There’s a very eventful next episode of Benidorm on Monday (ITV, January 18, 9pm) when Solana hairdresser Kenneth thinks he’s struck gold.
He’s told that mega rich Herbert – head of Benidorm’s hairdressing mafia, AKA The Hafia – has died and left most of his fortune to him. Kenneth’s beside himself with excitement and has a big spend up…
“Norman The Doorman tells Kenneth that Herbert’s dead,” explains Tony Maudsley, who plays the Solana’s camp crimper. “Norman, played again by the wonderful Louis Emerick, knows Herbert’s been paying Kenneth’s rent on the Blow & Go salon, which is why he thinks Kenneth’s about to inherit Herbert’s estate.
“After hearing the news, Kenneth goes on a bit of a spending spree, gets all blinged up and buys a sports car that’s just about big enough for Noddy! He gets stuck in that sports car, too, so I had a little stunt as they tried to pull him out of it. There were thousands of tourists watching us film it.”
The episode also sees veteran actor and comedian Roy Hudd playing the solicitor who presides over the reading of the will in front of some of Benidorm’s most flamboyant residents.
“I loved having Roy on set,” said Tony. “Roy’s done Crackerjack and everything and he talked to me all day about Victorian Music Hall. The will reading is quite a scene. Herbert had a lot of friends from the dark streets of Benidorm Old Town, who all come out of the closet for the reading of the will, which was very, very funny.
“After filming the drag queens showed us their wet tights, from all the sweat because it was such a hot day to shoot the scene! They were very funny. What a motley crew.”
Viewers will later see some clashes between Kenneth and Troy (Paul Bazely) over the direction the Solana salon is heading.
“Troy has come back and Kenneth used to work for Troy in Derby but never liked him,” said Tony. “Troy told him off once for nicking bog roll out of the salon so they had a big fight over it and never got on. But Troy’s back and he tries to change everything about Blow & Go, trying to make it more up-market and chic. He’s even trying to change the name of Blow & Go to Hair By Troy, which Kenneth’s not happy about at all.”
Kenneth is of course missing his old Blow & Go buddy Liam, who’s now working in Madrid.
“Kenneth is heartbroken Liam’s gone,” says Tony. “It’s a whole new dynamic now. Kenneth and Liam looked out for each other, but with Troy that doesn’t happen so much, so it’s created a new tension. It’s changed things as Kenneth and Liam have just been having fun for the last couple of years, so now suddenly Kenneth is out of control and vulnerable as well. He suddenly feels like the whole world is against him.’
One thing Kenneth’s loved for is the slogans on his tight-fitting T-shirts, and it’s Tony himself who provides most of these slogans for the show.
“I’ve got a really filthy mind,” he laughs. “But they’ve really tamed me in the last few years. I’m not sure why, but a lot of the slogans have to be passed by a lawyer and they get stopped before they even get to the screen. I make them all up, or my family and friends do. My niece made up ‘Combosexual’- she’s 13!
“I do have chats with the head of costume over what Kenneth wears. I don’t mind looking completely stupid, but if it’s only halfway stupid then it’s a bit so what? Last year they tried to cover up a bit of flesh and I said we’re starting to apologise for what Kenneth looks like underneath and he thinks he looks fabulous. The minute we start apologising for the way Kenneth looks then we’ll start losing the character so I put my foot down and said: ‘No, take those shorts up! The further up the crack of his arse the better!’”