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100's of eager Extra's auditioning at the Melia hotel
Well the long awaited fifth series is finally on tonight, ITV 9pm UK time / 10pm Spanish time. Auditions for all the extra's started in August and was well attended by hundreds of locals hoping to be chosen for the new series. Filming started back in September and wrapped at the end of November - it was like a hurricane hitting Benidorm. Trucks parked everywhere, police tape cordoning off streets for filming around the town, star spotter craning their necks - and then they were gone!
You could go out in the evening and bump into many of the cast - they were always extremely accommodating when asked for photos and autographs. It's great for local businesses and puts Benidorm firmly back in every ones minds. It is a known fact that holiday bookings soar as soon as the series is aired ... in fact, get onto the internet now and book your flights before the prices start creeping up!
What would eventually become the Solana reception
Director Sandy Johnson checking what's been recrded
Its all change at the Solana hotel as Chrissy Rock (Janey York) isn't in this new series - she was busy in the jungle down under! She was in charge of the run down Solana hotel to date but the new series starts with the hotel having been taken over by new bosses.

Tonight's episode kicks off with Tim Healy's character, cross dresser Les being in charge of the chaos until the new manager, Joyce Temple Savage sweeps in (Sherrie Hewson of Loose Women, or if you're of a certain age the dizzy Maureen from Coronation Street). All the regulars return with their sharp witted lines and innuendos - as is the case with Jacqueline and Donald who makes a ghostly return ... remember he supposedly drowned at the end of the last series! Rest assured he's alive and well and delivering some jaw dropping one-liners.
Filming in The Square ... lots of hanging around
Hot and sexy Jake Canuso
Setting up shot at pool bar - Pelicanos Hotel
I remember when the first series went out all those years ago .... back then hardly anyone had heard of Jake (plays Mateo) - most people recognized him from the Cobra Beer commercial raising his eyebrow in that sexy way - now he's a household name and good on him.  Five actors have cameo roles throughout this latest series. Probably the most "famous" is Kate O'Mara who played Joan Collin's scheming sister in Dynasty in the 90's... or maybe you remember her from Howards Way, The Brothers or Ab Fab.

Also appearing are Matthew Kelley; Michael Fenton Stevens - boss of the dental corporation in the comedy My Family;Scottish actress Siobhan Redmond who has been in Between the Lines, Holby City, Taggart and The Bill - redhead (ginger) who you will all recognise and Ted Robbins who played Den Perry, the man who burned down the Phoenix club in Phoenix Nights and also had roles in Little Britain, Two Pints of Lager and was the voice over announcing Catchphrase!
Enjoy the series and then come and see where it all happened ... and lets hope that rumours of  Benidorm The Movie become more than just rumours!

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