John Challis: Great bunch make filming Benidorm a hoot

I’ve been delighted that so many people are tuning into Benidorm since it returned to our screens on ITV 1.

John Challis
John Challis

It’s remarkable in this day and age that the show has lasted for 10 years. Not many programmes stay the course – most come and go in the space of a few years, if that.

But Benidorm seems to have tapped into the national psyche and remains popular with viewers. Like the rest of the crew and cast, I’m delighted that it is.

My character, Monty, had one of the key storylines with his wedding to Joyce, played by Sherrie Hewson, and I’m glad that people found that episode very funny.

In truth, the series is a hoot. Benidorm is made by a great bunch of people who are generally having as much fun off screen as they are when the cameras are rolling. It’s not the easiest of shoots. There are times when the conditions can be challenging, to say the least.

For instance, when we filmed the wedding scenes we were supposed to be getting married on an island, just off the coast from Benidorm. There were lots of nesting seagulls there when we went and it’s fair to say they didn’t take too kindly to our arrival. It produced some hilarious moments, I have to say, and I think people saw that in the show.

When we’re making the programme, we spend a lot of time laughing and probably laughing too much. It’s like being on holiday. People’s attitude to it is that it’s a nice place to be and there’s certainly a sense that we catch the atmosphere and tend to go out quite a lot.

When we’re making the show, we visited the bars and do a bit of karaoke. It’s all good fun. The writer, Derren Litten, became the director as well as the writer and executive producer for this series.

He started off as an actor, so the short cut is to get up and show you how to do it. There’s compromise, of course, as we work to get it right. He’s very good, he knows what he wants.

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