drunken encounter' with one of the known female holidaymakers.
The Stewarts and the Garveys, alongside cheeky bartender Mateo, are the only original cast left.
Returning guest stars include Matthew Kelly returning as Cyril Babcock, a former dance prodigy and teacher who was living rough in Benidorm. He was since made into Assistant Manager. Elliott Jordan returns to play Jack. He plays a practical joke on Michael and Tiger which leads to Michael punching him in the face. Asa Elliott made further guest appearances in Neptunes.
Guest stars include Ken Morley playing the Head of a local Hairdressing Mafia and Kenneth's uncle, Philip Olivier as Jason - a sexy new barman. Also featured in the series are The Krankies and Rustie Lee appearing as friends of swingers Donald and Jacqueline, legendary Hollywood star Joan Collins arrives as Crystal Hennesey-Vaas, the CEO of the Solana Hotel Group, and also Joyce's high maintenance boss, Janet Street Porter making a cameo appearance as a news reporter and Holly Earl who plays a sexy young girl called Elena catching the eye of Michael Garvey and Tiger Dyke. It is revealed that she likes Michael more than Tiger, who is reluctant to accept this and attempts to steal Elena from Michael.
After the sixth series had aired, ITV confirmed that a seventh series will air in 2015. It was filmed at the Sol Pelicanos Ocas and different locations around Benidorm.
On 21 March 2014, it was announced that the actors Elsie Kelly, Crissy Rock and Johnny Vegas will return to the seventh series. Filming began on 24 March and ended on 4 July 2014. It has also been confirmed that the Garveys will be leaving the cast during series 7. In the early hours of the morning of 31 July 2014 Kenny Ireland died after a battle with cancer, with his character Donald Stewart having been written out during filming in June. 
Cast and characters
The Solana is the hotel featured in the show where all the cast stay. It is filmed at the Sol Pelícanos Ocas in Benidorm. The Solana is all-inclusive and owns an all-inclusive bar/restaurant, Neptunes.
Neptunes is an all-inclusive bar/restaurant featured in the show owned by The Solana. Most of the characters eat there all the time, and there is karaoke and live entertainment every night - with occasional guest appearances from singers Asa Elliott and Shaun Foster Conley. Neptunes is filmed in Morgan Tavern, which is right across the road from Sol Pelicanos Ocas - where the majority of filming takes place.
|2008||National Television Awards||Best Situation Comedy||Won|
|BAFTA||Best Situation Comedy||Nominated|
|2011||National Television Awards||Best Situation Comedy||Won|
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