John Challis: We’re back as Benidorm hits 10th series

Benidorm is back. Series 10 will be airing on screens in February and the crew and cast are thrilled that after months and months of hard work the general public can finally get to see what we’ve been up to.

John Challis is returning for the new series of Benidorm
John Challis is returning for the new series of Benidorm

The cast were invited to a private screening of the first episode and it was great to reconnect with fans from the set.

Making a programme as popular as Benidorm takes a long time. We flew out to Spain last year and my character, Monty, continued to pursue his romantic interest, Sherrie Hewson, who plays the Solana Hotel manager Joyce.

Sherrie Hewson as Solana Hotel manager Joyce

The hotel, in fact, is real. Pool scenes are filmed at the Sol Pelícanos Ocas in Benidorm and room scenes are filmed in the Acuariam II Apartments, which overlooks the pool. The only thing that is a studio set is the reception area, including Kenneth’s Blow n’ Go salon.

The evening scenes where the guests are in ‘Neptune’s’ is actually filmed at the Morgan’s Tavern, which is almost directly across the road from Sol Pelícanos Ocas.

As you can imagine, we get plenty of attention from holidaymakers when we’re there. Some of them book into the hotel specifically to see us film. It’s all very amusing and we get on with the holidaymakers while we’re there.

One of the guests when we were filming last year was my Shropshire friend Carol Decker, from the band T’Pau. I’m not going to spoil things by telling you precisely why she was in town – you’ll have to watch the series to find out – but it was great to catch up with her there.

And our friendship is continuing with Carol and her husband, Richard, planning to come along and see my one-man show, Only Fools and Boycie.

We’re going to be taking it to Carol’s home town, Henley-on-Thames, and we’ll look forward to a good catch up before the curtain goes up.

Until then, I’ll be sitting down at home like many millions of others to watch the next series of Benidorm.

I also thoroughly enjoyed attending Wolverhampton Literature Festival on Friday at Bantock House.

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet people and speak about my career.

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