A quick chat with Benidorm star Steve Pemberton
Benidorm star Stever Pemberton talks about filming a Christmas special in the height of a Spanish summer! What was the weather like during filming? "We filmed the episode in August and it was 40degC. It was so weird being surrounded by turkey and crackers and then huddling around air conditioning units. They played Christmas music to get us in the mood." So is it true your sons make a cameo appearance? "There’s a scene at the end when all the kids come running out of the hotel to get a present from Father Christmas and my nine-year old son Louis is in it. I was dressed in a ridiculous Miss Santa outfit at the time and he thought it was hilarious. My 10-year old Lucas appears too. He isn’t a stage school kid at all, though. He wanted to be in the scene, but when we filmed it he kept saying, 'Can I go now?'" How did the death of Geoffrey Hutchings, who played Mel, just a few weeks before filming affect the team? "It was a real shock to us all. The scripts were rewritten and we had to film scenes where we learn that Mel had passed away. Coming so soon after Geoffrey’s death it was very emotional and I think it’s very tangible when you watch it – it’s more than just acting." Have you seen the finished episode? "Yes, we all watched together and it was great because we’re a very close cast. After a few tears were shed we had a great party and celebrated. It’s a very special episode." Will you be watching again at Christmas? "No, I will be in Dubai. My brother is getting married on the beach there so I’m chasing the sun. I hope it won’t be like Madge and Mel’s wedding – fingers crossed it’ll be more straightforward!" The Benidorm Christmas Special screens on Boxing Day at 9pm on ITV1.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.