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Negative press for Benidorm

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The last few days have not been very positive for the resort press-wise – with the usual red top tabloids splashing totally false sensational headlines, obviously to sell more copies! Today’s issue of The Scottish Sun, with “Murder on Hen-Do” has to take the gold medal… but as the saying goes, never let the truth get in the way of a good story! The Spanish press reports that in all probability it was a tragic accident...

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Driving to Spain this summer?

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Instead of flying, many people opt to drive to Spain, either taking the ferry to Northern Spain then heading down or making the journey through France - but with the tolls, not always a cheap option. But be aware that a change in EU law, which comes into effect on May 6 means that British motorists risk being fined up to €750 for speeding in other European countries. An EU directive will give France, Spain and other European countries the power to obtain driver details through DVLA to chase up payment

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Benidorm campsite faces closure

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Campsites are not solely for holidaymakers but also a very popular lifestyle choice for many in Benidorm, which is all too apparent if you see the number of sites here. Villamar is by far the largest, with around 1,500 plots followed by El Raco, Vilasol, Arena Blanca, Camping Armanello, Camping Benidorm and La Torreta. However, Benidorm council has revoked the license issued to La Torreta camping, located behind Benidorm Palace. Following an extensive investigation, the Police and Department of Engineering have deemed that it occupies an area that carries a high flood risk as it is situated on a dry riverbed.

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Benidorm's Beach Police

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A slight ‘glitch’ in the recruitment process for the annual temporary beach police in Benidorm has come to light, but Lorenzo Martinez, Councilor for Security has made assurances that they will be in place in time for Easter – wonder if he knows it’s next week! All candidates, of which there are around 150, have to sit strict exams but it transpires that one of the multiple choice tests had the correct answer marked after the ink from the carbon copy template transferred onto the paper.

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The Circus is back in Benidorm

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys… prepare to be thrilled and amazed - “Chapeau” the long awaited new show in the Big Top is open. It is where circus meets magic every Saturday night and from 6pm you will be enthralled for nearly 2 hours. Unlike the traditional circus acts of yesteryear, there are no animals or even clowns – it is a reinvented 21st century version suitable for young and old.

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Karting in Benidorm - A must for thrill seekers

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Karting Finestrat is one of the most popular attractions for those who come here for weekend celebrations - especially stag & hens or party groups. Located on the mountain side behind the La Marina shopping centre it is certainly the place to head for thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies. The 1 km track has plenty of hairpin bends to test your skill behind the wheel, with everyone becoming an imaginary Lewis Hamilton as they hit the asphalt.

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Elaine Davidson - Guinness Record Holder in Benidorm

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Elaine Davidson, Guinness World Record Holder for being the most pierced woman in the world is here in Benidorm… and turning quite a few heads! In total she has over 10,000, most of which she does herself – all except those that she cannot physically reach, such as on her back. She is here for the Tattoo Convention, a three day event starting on Friday at 11am in the Hotel Mediterraneo. She will be performing a few jaw dropping stunts and you will be able to meet, chat and have a photograph taken with her over the course of the event.

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Spiralling compensation culture in Benidorm

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The CEO of Thomas Cook, one of the UK’s leading tour operators has admitted that action needs to be taken to clamp down on the false compensation culture which is costing the industry millions of pounds. Cowboy firms actively encourage tourists to make false claims of food poisoning, promising to reclaim the entire cost of the family holiday – something which is unique to British holidaymakers. HOSBEC, the Hoteliers Association in Benidorm said that they do not have this problem with any other nationality – only the British that come on packages through a tour operator, namely Jet2, Tui, Thomas Cook and Monarch. In one year the claims rose from 1,000 to 10,000 – an absolutely bewildering statistic.

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Benidorm Series 10 castings

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Eager fans hopeful to be cast as extra’s in the forthcoming ITV comedy series Benidorm queued up anxiously outside the Hotel Melia in Benidorm this morning. Filming of series 10 – rumoured to be the very last, is due to commence next month – although no specific date has yet been confirmed publicly. Those overseeing the castings were too frightened to even utter a word without a written say so from London – somewhat paranoid behavior! Good luck to all those that attended this morning – the afternoon session is from 4pm until 7:30pm

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Benidorm 9 airing in March

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The time has nearly arrived for parts of the resort to be turned into a film set as Tiger Aspect are back in town for what is rumored to be the very last ever series of the ITV comedy series Benidorm. Some will be breathing a sigh of relief at that news but rather like marmite, you either love it or hate it. Series 9, which was filmed here last year will hit our screens on Wednesday March 1 – 9pm in UK and 10pm here in Spain. The usual suspects will be back including Jack Canuso – Mateo; Janine Duvitski – Jacqueline; Tony Maudsley – camp crimper Kenneth; Johnny Vegas, Elsie Kelly and Selina Griffith who make up the Maltby family; Danny Walters and side kick Nathan Bryon – Tiger and Joey and of course Sherrie Hewson, the harassed Solana manager Joyce Temple-Savage.

