Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stalking Celebrities In Benidorm......

Since we are down to our last few days at this five-week house sit near Alicante, I thought one last trip to Benidorm was a must. If you recall we first became aware of the bustling, coastal city while house sitting through the UK. We stumbled upon a British comedy show by the same name that was currently in season EIGHT. Well since the UK is cold and rainy we managed to find and binge watch the prior SEVEN seasons. And because most ALL of the homeowners we have met are Brits or Scots we have plenty of BBC and ITV telly to watch. Recently we finished watching Season 9 and Season 10 is currently being filmed right here in the town of Benidorm.

Need We Say More?

The show takes place at a three-star, all inclusive resort called The Solana which is filmed at the real Sol Pelicanos Ocas along with its sister hotel directly next door. It follows an ensemble cast of characters from the UK that book a holiday at the resort every year, only to complain about it's lousy food and accommodations. The bumbling hotel staff gives the show a slight feeling of the old Faulty Towers, since nothing ever seems to go right yet the hotel management sweeps all of the troubles under the carpet. While the cast of characters has changed over the ten seasons the premise is the same. Bargain loving Brits taking advantage of the 315 days of sunshine per year just a few hours from home at discount prices. Many holiday hounds in Benidorm take relaxing to the max and hire mobility scooters that can be rented cheap so they do not even have to tire out their feet on holiday. There IS even a path for them to ride on down to the sandy beaches to avoid walking there too.

The Mobility Scooter Used By People That Don't Need Them Is A Theme Of The Show
This Is A Scene From The Show Past Seasons

The Real Hotel Where The Show Is Filmed

On our first trip to Benidorm we spotted production trucks full of props, wardrobe, food and more but failed to see any of the actors. Yesterday we merely set out for a day at the beach since we had given up on spotting any of our favorite characters from the show. But while looking for a parking spot we noticed a row of trucks parked along the roadside. As there was a Wednesday street market nearby we thought it might be for that. But then we noticed one truck full of props and another with a TV logo on the outside. Could they be filming here still? So we decided to park and walk down the street to see what we might discover.

Production Crew Trucks

Not far from the trucks in a parking lot they were setting up canopies with tables underneath for lunch. Clyde said, "wow, they're going to be having lunch soon and maybe we can catch a glimpse of the actors from afar." He suggested that we wait there and see. We began chatting with a British couple nearby who were also fans of the show. Just than a older man dressed in a tee shirt and shorts approached us and asked, "do you want to see the actors from Benidorm?" Of course we said, "yes," to which he responded, "well don't look that way cause you won't see anything." He went on to explain that they were filming across the street in an apartment complex (used to film scenes inside the hotel) and he said  they would be coming out for lunch soon and would be walking across the street right in front of us.

On Location Setting Up For Celebs To Have Lunch

Celebs Eating Lunch

Wow!!! This was TOO good to be true! Did we just happen to be in the right place at the right time? Would be REALLY be getting to see some of our favorite cast members that had become almost like friends, in our heads?

A Scene From The Benidorm Show
We Did Not See All Of These Actors

While waiting we began talking to another British couple, also fans of  the show who HAD seen some of the actors on other occasion in the streets. The sun was hot and the minutes led to an hour or more of standing there in the hot sun waiting for something to happen. But nearby food was being carried out to the tents so we KNEW something would happen eventually.

Suddenly people began coming from across the road and down the street and we tried to spot a familiar face among the crowd. Just then the British couple said, "did you see Jacquline....and Pauline and Noreen?" Or the actresses that play those parts. "WHAT....NO....WE MISSED THEM," I said. Yes somehow they walked right by us and we missed them and now we could only see them in the distance eating lunch. But not to despair because they HAD to come back out once they were done and we could catch them at that time.

An English Comedian On The Left
Actress Janine Duvitski Who Plays Jacqueline On The Show, She Is Hiding From Fans

Jacqueline In Character

Jacqueline And Late Actor Kenny Ireland Who Played Her Husband On Show In Previous Seasons
They Played An Elderly, Very Wild And Open Swinger Couple

Lesson learned here: Actors play a role and DO NOT necessarily look like they do on camera! Take for example the character of Noreen played by Elsie Kelly. On camera she wears a big floppy hat and glasses and her hair appears yellow. In real life she had pure white hair, no hat or glasses and walked right by us. Had the British couple not seen here before in real life and had not told us it was her we would have never known.

Actress Elsie Kelly Who Plays Noreen On Benidorm

Kelly In Character As Noreen.....Does Not Look Like She Did In Person

The Character Is A Sweet, Ditzy Old Lady Loved By All

After eating the cast members walked by us heading back to work and we managed to snap a few photos. They all avoided making eye contact with the fans that were waiting and tried to quietly walk by. We noticed two young men approach actress Selina Griffiths who plays the drunken daughter Pauleen to Noreen. One man posed for a selfie with her and Clyde quickly said to me, "come on." So we approached her from behind asking please can we get a photo since we came ALL the way from America. She was gracious enough to pose for a photo with me, a nice culmination to our hours of standing in the hot sun waiting.

Actress Selina Griffiths And Me

Selina Griffiths Sneaks By Fans

Griffiths In Character....As Pauline She Is A Bumbling, Snobby, Drunk

Afterwards we managed to have a late lunch before finally heading to the beach. We cooled off with a dip in the crystal, clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, relaxed on some sunbeds (lounge chairs to us), and enjoyed an icy cold adult beverage.

Young Man Selling Mojitos And Sex On The Beach For 5 Euros On Beach

While there are plenty of other beaches nearby we've come to love the vibe, excitement and craziness that makes up Benidorm. From young bachelors celebrating their last few days of freedom to wrinkled pensioners going topless on the beaches, it has something for everyone. There were plenty of British kids spouting off phrases like, "what a lovely day" nearby in between throwing sand at their siblings. Families with kids, young newlyweds, old  timers riding on motorized carts and everything in between. A pint of beer can be had for just ONE EURO, less than the cost of a bottle of water and probably can be purchased with breakfast.

Sunbeds Rent For 4.50 Euros Each And Umbrella Too

And with SO many Brits on holiday in Benidorm we had to keep reminding ourselves that we are in Spain and not the UK. Rarely did we need to use Spanish there since most everyone that works in the tourist industry speaks English. Even fish and chips with mushy peas can be found on many menus and is what Clyde had for lunch yesterday.

We Are Turning Into Brits......
Fish, Chips And Mushy Peas....Clyde's Favorite But Too Greasy For Me

From stalking celebrities to sunning our buns we enjoyed our day of fun in the sun in Benidorm. And my new take on life can be expressed by the words on my chest, "Good Girls Go To Heaven And Bad Girls Go To Benidorm," which I guess makes me a bad girl here in Spain......along the gringo trail.

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