Benidorm star Siobhan Finneran on what’s ahead for the Garvey family

by Lynn Connolly

The Garvey family have strong ties with Benidorm, given that they holiday at the Solana all-inclusive resort every year, and matriarch Madge (Sheila Reid) met her late husband Mel (Geoffrey Hutchings) there…

And of course, the Garveys – initially minus Mick (Steve Pemberton) who’s busy working back home – are back in Spain for the new run of Benidorm, which airs as of Friday 24 February at 9pm on ITV.

Ahead of it, Siobhan Finneran, who also stars in Downton Abbey, has been telling What’s On TV magazine about what to expect in the new series.

As to Mick’s absence from the annual family trip, Siobhan, who plays Janice Garvey, said, “Well, Janice, Madge and Michael are there without Mick at first because he’s dealing with problems at one of the sunbed shops at home.

“Janice knows a little bit more than anyone else but not all the details. Mick does get to Spain later in the series which is good, as Janice is having a hard time dealing with their son Michael…

“She thinks he’s a lazy, good-for-nothing so-and-so. He doesn’t want to do anything and he’s basically turned into a moody teenager.

”In a later episode, Michael gets drunk and she has to clean him up. He goes out on Mick’s brother’s stag do and they let him do all sorts – much to Janice’s annoyance.

“Of course, there’s Janice’s mum Madge always sniping away in the background and there’s a new character Joyce Temple Savage, played by Sherrie Hewson, and she really gets their goat.”

Of pos Joyce, Siobhan said, “Joyce is bloody annoying because she’ll do an announcement or play classical music around the pool when everybody’s trying to sunbathe.

“Then, just as you think that’s it, she’ll do another announcement and disturbs everyone. It really starts to wind Janice and Madge up!”

As to what storylines Janice has, Siobhan said, “A moment of madness from series two comes back to haunt Janice, and all the Garveys fall under the spell of someone that comes into Madge’s life later in the series.

“I absolutely loved doing a bucking bronco scene we have midway through series. We filmed on a bucking bronco in the middle of the tourist area with all the men in the cast and it was hilarious – viewers will love it.

“We have lots of dancing scenes too during this series. I think Strictly Come Dancing needs to watch out!”

Siobhan was then asked what it is about the show that draws more and more viewers to each new series.

She replied, “I think people who have stuck with it from the beginning are telling their friends and family to watch it, so it’s just grown.

“If you talk to people they say: ‘Oh I’d never seen it but then somebody told me to watch it or friends bought me the box set.’ And now they’ve now caught up.

“There’s nothing else like it on the telly and we go out at a great time of year. We go out in February when everyone’s fed up, cold, miserable, and we bring a bit of sunshine into their lives.

“You can sit and have a good giggle. If it’s up your street you can have a good laugh at it.”

And finally, when asked, “What do you get recognised for most, Benidorm or Downton Abbey?” Siobhan said, “I get recognised mostly for Benidorm. I’m never at home when Downton Abbey’s on as we film in the autumn when it’s shown.

“People tend to give me a sideways look and aren’t quite sure. I’ve had two great and different shows to be on.

“In one I’m playing grim O’Brien in a black dress from neck to floor and, in Benidorm, there’s very little clothing. As little as possible – just enough to be decent.”

As mentioned, Benidorm begins on Friday 24 February at 9pm on ITV1. I can’t wait!


Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.