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British Bookie in Benidorm

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An extraordinary achievement has been made here by an expat - the very first LEGAL British run bookmaker in the whole of Spain is to open in Benidorm, which unsurprisingly, is called the “British Bookie”! Everyone who lives here knows the difficulty and complications involved in getting any kind of paperwork sorted, whether it be applying for an NIE number, Spanish driving license or residencia. So multiply that a hundred fold and you can just begin to imagine what Kath and Peter – the proud owners of the British Bookie, located next to the Gallowgate Bar have been through these last months… and to think they left Glasgow to come and take it easy!

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Living the Dream in Benidorm - or not

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With the current series of Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every British expat that moved to Benidorm lived on a caravan site – a complaint I have heard many times from those settled here. Villamar always features regularly, although in last week’s episode, La Toretta made an appearance for the first time. The name of the program certainly implies that it is a bargain to live there and you would be forgiven for thinking it is full of last chance types scrapping by on their last euros. If you are looking for a cheap lifestyle then campsites are certainly not that... as I discovered.

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The Angels from Bargain Loving Brits TV

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The new series of Bargain-Loving Brits in the Sun is back on Channel 5 and last weeks episode featured two selfless expats – Linda Soler and Priscilla Pearce and their mission to save abandoned dogs and rehome them. There has been an incredible amount of people asking about these two wonderful ladies and the work that they do here in Benidorm, so I met up with them over the weekend to find out more. It was Cilla's idea to approach the television company, purely to raise awareness and interest in their cause… and it has certainly done that. The response has been phenomenal and following the program gained an extra 300 members on their Facebook group in one day – social media is a huge platform for them… mission accomplished!

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Eco-Vida...Helping the homeless in Benidorm

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Whilst we are snuggled up in our warm homes or apartments, looking out excitedly at the hailstones falling in Benidorm at the moment – or yesterday’s snow across Calpe, Javea and beyond, spare a thought for those that do not have that luxury… the homeless. Temperatures have plummeted over the last few days and that prompted Martin Kyme, President of Eco-Vida and his volunteers to reach out, to the often forgotten of our society. They went out - yesterday to Benidorm and today in Alicante, searching out for people sleeping in doorways, abandoned building and under bridges where they handed out blankets, food and hot drinks… all of whom where so appreciative. Many were just happy to have someone to chat to for a bit and receive some dry blankets in this awful weather.

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News Snippets

  • Unusual Kit Kat flavours +

    Nestle are opening a factory in Japan to keep up with demand for exotic flavours of Kit Kat. Around 30 varieties have been introduced there including wasabi, soy sauce, green tea, custard pudding & ginger and sake rice wine. But you'll be coughing up substantially more than you do in the UK - these alternative ones cost around $13!
  • Card fee racket +

    From next January, rip off card fees imposed by many airlines and shops are to be banned - and also include American Express, Apple Pay and Paypal transactions. It will hit local authorities such as DVLA, who charge a £2,50 flat fee to use a credit card, which in 2010 generated an estimated £473 million! Currently Flybe charges 3%, Swinton Insurance 2.5% and Ryanair 2%
  • Parents be warned! +

    Schools across England & Wales will be issuing fines to parents of children who are persistently late for school. This follows on from fines issued for unauthorised absences such as taking holidays during term time. Some have already introduced the scheme, which offer a 50% discount if paid promptly otherwise doubled then prosecution could follow.
  • BA fees +

    British Airways - once dubbed Britain's favourite airline have enraged travelers by following in the footsteps of the low cost carriers. In order to guarantee sitting together, which includes families with children, customers are having to pay for seats - £7 for short and £20 for long haul flights. They have already done away with free refreshments... maybe they are having to claw back the millions it cost when the complete BA system failed recently!
  • McDelivery +

    McDonald's and UberEats have teamed up to trial a home delivery service in London, Nottingham and Leeds. Customers living within one and a half miles of one of the 22 select restaurants will be able to order their Big Mac's and fries between 7am and 2am which will be delivered by Uber drivers via the food app.
  • Rip Off fees +

    Brits using their debit or credit cards abroad are losing around £60 per person for each trip by opting to pay in £ sterling rather than euro's - ALWAYS pay in local currency. Third party currency exchange providers add on between 6-10% per transaction then on top of that, your bank will charge a fee for using their card abroad. Over £20 billion is spent on debit and credit cards and a further £2 billion of foreign currency is bought back each year.
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