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New Channel 5 series on Benidorm's ex-pats

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Benidorm is hot property when it comes to television – and film crews are nothing new here. Ever since 2006, when the first episode of the hit ITV comedy Benidorm was shot, others have followed in their footsteps. Next Tuesday - 5th January sees a brand new 8 part documentary made by Blakewey North, an award winning TV company based in Manchester who also made BenidormER, so have lots of experience in the resort. It will hit our screens on Channel 5 and is called “Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun”.

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A day trip to Benidorm

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Millions visit Benidorm every year – and the Brits are among the largest percentage. Hotels are reporting 95% occupancy over the Christmas period, with many domestic tourists coming from the capital Madrid and other major Spanish cities. But surprisingly many Brits pop over to Benidorm on daytrips from other resorts. One lady who knows this better than others is Cathy Mac – a tour guide based in Torrevieja.

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It's all about the balls in Spain today!

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It’s all about balls here in Spain today – lottery balls, but more specifically the El Gordo. The annual Christmas draw takes place today, starting at 9am in Madrid at the Teatro Real, where children of San Ildefonso school sing the numbers out. Initially it is quite cute, but after three hours….

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Police swoop on counterfeit goods in Benidorm

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Decades ago you could only purchase “imitation designer brands” in the far East but now they are rife at virtually every market in Europe… and Benidorm is certainly no exception. With Christmas nearly upon us, many are looking to make that special purchase, not really thinking of the consequences - especially if money is tight, of buying an imitation.

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Sheila´s - A well established name in Benidorm

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One thing which has stood the test of time here in Benidorm is “Sheila´s Money exchange" – located at the Indoor Market in the Rincon de Loix. Banks, bars and restaurants come and go, but Sheila´s, which opened up in 1985 is still going strong – testament to their honest reputation and legion of loyal customers.

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Local charity helping Benidorm children

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Christmas is a time for giving and no-one knows this more than one very exceptional local man – British expat Gary James. Gary is selfless when it comes to charity and has not one but two charity shops called “Giving4Giving”. The first is in La Nucia and the other in Altea, which he opened in March of this year. The main beneficiaries are usually small lesser-known cancer charities and he holds a number of fundraising events throughout the year. Two of the most popular are a sponsored dog walk and the downhill bike ride.

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Benidorm gets into Christmas mood

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Christmas has certainly now arrived in Benidorm, marked by the lights being officially switched on at the Plaza de Navidad – meaning Christmas Square (The Town Hall Square). This extended Bank Holiday weekend has seen an influx of people into the resort and you can almost feel the buzz and excitement in the air. Remember tomorrow, Tuesday 8 is a National holiday - Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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El Gordo 2015 Christmas lottery

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As we are now in December, the countdown to Christmas is on. But most people in Spain look forward not to 24th or 25th – but to 22nd, which is the day that the El Gordo National Lottery is drawn! The El Gordo lottery pays out more prizes than any other lottery draw in the world and almost everyone in Spain plays - the average spend is 70 euros per person.

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Jalon - A favourite with the Brits

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A great place for a day trip is Jalon - sometimes referred as Xaló and located around 35km north east of Benidorm. It is an easy 30 minute drive along the N332, just follow the direction for Calpe. Jalon attracts many British expats to set up home there, especially families, as there is the Laude Lady Elizabeth secondary school nearby. Encompassed by some spectacular scenery, with the magnificent Sierra Bernia mountains forming a backdrop to the town, it is surrounded by fields of olive trees, almond & orange groves - but most of all, vines.

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Benidorm under construction

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An awful lot of money – tens of millions, is currently being invested in the resort, proving that astute business owners are confident Benidorm will continue to be a favourite holiday destination – which is all good news to us here.Two popular hotels are undergoing major refurbs and another is being built, in addition to alterations and improvements around the resort, by private businesses and the council.

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New €20 note released

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The new €20 banknote will start circulating within the Euro zone from this coming Wednesday -  November 25. Numerous security features have been incorporated into the new banknotes in order to protect and make them harder to counterfeit.

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Protest Rally in Benidorm gathers momentum

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The forthcoming protest rally in Benidorm, which is taking place on Monday is certainly causing ripples at the Town Hall. The event has been instigated by British ex-pat Karen Cowles in order to “Protect our Tourism”. Crime is nothing new and certainly not isolated to Benidorm - all high tourist destinations suffer the same. But many are now put off coming due to the reputation it is gaining of rising crime rates and lack of action taken by the police and authorities.

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Police raid Brit Bars in Benidorm

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Despite a police raid in October on a number of British Bars that ran illegal gambling dens, Autonomous Police from Valencia dismantled a further two last Thursday following an inspection. It has obviously not deterred the owners who continue to take bets despite the risks.

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Benidorm does Fancy Dress

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The event of the year took place in Benidorm today – the British Fancy Dress Day and boy what a day it was. This year certainly appeared to beat all expectations as the entire length of Calle Gerona was jam packed, from Western Saloon all the way past Jumping Jacks. It is also the first year that roads have been blocked off to traffic –not just Calle Gerona but all the roads running off it too, with National and Local Police out in numbers.

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News Snippets

  • All about the shoes +

    Jimmy Choo - the luxury British shoe company has been sold to American rival Michael Korrs, for nearly £900 million. Jimmy Choo was founded be a Malaysian designer in the 1990's and shot to prominence after being featured in the hot TV show Sex and the City
  • British passports +

    The UK voted Brexit yet it seems ludicrous that a French or German company may win the contract to produce British passports after 2019! One Tory MP is outraged stating that British passports should be manufactured in Britain, in a British factory employing British people - and not many would disagree with that.
  • Worse airport +

    Luton Airport has been voted Britain's worse airport in a survey conducted by "Which?" again. The airport has retained the title for the last 5 years and in response a spokesman said "We're disappointed"!
  • Vanilla prices +

    The price of vanilla pods have surged following a cyclone hitting the tropical island of Madagascar - which produces half of the world's supply. A kilo cost £250 prior to the cyclone but now more likely to fetch around £650. Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavour and because of the shortage, you may find it a challenge to find supplies in shops.
  • Sunday roast +

    The traditional roast of meat and two veg has fallen out of the Top 5 of Britain's favourite meals. There has been an 11 per cent slump, which equates to 157 million fewer roasts being served up in the last year. Much is thought to be due to people adopting a healthier lifestyle and the time it takes to prepare.
  • Learner drivers +

    From next year learner drivers will be allowed on UK motorways - but only with an approved driving instructor and in a dual-control car. A survey conducted on newly qualified drivers revealed that many avoid motorways out of fear and that this will help them and also teach them the correct way to navigate the often fast paced traffic and how to exit correctly.
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Upcoming Events

Sat Sep 23 @20:00 - 22:00
Christians Parade in Altea
Mon Sep 25 @20:00 - 22:00
Moors Parade in Altea
Sun Oct 08 @19:00 - 23:00
Variety Show at Benidorm Palace
Wed Oct 18 @14:00 - 18:00
Doggie Charity Fundraiser
Sun Oct 22 @19:00 - 23:30
The Foremost & The Grumbleweeds
Thu Nov 16 @13:00 -
British Fancy Dress Day

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Camel 46.50€
Embassy 51.50€
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