|Portrayed by||Sheila Reid|
|First appearance||1 February 2007|
|Introduced by||Derren Litten|
|Classification||Former; regular; (returning)|
|Occupation||Owner of Mel Harvey Leisure Industries LTD|
Madge Delilah Harvey (previously Barron) is a fictional character from the ITV sitcom Benidorm, written by Derren Litten. Madge is portrayed by Scottish actress Sheila Reid, and was one of the primary characters in the show, appearing in every episode of the series since its inception in 2007 until her departure in the second episode of series 7. Madge is portrayed as a mean-spirited and acid-tongued pensioner, and is known for her chain-smoking and her trademark usage of a mobility scooter, despite being able-bodied.
Not much is known about Madge's background. She is known to have grown up in Lancashire, and according to Janice, has lived a difficult life. Madge was married to an unknown husband until he died, who she regularly talks ill of, with whom she had 8 daughters (Janice, Jackie, Cheryl, Sharon, Valda, Olga, Mandy and Maureen), of which she only speaks to Janice, as she alienated all the others (except Olga who died prior to 2007). Madge then married Mel, until he eventually died during the series run. Madge is portrayed as a cantankerous elderly woman who is very open about her scorn for everyone. She holds particular contempt of her son-in-law Mick (Steve Pemberton) and grand-daughter Chantelle (Hannah Hobley), although she has shown some compassion for her family, especially her deceased husband Mel (Geoffrey Hutchings) and the only daughter she hasn't driven away, Janice (Siobhan Finneran).
In the opening episode of the show, Madge arrives in Benidorm for her first overseas holiday with her family, having offered to pay for the trip. Early on, Madge falls asleep in the sun, resulting in comical sunburn. Madge has a poor relationship with her granddaughter Chantelle, and is full of contempt when Chantelle's teenage pregnancy is revealed. Madge is later mistaken for a swinger by fellow guests Donald and Jacqueline Stewart (Kenny Ireland and Janine Duvitski), resulting in her unintentionally accepting an invite for a threesome with the couple. Despite fleeing and claiming to be "scarred for life", Madge soon gets over the encounter, following the Stewart's apology gift of 200 cigarettes.
A year after the events of Series 1, Madge and the Garvey family return to Benidorm, this time with her new boyfriend Mel Harvey (Geoffrey Hutchings) in tow. Despite having only known Mel for three weeks, Madge allows Mel to pay for the families holiday, something she neglected to tell her family until after they had arrived. When Mel has a near death experience in the pool, he decides to propose to a stunned Madge who accepts, despite knowing little about him. Madge begins to have doubts about her decision the next day, having grown tired of Mel's complaining. Madge makes an enemy in fellow guest Sylvia (Wendy Richard), when Chantelle shows Madge misleading pictures that appear to show Mel and Sylvia kissing, resulting in a stand-off at the pool. Madge eventually gets the better of Sylvia, by squirting her with sun cream and throwing her in the pool. Mel suffers another near death experience resulting in him becoming distant from Madge, but he soon realises his behaviour, and the couple decide to get married in Benidorm, inviting Solana guests to the beach ceremony. However, things take a dramatic turn when hotel guest Geoff Maltby (Johnny Vegas) is denied entry to the wedding, resulting in him attempting to parachute into the event, accidentally crash-landing into Mel, moments before the marriage is sealed. Mel is knocked out, and upon being woken up, appears to have suffered memory loss, not recognising Madge or the Garvey family. Mick punches Mel in attempt to recover his memories, but is soon arrested, with Mel rushed off to the hospital.
2009 Summer Special
The 2009 special chronicles events immediately after the wedding. Desperate to get to Mel in the hospital, Madge and Janice find themselves unable to secure a taxi and instead request that a local man give them a lift. Soon however, the pair discover that the man is an armed convict, and he takes the women hostage. Despite the severity of the situation, Madge is unfazed and continues to mock the man, resulting in him deciding to use the women to help him smuggle drugs out of Spain. Despite the efforts of Mick and the other hotel guests, the convict holds everyone hostage on the roof and appears to be getting away, but a freshly recovered Mel knocks him out from a helicopter, resulting in the man's arrest. All of the guests including Madge are promised a free holiday in the Solana for their misfortune.
Madge and Mel marry in the year-long gap between the 2009 special and the start of Series 3, and return to Benidorm for their free holiday. Whilst Madge is holidaying purely for pleasure, Mel is in Benidorm in an attempt to launch a new business, "Mel's Mobility Shop." In the opening episode however, the shop burns to the ground, resulting in Mel spending the rest of the series searching for a new venture. Madge suffers from indigestion, and sends Michael to borrow some tablets from fellow guest Brandy (Sheridan Smith), but he accidentally returns with ecstasy tablets, which Madge takes. Madge reacts badly to the drugs, resulting in her performing a disastrous karaoke performance of "Up, Up and Away" before falling off the stage. She recovers from the incident by getting braided hair extensions. In the series finale, Mel finally finds his new venture in Benidorm by purchasing the Benidorm Palace, and the couple surprise their family by revealing their decision to not return to UK, having decided to relocate to Benidorm permanently.
