As the seventh series of Benidorm opens, the regulars round the hotel pool are preparing to say goodbye to the rowdy, yet lovable, Garveys, Mick (Steve Pemberton), Janice (Siobhan Finneran), Madge (Sheila Reid) and Michael (Oliver Stokes).
Steve, who also starred in and wrote Mapp And Lucia, which was shown at Christmas, ecollects the last day of filming. “When we arrived at the Solana, the whole crew were wearing T-shirts which read, ‘Adios, Los Garvos!’ We got very emotional.
There were tears shed. We had a party and they put on a firework display and a barbecue for us. Our departure was certainly marked.
“It was definitely the right time to move on and I’m glad we were able to do it as a family,” adds Steve. “We knew Benidorm would have a life beyond us, so we thought, ‘Let’s bow out disgracefully!’”
And as you might hope, the Garveys leave on a dramatic note.
Joan Collins is the personification of Hollywood glamour and brilliant at delivering one-liners that cut you to the quick
Formidable CEO Crystal Hennessy-Vass (Joan Collins) is also back to put the fear of God into Joyce.
Sherrie, who has been seen in soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale says she loves working with Joan.
“The perception of Joan Collins is of a Hollywood superstar – and that’s correct. She always looks stunning and immaculate and makes us all feel inadequate. But Joan is lovely. I adore Joan.
"We get on very well. I love that Hollywood glamour – I don’t think we have enough of that in this country.
"She is he personification of Hollywood glamour. She’s also brilliant at delivering one-liners which cut you to the quick. You can see her class.”
Adam Gillen, who plays Liam, says, “People greet you in the street like old friends. It feels very special. You don’t get that on Silent Witness!”
“The sun is always shining and everyone is having a good time on holiday. That makes
a massive difference when you’re watching in the gloom of a British January or February. People come up to me and say, ‘It really cheers me up. I can sit here and have a giggle and forget that I’m under six feet of snow’.”
Do the Garvey family actors think there is any possibility of a return? “It’s adios and not goodbye,” says Steve, also known for The League Of Gentlemen, Happy Valley, Inside Number 9, Psychoville and Whitechapel.
“The door is definitely ajar. I’m sure we will all be rattling on the doorknob at some time in the future.”
Benidorm, Friday, 9pm, ITV