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Hotel Babylon. Image shows from L to R: Charlie Edwards (Max Beesley), Rebecca Mitchell (Tamzin Outhwaite), Tony Casemore (Dexter Fletcher). Copyright: Carnival Films.

Hotel Babylon

BBC One comedy drama. 32 episodes (4 series), 2006 - 2009. Stars Tamzin Outhwaite, Max Beesley, Dexter Fletcher, Emma Pierson, Martin Marquez, Natalie Mendoza, Michael Obiora and others.

Press Clippings

A final slice of sugary-sweet shenanigans from perhaps the worst five-star hotel in creation - you'd probably have a better time at Fawlty Towers to be honest. There's something about this series that hasn't quite gelled, with the ongoing plot of whether Sam and Juliet will get back together not setting the world alight. Not to insult his many fans, but Nigel Harman just ain't Max Beesley, and if there's going to be a fifth series, a rethink is needed. It's still fun to an extent - but is that enough any more?

Mark Wright, The Stage, 14th August 2009

Love is in the air in the final episode of this series of the glossy hotel drama as an exclusive dating agency holds a "romantic event" at the Babylon. Not only does the event reunite the no-nonsense Juliet (Anna Wilson-Jones) with an old friend (guest star Michelle Collins) but things heat up for Juliet and the chancer-cum-hotel owner Sam (Nigel Harman) too.

The Telegraph, 14th August 2009

Hotel Babylon is The Bill/Casualty for soap actors without a soap: all must agree to an appearance before their Equity card is released back into their care. For the last in the series, Michelle Collins pops up as an old friend of Juliet who isn't as trustworthy as she appears to be. Juliet might have noticed this, had she not been too busy noisily slurping face with Sam and churning out lines such as "My laptop, you bastard!" Meanwhile, Gino is gripped by the mysterious erotic novel he finds on the printer.

The Guardian, 14th August 2009

Yes, that is Amy Nuttall in the opening titles tonight. The former Emmerdale and Celebrity Shark Bait star arrives at Babylon as the hotel's latest employee. Well, that's her story anyway. When Ben assumes she's the new receptionist she doesn't bother to correct him, even though the combination of her candy-pink lipstick and Ugly Betty-style braces make him recoil so squeamishly you'd think she was wearing a hat made out of used teabags.

But if he thinks her dress sense is bad, just wait till he sees what hotel owner Sam (Nigel Harman) is persuaded to wear at a baby shower tonight. Oh, Nigel, is this really what you signed up for?

Also checking in tonight is Hugh Dennis, who plays a comedian and an old flame of manager Juliet. And just to underline what a small world acting is, Hugh's on-screen daughter in Outnumbered is played by Ramona Marquez - the real-life daughter of Martin Marquez - Babylon's barman Gino.

Gino's overflowing with wisdom tonight as the hotel is the setting for the funeral of an Italian painter who was one of Babylon's most treasured guests.

As his widow and ex-wife trade black looks, the corridors of Babylon ring out with terrible Italian accents.

But then believability was never this show's forte - which could explain why Scottish actor Clive Russell is cast as the Italian corpse in another five-star farce.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 7th August 2009

Do you ever have those really weird dreams where famous people crop up in bizarre situations? Paul Ross unicycling through Matalan, that kind of thing? Well, is it just me or does Hotel Babylon, with each passing week, feel increasingly like one of those dreams?

Mike Ward, The Daily Express, 31st July 2009

It seems money is talking louder than common sense in this glossy hotel drama: in another bonkers storyline, owner Sam (Nigel Harman) strikes a deal with a magazine when the hotel is chosen as the venue for a royal wedding. But when the wedding is called off Sam continues with the party regardless, getting the hotel's staff to masquerade as wedding guests. It's all impish fun, but guest stars Kelly Osbourne and Darius Danesh are embarrassingly awkward.

Rachel Ward, The Telegraph, 31st July 2009

The only time you ever need to engage your brain during Hotel Babylon is to try and guess whether the famous faces you see checking in are going to be playing themselves or just acting.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 24th July 2009

After being pushed back a week to make way for BBC One's five-day Torchwood special, Hotel Babylon returns to its normal slot and typically there's drama in the glitzy guesthouse. Emily (Alexandra Moen) is faced with her estranged father when he enters Babylon's poker tournament and then tries to force Sam (Nigel Harman) to sell the hotel to him. Meanwhile, Tony (Dexter Fletcher) and his doppelganger (a successful American author who is staying at Babylon) decide to swap places for the day.

Catherine Gee, The Telegraph, 17th July 2009

Watching this new series of fivestar shenanigans is like drowning, slowly, in a vat of Asti Spumante. It's delicious and cool and frothy, but a little voice at the back of your head keeps telling you that it can't really be doing you any good. And all those bubbles do get up your nose after a while.

Tonight Honor Blackman has a ball camping it up outrageously as a batty movie siren while Tony Robinson takes a break from peering into muddy holes on C4 to play a man who once stole a gangster's wife. And as Anna goes into labour tonight, you might want to compare her childbirth scene with that of Maria's over on Corrie. Anna sailed through her pregnancy in pencil skirts and killer heels and the birth is no less glamourous.

But the series might be about to lose a little of its glitz as actress Emma Pierson and her baby check out tonight - once the identity of the baby's father has finally been revealed. You will be relieved to hear that it's not guest star Michael Winner.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 3rd July 2009

We're used to the idea of Hotel Babylon attracting a stream of familiar faces, guest-wise. In fact, most weeks it's almost like a little game of I-Spy, running entirely separately from the central plot.

But one of the arrivals this week is of more than just a passing significance. It's former deputy manager Charlie Edwards (Max Beesley) - who has good reason to show his face again.

As for the current staff, they're intrigued (like a good many of the guests) by claims that a stash of emeralds was hidden in the hotel many years ago, at least according to the posthumously published biography of a notorious criminal.

Oh, and back on the subject of guest stars, you get six points each for spotting an ex-member of the Blackadder cast and a former Avenger.

The Daily Express, 3rd July 2009