2010 Christmas Special
Madge and Mel continue to run the Benidorm Palace with great success throughout 2010, now living in a luxurious villa in Altea. They decide to invite the Garvey family to Spain for Christmas, but Madge is disappointed when Mel fails to get in contact from his business trip to Marrakech. Despite great difficulty in booking an act, (she aggressively fired Su Pollard over Christmas Dinner, after mistaking her for Rod Hull) Madge successfully puts on an excellent Christmas show at the Palace, but her joy is short-lived when she discovers that Mel has died in Marrakech, having hidden the fact that he had developed a terminal illness from Madge.
Madge decides to remain in Benidorm following Mel's death, but soon finds herself crippled with debt, resulting in her having to sell all her assets and move into a trailer home, but soon finds herself in large debt to the trailer parks owners, Reg and Mary. Madge neglects to tell her family of her plight, but they soon track her down, and discover the extent of her debt. Despite the Garvey family fighting off "Scary Mary" (Denise Welch), Madge's trailer is repossessed, and she is forced to stay at the Solana. She soon discovers that her debt has been bought off by local mobster Mr. Pink (Melvyn Hayes), but she refuses to be threatened, instead challenging Pink to a double-or-quits go-kart race. Madge wins the race and despite Pink initially trying to cancel their agreement, he eventually gives Madge her money, resulting in her debt being paid, and her fortune restored. Madge finds new respect for Mick for the help he has given her, and calls him "son" for the first time. In the series finale, Madge learns of a risky new business opportunity, but upon learning that the property is located at the former sight of "Mel's Mobility Shop", she decides to take it, and successfully launches "Mel's Bar" in tribute to her deceased husband.
Despite some initial success, "Mel's Bar" is a failure and Madge is forced to abandon it and move back to Manchester between Series 4 and 5. She returns to Benidorm on holiday with Janice, Michael and later Mick, and meets Mohammed Mohammed, a Moroccan who claims to be a friend of Mel's from Marrakech. Mohammed claims to be holding a large sum of money for Mel, and Madge decides to marry him to gain access to the money, but soon discovers that Mohammed is a con-man who was attempting to gain access to Madge's presumed fortune. In reality however, the only remains of Mel's legacy are the chain of sunbed shops run by Mick in Manchester. In the series finale, Mick admits to Madge that following his decision to purchase cheaper (and unknown to him faulty) tanning lights, the sunbed stores have all been destroyed in fire. To make things worse, Mick also reveals that he had failed to pay insurance on the shops for weeks, resulting in Madge being once again left with nothing. Though Madge is quick to viciously criticize Mick, she is shocked into silence by Michael, who jumps to the defense of his father and puts Madge in her place in the process.
Madge’s tanning pills were mistaken for drugs at Alicante Airport - and Mick gets the blame. It turns out the suspected “drugs” where no concern and were actually just tanning pills. Madge hates the Dyke family - Clive (Perry Benson), Tonya (Hannah Waddingham), Tiger (Danny Walters) and Bianca (Bel Powley). She always insults them, and causes arguments. She especially hates Tonya and Tiger. In one episode, Madge had a very severe cough. She started to gasp, and demanded to get a "fag." She remembered that it was 1 August, and secretly started to cry just as Janice left the apartment. Strangely, Madge was acting so nice to her family and friends. The Garveys became suspicious, so Madge told them why. To the Garveys shock, Madge revealed that five months prior she visited Dr. Kundu and was informed she only had six months left. This caused a major change in personality and much distress to her family. After much panic, Mick managed to get a hold of Dr. Kundu who informed him that Madge was told she had 'six months left to leave,' not six months left to live. Madge had apparently tried to report the Doctor for having a drinks problem and was informed that she had six months to find another Doctor, which Madge mistook to meaning she had six months left to live. After discovering she was not ≥going to die, she returned to her normal old self.
In "Episode 1" the Garveys arrive at the Solana for yet another holiday and Madge moans about the length of the coach trip from Alicante Airport to the Solana, when they check-in Madge is told by Lesley that she has a letter, Madge says she has had similar letters at home but dismissed them as a scam. Later, in Neptunes, a man called Buck A. Roo comes over and talks to Madge. In "Episode 2" the Garvey family meet with Buck A. Roo who claims that Madge has inherited the estate of a distant relative in the USA, he tells her that she owns land in Las Vegas that is worth millions. At first they all think it's a con and don't believe that Buck is actually a lawyer, despite the documents presented to them, but Mateo, Joyce and Les/Lesley listen in on the conversations the Garveys have with Buck A. Roo and Lesley does some research, discovering that Buck really was a lawyer and he had tracked down people to give them inheritance from distant relatives many times before, Lesley shows this to Michael who shows it to Mick, Janice and Madge and they all rush to the airport to stop Buck before he leaves without them. The Garveys catch up with him, they board the plane and leave Benidorm, to start a new life in Las Vegas.
It has been confirmed that Madge will return in Series 8, despite her recent departure at the start of Series 7.