The first ever "BeniCon" took place over the weekend (November 18-20) a 3-day convention dedicated to fans of the ITV series ´Benidorm´- which saw more than 1,000 people attend. Although the sitcom stopped airing back in 2018, it still has a huge fanbase, which was evident over the course of the weekend.
The idea was that of the creator and writer of the series Derren Litten in collaboration with Peter Phillips, who has been holding the hugely successful Elvis Fest here for the past 12 years. Several of the cast participated including Jake Canuso, who played the shows lothario waiter Mateo.
The ever popular Garvey clan were also reunited – Mick played by Steve Pemberton, Janice played by Siobhan Finneran, mobility scooter Madge, played by Sheila Reid, Michael, played Oliver Stokes and Chantelle, played by Hannah Hobley.
Also present was Crissy Rock, who played the Solana´s first manager - which was then handed over to Sherrie Hewson,playing Joyce Temple-Savage, Michael Fenton Stevens, who played Sir Henry, head of the consulate, singer Asa Eliott plus director Sandy Johnson.
Daily events took place at the Melia hotel, the base of the convention, with question-and-answer sessions, awards for best costume – many fans dressed as their favourite characters, trips to some of the filming locations, karaoke afternoons at ´Neptunes´ nightclub hosted by Crissy Rock.
Each day there were also photo opportunities, taken on the fans own mobile phone and the queues snaked for a considerable distance each time but both fans and actors were patient. Children and those less able-bodied were given priority followed by VIP badge holders.
There was an exhibition of many of the costumes, sets, mementoes and props used throughout the ten series, which first hit the screens on February 1, 2007 and fans also had the opportunity to purchase “Solana” merchandise – in fact, many wore their yellow Solana t-shirts to the convention.
On Sunday evening, there was a grand finale at Benidorm Palace, compered by the creator himself to finish what was a memorable experience for all the fans who are all evidently hoping for a repeat. Some of the cast, unable to attend sent a video greetings which was relayed over the large screens on the stage to great applause and cheer from the crowd.