An ensemble sitcom which focuses on the adventures of a group of British holiday makers staying at The Solana holiday resort in Spain
- 2007 - 2012 (ITV)
- 35 (5 series)
- Steve Pemberton, Siobhan Finneran, Sheila Reid, Hugh Sachs, Kenny Ireland, Janine Duvitski, Elsie Kelly, Oliver Stokes, Jake Canuso, Tim Healy, Asa Elliott
- Derren Litten, Steve Pemberton, Neil Fitzmaurice
- Tiger Aspect Productions
The Solana holiday resort in Spain welcomes a regular group of British holiday makers each year.
Hotel guests across the five series include enthusiastic middle-aged swingers Jacqueline and Donald; snobby Kate and Martin Weedon; Lancashire's pub quiz champion Geoff 'The Oracle' Maltby; Gay couple Gavin and Troy; and the loud Garvey family.
Series 4 saw a number of changes in the line-up of guests visiting the hotel. Gavin brought along a new holiday companion called Kenneth; whilst Les (aka Lesley) became a barman at the hotel, with his teenage son Liam in tow.
In Series 5 the holidaymakers are in for a shock as the Solana resort gets a new manager... and she means business! Joyce Temple Savage is on a mission to upgrade the Solana resort into a 4 star hotel - at all costs.
Meanwhile Madge shocks her family and friends with a surprise announcement, and a mystery guest from series two causes mischief for Janice. Also Kenneth is now a Benidorm businessman with his popular new hair salon based at the Solana resort, and Benidorm good time girl Sam returns with a new friend in tow called Trudy.
Our Review: We didn't think much of this all-star ITV1 ensemble piece when it was first broadcast back in 2007, but in the five series since, it's grown on us. Benidorm is by no means a classic, but it's certainly not terrible, and now acts as an enjoyable enough way to relax in front of the TV.
A little annoyingly, the show has the power to make some of the British Comedy Guide team crave a holiday - why do they broadcast it in the rainy months here in the UK?!
After two series of half-hour episodes, the third saw the show extended to a 60 minute format - a format it has remained at since. We were initially worried that the additional time would lead to a bloated programme, but writer Derren Litten uses the time perfectly, building up more rounded characters, and allowing for longer storylines.
Series 4 did go downhill a little, we felt. Notably, it suffered from the loss of a number of characters - the lack of Johnny Vegas as The Oracle was like a gaping chasm in the series - but newcomers such as Liam proved very entertaining.
Meanwhile Elsie Kelly as easy-going Noreen Maltby continues to steal every scene she is in. We love her character!