Posts Tagged ‘litten’

Our filming for Benidorm Series 4 Episode 5

OK, hopefully you´ve just watched Benidorm S4E5 on ITV1, now forever known as “our ep.” We have so many magical memories of the day, way back on 28th October 2010 to be precise. But, let´s take you back to the very beginning.

We´ve known Derren Litten, the creator and writer of Benidorm and other hit comedies, for about 2 years now. We´d spoke initially on Twitter and then by email and telephone. Over that time our friendship has grown and last March Derren was interviewed by my partner Mark Nolan on his radio show on ExiteRadio. Off air Derren said that we´d have to go up to Benidorm and we could be filmed in the background in Neptunes bar or something. That, was the first OMG moment.

About a month later Derren emailed us saying that he was writing a scene set on a beach and was thinking of us, we thought no more about it and then come September Derren was in contact again. “Now we´ve got the madness of summer out of the way, do you fancy coming up and do the filming? You have 2 choices.
1) The background scene in Neptunes bar,

2) The beach scene I was telling you about.” Derren explained what the scene was about and we said “YES.” Admittedly this was late a night and after a few drinks, but even in the morning when sober it was still a definite yes from us both.

So, fast forward to 27th October 2010, the day before filming. We drive up to Benidorm and check into the hotel

Whilst waiting at reception there was another Benidorm actor checking in, who we later found out to be Joey Ansah(right), who´s been in Batman Begins & The Bourne Ultimatum, amongst other things.

So, we´re all checked in and Derren tells us to meet him in the hotel bar at 19:30. So, we go for a little walk, and one obvious place we have to go is the Sol Pelicanos, which is used in the series as the Solana Resort hotel pool. The hotel now actually bans the use of electric wheelchairs inside, hence the queue of them outside.

Back to the hotel for a shower and then down to the bar to meet the one and only Derren Litten himself. At this stage I can´t begin to explain how nervous I was, we´re in the town of Benidorm to film a part in the hit ITV comedy Benidorm and now, for the very first time we´re going to actually meet Derren. Beers at the ready, we wait.

Don´t know why I was so nervous about meeting Derren, he springs through the hotel doors, saying “hi” and “bye” to lots of other members of the cast and crew and makes a bee line for us. Big hugs, a few words and it´s like we´ve met a million times.

We chat about what´s going to happen tomorrow, what time we´re being picked up, and the perks of being “Friends of Derren Litten´s” and not just a S.A. (Supporting Artist.) Derren gets his laptop out, or should that be his Mac air, shows us loads of pictures from the filming of the Xmas Special and the current series 4. We´re shown pictures of Denise Welch, Cilla Black, Bananarama, Tim Healy and the rest of the cast and again the OMG hits. We´re going to be in the same TV programme as all these people!!!!! Then, along comes Elsie Kelly, who plays Noreen Maltby, and we´re introduced to her by Derren as his friends. Another OMG moment and Derren tells her about our scene.

Derren has a meeting in the old town, just where we´re heading for dinner, so we get our own personal chauffeur, but just as we´re leaving we bump into Melvyn Hayes, who´s playing Mr Pink in this series.

Anyway, Derren drops us of in the old town and we go off for a meal and a few more drinks and then back to the hotel and bed and fully expecting not to sleep a wink that night.

Thursday 28th October 2010 – The day WE film in the BEST comedy on ITV. The feeling is totally unreal. We´re awake before our 7am alarm and I´ve got butterflies, on butterflies in my stomach, and they feel like they´re the size of seagulls. It´s a lovely day, with a red sky.

We´re being picked up outside the hotel at 08:25 and are there early for our lift to the beach. The minibus picks us up, we´re last on the list and takes us and the Supporting Artists (S.A´s) to Raco de Conill which is a famous gay nudist beach just south of Benidorm.

As soon as we arrive at the top end of the car park that leads down to the beach we have breakfast with everyone, but the guy in the leather jacket turned out to be one of the most annoying people EVER.

One of the guys asks who will be filming today and the list is read off the “Call Sheet” for the day for our unit “Sandy Unit” after our director Sandy Johnson, Hugh Sachs(Gavin), Tony Maudsley (Kenneth), Joey Ansah (Ricky), Mark and Derek.” So, I just put my hand up and said “Here” fully expecting everyone´s names to be called. But no, that was it, the list was complete. Diva moment Nº1 🙂

After breakfast we all move down to the bottom end of the car park and Penelope from gets the S.A.´s warmed with a few little games. Penelope employs all the S.A´s for the series, so if you want to be a S.A. or an “extra” then you need to contact her

Shortly afterwards Mark & I are led away by one of the crew to a separate area where we can use the coffee machine. Being friends of Derren Litten does have it´s perks you know 🙂

Not long afterwards Hugh & Tony come up from the cove and start running through their lines. I don´t know how many times we heard them lines that day, but we still laughed everytime.

