John Challis: Brilliant Benidorm better than ever

ITV will soon be screening the 10th series of Benidorm – as well as a documentary celebrating 10 years of the show, which will be shown before the series starts.

The tenth series of Benidorm is on its way
The tenth series of Benidorm is on its way

And I have to tell you, I can’t wait. The crew and cast attended a special screening of the first episode a week ago and it is brilliant, brilliant TV. The performances are first class, the script is sensational and the viewers are in for a treat.

I feel privileged to have been a part of it. We filmed it over several months last spring and all had a hoot while we were out in Spain.

The writer, Derren Little, put together a great cast for the show with Sherrie Hewson as the Solana hotel manager, Tim Healey as Les, Shane Richie as Sammy Valentino, myself as Monty Staines and Jake Canuso as Mateo.

Then there was Elsie Kelly as Noreen, Selina Griffiths as Pauline, Adam Gillen as Liam, Tony Maudsley as Kenneth, Shelley Longworth as Sam, Nathan Bryon as Joey and Janine Duvitski as Jacqueline.

When you’re working on a sitcom like Benidorm, one of the most important things is that people get along. If the crew and cast are having a good time, it makes for better TV. And we all had a terrific time.

It reminded me a little of my time on Only Fools and Horses, when we were all happy to be working together and when we became a big old family. We’d be making one another laugh when the cameras weren’t running – and often when they were.

My great friend, the late Roger Lloyd Pack, was brilliant. I remember one scene when his character, Trigger, was delivering a speech about his broom, saying he’d maintained the same broom for 20 years – and it had had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time.

Myself and David Jason were sitting opposite him and we kept laughing as he made his speech, while Roger kept a straight face. In the end, we managed to keep a straight face – but then Roger burst into laughter.

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