EastEnders star Shane Richie will return for Benidorm Series 10

EastEnders favourite Shane Richie is coming back to hit ITV series Benidorm when Series 10 starts filming in the Spanish resort soon...and he’ll be joined by comedy duo Hale & Pace

Shane Richie, who plays Alfie Moon in EastEnders, is back for four Benidorm episodes, reprising his role as slimy holiday entertainer Sammy Valentino, who if you remember ended up getting punched by Rob Dawson (Josh Bolt) when he last appeared in Series 8.

Other new additions are the veteran comedy pairing of Hale & Pace, who play undercover detectives investigating Tim Healy’s cross-dressing character Les/Lesley.

Sadly for fans of Tiger Dyke, played by Danny Walters since 2014, the shock news is Tiger won’t be returning to the Solana next time, and neither will The Oracle (Johnny Vegas) or Troy (Paul Bazely). But as always when characters leave Benidorm, they’ve often made comebacks in subsequent series, so let’s hope it’s not the last we see of these three.

But there are plenty of familiar faces who are making a welcome return, including The Dawson family (Julie Graham, Steve Edge, Kate Fitzgerald, Bobby Knutt and Josh Bolt) as Billy and Sheron celebrate their silver wedding anniversary, which is bound to be chaotic.

Joyce Temple Savage (Sherrie Hewson) and Mateo (Jake Canuso) are back, as are Noreen (Elsie Kelly), Pauline (Selina Griffiths), Liam (Adam Gillen), Kenneth (Tony Maudsley), Sam (Shelley Longworth), Joey (Nathan Bryon) and Jacqueline (Janine Duvitski), while John Challis becomes a series regular with his character Monty Staines.

Benidorm’s creator, writer and exec producer, Derren Litten, is excited: "When I wrote the first script of Benidorm, I had no idea it would change my life so dramatically over the next 10 years. As I put the finishing touches to the 74th episode I’m so grateful to our fans and to ITV for giving Benidorm the best possible home we could hope for.  Here's to the next 10 years!”

* Benidorm Series 9 is currently showing on Wednesdays, ITV, at 9pm, while Series 10 will be shown next year

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.