|Joan Collins in Benidorm – both the town and the TV series |
By: thinkSPAIN , Tuesday, June 3, 2014
actress Joan Collins caused a stir in Benidorm this morning (Tuesday) where she has travelled to film a chapter for the British series of the same name.
UK-born Joan, looked resplendent as she posed for a photo with councillor Gema Amor and series producer Pere Agulló and chatted to Mayor Agustin Navarro.
Sister of 'bonkbuster' novelist Jackie, Joan has already featured in the comedy Benidorm during its sixth season and will appear again in another episode later this year.
The show, based on location in the Costa Blanca town using its hotel facilities, streets in the old town and cabaret club Benidorm Palace, centres on a working class Lancashire family, Janice and Mick Garvey and their teenage son Michael, plus a couple of middle-aged swingers from Middlesborough, Janice's chain-smoking, bad-tempered, chewed-leather mum Madge, and snobby Kate and put-upon husband Martin, among others.
Stereotypes of Brits in Benidorm are milked for all they are worth – Mick has been in trouble for benefit fraud, Michael goes 'missing' on a party boat full of girls and alcohol, Madge is held up at customs as her tanning pills are mistaken for drugs, and right in the middle of the kitsch action involving socially-inept teenage boys trying desperately to get girlfriends, annoying holiday rep Janice, transvestite bar staff, kiss-me-quick hats and England T-shirts, topical ideas of Spain are also played out with hunky Spanish barman Mateo having affairs with practically every woman, married or otherwise, who asks him – and most of them do.
As well as Benidorm, nearby Altea – a total contrast to the lively, cheesy, high-rise resort town – featured in the first series as Kate and Martin find their smart Parador in the quiet, cobbled, historic village is overbooked and they have no choice but to stay in Benidorm's La Solana hotel, making snappy Kate with her superiority complex live out her worst nightmare.
Altea's Neo-Classical architecture, windy lanes and blue-domed church – typical architecture of the Comunidad Valenciana – show British viewers that even just a couple of kilometres outside of the Costa Blanca's 'Blackpool with sun', the panorama totally changes and Spain as it really is for the natives is alive and well.
is said to have one of the largest audience shares of all TV programmes aired in the UK, but its following in Spain by those who have satellite television with British channels is greater still as they can identify with their own experiences of holidaymakers and of people-watching in the fun-but-tacky, must-see-at-least-once tourist haven.