Derren Litten

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Derren Litten
Born (1970-12-21) 21 December 1970 (age 50)
  • Actor
  • television writer
  • television director
Years active1994–present (actor)
2004–present (writer)
2020–present (bar owner)
Known for
  • Comedy
  • television
Notable work
The Catherine Tate Show (BBC, 2004–2007)
Benidorm (ITV, 2007–2018)
The Spa (Sky Living, 2013)
Benidorm Live (2018–2019)

Derren Ronald Litten (born 21 December 1970) is an English comedy writer and actor, best known as the creator and writer of the sitcom Benidorm. Litten also co-wrote The Catherine Tate Show, for which he both wrote and appeared as several different characters in the first two series and the 2005 Christmas Special. He has also acted in many comedy and drama series including Perfect World, French and Saunders, Spaced, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Pie in the Sky with Richard Griffiths. Litten's first sitcom was Benidorm, which began airing on ITV in 2007. The series follows various groups of holiday makers and staff in the all-inclusive Solana resort located in Benidorm. The series starred actors and actresses such as Jake Canuso, Janine Duvitski, Sheila Reid, Siobhan Finneran, Steve Pemberton, Elsie Kelly, Johnny Vegas, Chrissy Rock, Geoffrey Hutchings, Shelley Longworth, Tim Healy, Sherrie Hewson, Michelle Butterly, Bel Powley and Tony Maudsley .The series received strong ratings and later extended its runtime (including advertisement breaks) from 30 minutes to an hour. The show ran for 10 series ending in 2018.

He wrote an episode of Not Going Out and is also the credited writer of an episode of the Only Fools and Horses spin-off Green Green Grass.

In 2012, a one-off sketch was produced for Sport Relief featuring the Benidorm cast. The sketch involved several of the characters singing on Britain's Got Talent.

Litten also wrote a remake episode of Are You Being Served? which three of the cast had previously appeared in Benidorm, Sherrie Hewson, John Challis and Niky Wardley. It was poorly received by critics.


Derren studied acting at The Central School of Speech and Drama where he met Catherine Tate. He left Central in 1993 and worked as a jobbing actor for 10 years appearing in shows such as Green Wing, Pie In The Sky, Spaced, French & Saunders, Doc Martin, Eastenders, Casualty and Perfect World but it was not until 2003 when Catherine asked Derren to write sketches for her TV show. Litten agreed despite having no experience in script writing, or indeed any formal qualifications at all having left Hessle High School (East Yorkshire) without a single O level or GCSE. In 2004 Derren was nominated for a BAFTA Craft award in the category of Best New Writer.

After two series and a Christmas Special (2005) writing for and appearing in The Catherine Tate Show, Derren met writer John Sullivan who asked if he would be interested in contributing to his Only Fools & Horses spin off The Green Green Grass. Derren wrote one episode and co-wrote another with John.

In 2006, Derren penned his own comedy for ITV based in a Spanish all-inclusive holiday resort. Benidorm turned out to be a ratings hit for ITV and was also won for a BAFTA in the category of Situation Comedy. From series 3 onwards the half-hour sitcom was turned into an hour-long show. In October 2011 Constable & Robinson published Derren's book to accompany the series, The Benidorm Guide to A Happy Holiday. Benidorm has won numerous awards including 7 National Television Awards. Series 5 began transmission in February 2012 and Series 6 began transmission in January 2014. Derren did not take a regular acting part in Benidorm but instead appears briefly throughout the series in a number of small cameo roles. In January 2013 SKY LIVING announced its new sitcom The Spa, written and created by Derren and starring Rebecca Front, would air from 7 February 2013. In this series, Litten also plays a regular character, Marcus, an overweight fitness instructor who uses a wheelchair. In 2016 Litten wrote the script for the pilot episode for the remake of Are You Being Served?[citation needed]

Litten wrote and directed the sitcom Scarborough for the BBC. It started airing in September 2019. It was poorly received by critics[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 2020, following information that his recent comedy Scarborough had been axed by the BBC, Litten embarked on a new career, purchasing a bar in Benidorm (the town in which he based his most successful comedy show). The bar opened in July 2020 and is named Mateo’s Bar after a character in the show. The venue features real-life props from the set of Benidorm, and guest appearances from co-star Jake Canuso, who played barman Mateo in Benidorm, and other cast members from the show, including Sheila Reid and singer Asa Elliott. Unfortunately, in September 2020 due to enforced quarantine rules from COVID-19 which saw British nationals, who are a big percentage of tourists that visit Benidorm, needing to quarantine after visiting Spain, Mateo’s was closed for the foreseeable future. [2]


  1. ^ Blow, John (28 August 2019). "First look as BBC releases pictures ahead of new comedy Scarborough". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  2. ^

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