As mentioned by Derren, everything stops for at 11am for “Bocadillo” (Spanish Sandwich) so whilst everyone eats and talks we run down for our first look at the cove.

Our first look at the cove where we´ll be filming

Not long after “Bocadillo” time we´re called onto set. Well, the butterflies that had slowly started to fly off came back, and back with a vengeance. We´re told we´ll be in 3 scenes. Scene Nº 13, 14 and 17.

So, time to watch our fellows actors, Hugh Sachs and Tony Maudsley film the first part of scene 13.

And now, the time has come. We´re shown down to the set, shown our positions and walked through what we´re expect to do by the director Sandy Johnson. We´re on the set of the award winning Benidorm, with the award winning Sandy Johnson and about to film a scene that was actually wrote with us in mind. This is TOTALLY mind blowing.
By now you´d have seen what we had to do, come down the beach, walk right in front of Gavin & Kenny, walk to the rocks and strip. Never ever have I been so nervous but at the same time excited in my whole life.
We do the scene several times, trying not to break our necks on the pebbly beach and then it´s time for all the S.A´s to join us for scene 17 when Gavin awakens to find the beach not to his liking anymore – i.e. full of naked men.

Here´s a picture that was taken by Derren Litten of us on the beach, can you make us out?

And here´s some more pictures of scene 17 being set up before we break for our 14:00 lunch.

A break for lunch and a time to catch up with Derren, who´s being forced to use one of them “none” iphone type things 🙂

And after lunch it´s time for a quick photo with the genius himself, Mr Derren Litten.

With light fading, remember this is the end of October there´s still loads to do, and that includes lots of hanging around too.

Anyway, after a long hard day at the beach (you should have seen what the guy who stands in the sea in front of us looked like from the front!!!!!) that, as they say, is a wrap. The most fun I´ve even had with my clothes on, well technically they weren´t, but who cares.
It´s a delight to “work” with everyone who were truly all warm, caring and wonderfully generous people. Except for the guy with the leather jacket on at breakfast (remember him) who was a total prick. Wearing his false teeth & glasses and leather leopard skin thong and saying that the beach could really do with some naked ladies. I do think that he was missing the point slightly. I do hope he got home though, his wife refused to drive to Benidorm to pick him up. See, even she hated him 🙂

So, back to the hotel, shower and out for a meal. Totally unable to take in what a day we´d had and did that really happen to us. So, we´re sat outside an Italian restaurant in the old town, talking away about the day and who happens to walk past. Only Derren, Hugh Sachs, Tony Maudsley, Jake Canuso (Mateo), Janine Duvitski (Jacqueline) and Selina Griffiths (Pauline).

So, what better way to end the night, than having your picture taken with Jake Canuso, known to millions as Mateo.

So, that was Thursday. We´re having a drink in the hotel bar and Mark says “Oh, there´s Elsie Kelly being interviewed.”

You remember I said that Derren told her about our scene, well she finished her interview and walked passed us and said “Hello.” She then did an immediate U-Turn and asked how our scene went and wanted to know everything about it. She even commented that Derren never writes stuff like that for her. A lovely lady, who spent about 20 minutes talking to us and seemed genuinely interested in what we´d done, who we were and what we thought of our “Benidorm” experience.

And the fun never ended there. that night with Derren and the shows producer Ben Cavey, who were both suitably late as they were putting a certain English actor to bed, an actor who´s performance never even made the show!!!!

Now, Ben being the youngest amongst us, decided to have an early night. Leaving me, Mark and Derren to search for a Karaoke bar that was open for Derren to sing, then have our plate of chips and put the world to rights. And by 04:30 we´d decided it was certainly bedtime for Derren, who had to be up in 2 hours, so we walked him back to the hotel, like the true gentlemen we are, thanked him for everything he´s done for us and said “Adios amigo.”

So, a massive thank you to everyone we met, the cast, crew, extras – everyone. But, the biggest thanks must go to the one and only, multi talented creator and writer of Benidorm Mr Derren Litten for giving us the best experience EVER.

Thank you Derren

A little thank you to Derren Litten, the writer and creator of ITV´s hit and award winning comedy Benidorm , for sharing his last 4 months in Benidorm with us. And more so for giving me and my partner, Mark, cameo roles in one of the episodes.
You´re a star mate x