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Siobhan Finneran reveals her new Benidorm secrets

As the new series of Benidorm kicks off on ITV1, we sit poolside at the Solana resort with actress Siobhan Finneran to find out what's in store for the Garveys this time round...

What's On TV, 15th February 2012

Quite a dolorous entry for this fourth season of Benidorm. Yes, there are still ample doses of vulgarity, bad behaviour (alcoholic Pauline goes on a bender) and eye-watering cross-dressing (Tim Healy's Lesley does country and western). Otherwise, the storm cloud over the Solana Resort mirrors the mood of the holiday-makers. Donald gets even worse health news, young Michael and nitwit Liam are unlucky in love, while Johnny Neptune (Ian Reddington) turns up and gives Janice the shock of her life. Be it gutsy karaoke, almost heroic head-butting or controlled heartache, this series has demanded much of Mrs Garvey, and Siobhan Finneran is simply magnificent.

Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times, 25th March 2011

The second episode of this saucy seaside comedy delivers more innuendo-laden material. Tonight, layabout husband Mick (Steve Pemberton) finds himself squabbling with uptight newcomer Pauline (Selina Griffiths), but their fights seem to end up with them in accidental sexual positions, much to the fury of Mick's wife Janice (Siobhan Finneran). That's about as sophisticated as it gets. The series boasts a raft of talented actors, including Tony Maudsley and Tim Healy, but relies for titters on jokes about gastric upset and the double meaning of "balls", which are about as funny as sunstroke.

Vicki Power, The Telegraph, 3rd March 2011

With brassy characters, outlandish storylines and a sun-drenched setting, it's easy to see why Derren Litten's comedy drama has become so popular. It's back for a fourth series, although it's starting to lose its sparkle. New holidaymakers include portly hairdresser Kenneth (Tony Maudsley) and party girls Sam and Natalie (Shelley Longworth and Kathryn Drysdale). Meanwhile Solana stalwarts the Garveys (Steve Pemberton and Siobhan Finneran) return to track down a beleaguered Madge (Shelia Reid).

Toby Dantzic, The Telegraph, 24th February 2011

In tonight's double bill from 2008, vinegary gran Madge (Sheila Reid) meets her match in hard nut Sylvia - Wendy Richard in her first role after EastEnders. Their High Noon face-off around the pool in cowgirl hats and mobility scooters is a comedy classic. Meanwhile, the overweight swingers have managed to break a second bed at the Solana Resort, despite not "really going at it" and Jacqueline (saucy Janine Duvitski) keeping "one leg on the vanity unit". Benidorm benefits from a terrific ensemble, but tonight's second episode belongs to Siobhan Finneran - on another planet from her wicked soap-dropping O'Brien in Downton Abbey. As put-upon mum Janice, she's astonished by the advances of a randy Jack the lad, then stuns everyone by serenading oafish hubby Mick (Steve Pemberton) with Dead Ringer for Love at the karaoke. Like a post-watershed Corrie meets Carry On Abroad, Benidorm's hilarious sun-drenched bawdry is the perfect antidote to January blues.

Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times, 8th January 2011

Derren Litten's Costa comedy is, as you'd hope, growing old gracelessly. At its heart is still the crabby marriage of Mick (Steve Pemberton) and Janice (Siobhan Finneran) as they take their umpteenth break in the Spanish sun, although these days Janice's mean-spirited mum is married to local mobility-scooter king, Mel, and hanging out at his lavish villa in a Jacuzzi. Mel was played by Geoffrey Hutchings, who died earlier this year, but this one-off finds a touching way to deal with his passing. As farcical storylines collide, a sad tale bubbles away off-screen.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 26th December 2010

It's brash, bold and, despite its poor innuendos and obvious crudeness, at times quite brilliant in its sending-up of the working-class stereotype of the popular Spanish tourist destination. In tonight's second episode of the third series, Mick (Steve Pemberton) and Janice (Siobhan Finneran) are having relationship troubles and Brandy (Sheridan Smith) plays a practical joke on the bumbling Martin (Nicholas Burns).

Rachel Ward, The Telegraph, 9th October 2009

As ex-magician Greg Wilson's solicitor tells him after he's been charged with assaulting a woman in the Kingdom of Couches-esque sofa warehouse in which he works, "The law can be a very sexist environment. It's very difficult for women to prove themselves. Especially the ugly ones." Written by Toby Whithouse, whose CV includes Doctor Who and No Angels, this chucklesome, misanthropic comedy has Martin Freeman as Greg and features the excellent Siobhan Finneran and Phil Davis.

Gareth McLean, The Guardian, 5th October 2007

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