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Siobhan Finneran on the return of Benidorm

Siobhan Finneran
Siobhan Finneran on the return of Benidorm

As the suitcases are dusted off and the sunscreen is applied, we speak to Siobhan Finneran - Benidorm's Janice Garvey - about the return of the sitcom... What do you think of Janice's relationship with her husband Mick? "Everyone can relate to them. They're a bit like Jack and Vera or Stan and Hilda in Coronation Street. They may fight, but they really love each other. If either of them was attacked, the other would be the first to leap to their defence." How would you describe Janice? "Janice is feisty and fabulous. Even though they constantly argue, she adores her family and always wants them to be together. She may not win any prizes for world's best mother, but she has to put up with a heck of a lot from Madge." Madge does make life difficult for her daughter, why does Janice stay in Benidorm with her mother when she is such a handful? "Janice is very long-suffering – she is the only one of Madge's six children who still speaks to her! Still, mothers and daughters are supposed to spar, so everyone likes that relationship!" How have viewers responded to the characters? “Audiences seem to really like these characters – if they didn’t, they wouldn’t bother watching them! People are more than happy to go on holiday to Benidorm with these characters. They enjoy their company because they know they’ll always have a good giggle with them!" So do tourists in Benidorm see similarities between their holiday and the programme? "What's brilliant is that viewers can recognise people they know in the characters. When we walk round the streets of Benidorm, anyone on a mobility scooter gets called ‘Madge’!" Benidorm returns to ITV1 on October 2 at 9pm.

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.