What’s On TV travelled to the Spanish fishing village of Calpe to meet Adam Gillen as he filmed episode five of ITV1's Benidorm (Friday, March 23). He reveals the misadventures that happen to hotel handyman Liam as he leads the British Olympic synchronised swimming team on a cultural excursion that goes horrendously wrong... Liam gets a trip away from the Solana in episode 5. Can you tell us more about it? “I do the tourist guide thing and bring the British synchronised swimming team on a trip to Calpe, which has a lovely bustling fish market just up the coast from Benidorm. He’s in charge of the day trip there because the manager of the hotel Joyce wants to give Liam more responsibility and she trusts him the most out of her staff to be in charge of the synchro team for the day, and keep them out of trouble. They’ve been staying at the Solana.” So why is young Michael Garvey there with him? “Liam ropes in Michael to come along with him for some moral support. Of course it all goes horrendously wrong Benidorm-style, especially for little Michael. For Liam it’s not quite the lovely trip and cultural experience he wanted it to be. Basically the synchro swimming team wanders off and find a Booze Cruise. They all get bladdered on it.” Is there a guest star in this episode? “Siobhan Redmond, who used to be in Holby City, plays the coach of the synchro swimming team, Hazel. She wants the whole pool shut down when the team are doing they’re training. So when Joyce clears it of bathers, it really annoys everyone. There’s a lot of legs in the air in the pool as the training goes on!” This is your second season on Benidorm; how are you finding it this time around? “It’s brilliant to live and work in Spain for the time we film. I cherish my time here. We are one big family, and everyone looks out for each other. Before I ever came to Benidorm I didn’t think twice about the place, but now I’ve been here and worked here, I know how much fun it is.” Liam gets some weird old clothes to wear - Union Jack socks and sandals for this particular episode – and his hair’s so odd, too. Did you have an influence on his styles? “The idea I passed on to the costume department was that I should I have hair that looks like it’s been done by Solana’s hairdresser Kenneth on the cheap. I call it a high bob! And the clothes, well I’ll wear anything or any combination they care to give me. Last year all Liam’s clothes were probably bought by his mother, but I reckon this year they were bought by Liam himself, so they’re probably even more unfashionable.” What’s it like working with Tim Healy as Liam’s cross-dressing dad Les/Lesley, and how is their relationship this series? “It moves along in a lovely way. Liam and Les are much more comfortable with each other because last year they didn’t know each other that well. They’re more of a team this time, with dad Les behind the bar and Liam as the handyman caretaker. It’s been very sweet to see them bonding more and more as time goes along.” What have been the highlights for you and Liam in this series of Benidorm? “Some great accidents this time around, involving lots of stunts. I love doing ‘stunty’ things and physical stuff. The dancing in the the second episode was pretty hard, when Liam did a jive with Trudy. It was a very complicated routine.” Liam had his heart broken last year, didn’t he? Do his relationships continue like that? “He has more of an ambigious romantic life this time around. Something’s going on but it’s undercurrents.”
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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.