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Benidorm’s Julie Graham and Steve Edge: ‘Everyone ruins things for Sheron and Billy!’

With the Dawsons checking in for more poolside chaos and screaming matches at the Solana, we caught up with Julie Graham and Steve Edge to find out what’s in store for the family in the new series of Benidorm…

The Dawsons caused a splash when they joined the hit ITV comedy Benidorm last year. Now they’re back in the Spanish resort but this time with mum Sheron’s outrageous man-eating mum Loretta (Brookside’s Kate Fitzgerald) in tow! During filming, What’s On TV caught up with Steve Edge and Julie Graham, who play Billy and Sheron Dawson, to find out what the family get up to this series…

Tell us what Sheron's mum Loretta is like? Julie: “She’s the mother from hell! She’s opinionated and very free. She’s great fun to be around, but it’s a bit like when you have a really amazing friend but you’d hate to be married to them. She’s that kind of person.” Steve: “You can only cope with her for short periods of time. Her and Billy definitely don’t see eye to eye! She keeps abbreviating his name to Bill and that winds him up.”

Is Sheron embarrassed to have Loretta staying with them at the Solana? Julie: “No, I don’t think so. She was probably embarrassed by her when she was growing up, but I think she’s over that now. I think Sheron gets a lot of enjoyment from Loretta, but sometimes Loretta just goes too far.”

Like when Jodie (Honor Kneafsey) goes back to England for an audition and Loretta returns to Benidorm without her! How does Sheron react to that? Julie: “She has a bit of a screaming fit! It turns out Jodie’s fine, but that’s the kind of person Loretta is. She’s irresponsible and she does her own thing. Everyone has to fit around what she wants.”

Nightmare nan...Loretta!

Nightmare nan...Loretta! (Image credit: ITV / Tiger Aspect)

Rob (Josh Bolt), also starts going out drinking a lot this series, so has he changed? Steve: “Yeah, he’s grown up a little bit. He’s at uni doing a BA and he’s sort of drifted off with Tiger and Joey. He’s getting into their scams a little bit more.” Julie: “There’s also a suggestion that he might be gay but I don’t think Sheron and Billy are bothered by it. I think if anyone had a problem with it it would be Eddie because he’s a bit of a dinosaur. There’s a bit of that gentle winding up that families do but I don’t think there’s any malice behind it.”

 How are things between Sheron and Billy's dad Eddie (Bobby Knutt) this year? Steve: “Last year Billy was very much the peacemaker trying to keep those two apart, but because Eddie’s lived with them for a year I think Sheron’s softened a bit.”Julie: “She’s mellowed a little. She’s allowed him to come on holiday with them again anyway!”

And what about between Sheron and Billy? Julie: “They’re fine. If they came on holiday by themselves they’d have a great time.” Steve: “Yeah everyone else just keeps ruining it for them!” Julie: “They have a sort of role play date night one night where she makes him dress up as Crocodile Dundee, which of course turns into a disaster!”


The Dawsons are back at the Solana, making mischief

Have you had any scenes with any of the guest stars? Steve: “I did one with Uri Geller. Uri puts a sort of spell on Billy and he starts living life and embracing positive energy. He even sings Happy by Pharrell Williams at Neptunes! Uri Geller also bent a spoon for me for fun. I watched him very closely but I couldn’t see the trick!”

Do you all get on? Steve: “Yeah we do! With Knutty and Kate it’s like going on holiday with your nan and granddad sometimes with the conversations we have.” Julie: “And Josh is like my son. I often sit down and give him a good talking to. I constantly have to rein him in!”

What’s it like when you all go out together in Benidorm? Julie: “We get recognised a lot now and people do a double take if we’re all out together, but they’re always really lovely. It’s not a bad job – I’ve done a lot of filming in car parks in Manchester and Leeds, so this more than makes up for it!”

Benidorm series 9 premieres on Wednesday March 1 at 9pm on ITV