‘It’s not derogatory, we celebrate Benidorm!’

We caught up with Benidorm‘s Steve Pemberton on set, where the star revealed the stag-do mayhem in store for Mick when his brother and dad hit the resort…

Mick comes back into the new series of Benidorm at the end of episode two. Can you tell us what happens to him in the third episode?

“There’s a big stag do planned in Benidorm for Mick’s brother, Pete (Shaun Dooley). Their dad, Stan (David Bradley), is there, too. Although these two have never been to Benidorm before, they are very ‘Benidorm’ if you know what I mean. They’re much worse than the other Garveys and it’s a nightmare for Mick.”

So what happens on the stag do? We’re expecting the usual Benidorm mayhem…

“Well yes, it’s in fancy dress and there are some funny old sights. I get dressed up as Superman, although Mick’s a rather sad Superman, while Pete’s a convict and Stan’s a caveman. Donald and Kenneth rock up in drag, both as Rita Hayworth! It’s quite an episode for Mick’s son Michael, because he tags along dressed as a pirate and ends up getting horrendously drunk. Janice isn’t pleased.”

Mick’s still having trouble with the sunbed business at home, isn’t he?

“Things aren’t going well with the sunbed shops in Britain. Mick’s cocked up basically. Of course, Madge thinks he’s got his roving eye on one of the young girls employed there. It all leads up to a big family showdown at the end of the series…”

This is the fifth series, so there must be loads more fans now?

“Filming this series has been more crazy than ever. We used to be able to walk through the swimming pool area backwards and forwards to the main hotel building to go to the toilet and no one bothered us. Now we just can’t do that because you’d be there all day greeting people. It’s lovely that we’re so popular though.”

You’ve written this episode and two more later on. How have you found it?

“I’ve loved it. I was very fortunate that I was asked. What was brilliant was that all the hard work, creating the characters and the atmosphere, was already done by the brilliant writer/creator Derren Litten. I just had to come up with some ideas to continue that really.”

Was it difficult to write comedy episodes for something that hadn’t originally been your creation?

“I did feel the responsibility for making sure everyone had enough to do because it’s such a big cast. It’s quite weird for me to have another hat on. Obviously I’ve done writing before and hopefully people watching it won’t see the difference. That’s the aim. I wouldn’t normally write for something that wasn’t my own as I wouldn’t want to be a writer for hire. But Benidorm is so close to my heart. I’ve been in the series from the start and the scripts have always been brilliant, so I just felt that responsibility to make my episodes really good.”

It must be hard being away from your family for nearly three months of filming. Do they come out much to visit?

“During the half-term week in the autumn there are lots of kids running around. We’ve all got our families out here, and they all know each other very well, so they do look forward to coming out to Spain to be with us and have fun. My kids wouldn’t sit down and watch the filming because it can drag on for ages, and just one scene can go on for a long time. My son Lucas was in the Christmas special last year and he enjoyed doing a bit of extra work.”

What do you think the show has done for Benidorm as a resort in recent years?

“Well, people are watching us and coming here on holiday, so it’s marvellous, and the show isn’t done in a derogatory way. It celebrates Benidorm and makes it look great fun, which is what it is.”

*Benidorm is on Fridays, ITV1, 9pm, and the stag-do episode will be shown on March 9