returned for a sixth season on January 2, with Philip Olivier
making his debut, as Jason Gallagher on Thursday, January 9.
Olivier — who was best known for playing Tinhead in Brookside
, the Channel 4 soap opera that ran for 21 years
from 1982 to 2003 — made his acting debut in 1995 in Hearts and Minds
, opposite Doctor Who
’s Christopher Eccleston
. To Doctor Who
fans, Olivier is best known for playing, since 2004, Hex, a companion to the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy
) in the Big Finish audio plays based on the TV series.
According to What’s On TV
, the 33-year-old actor learned a number of new skills for his part in Benidorm. “Jason has all sorts of amazing bartending skills, which were great for me to learn and then show off,” Olivier says
Of his role, Olivier continues
, “He’s a great hit with the holidaymakers, especially the girls staying at the Solana, which means the regular barman, Mateo, really doesn’t like him being there […] All my scenes with Jake Canuso, who plays Mateo, were great fun to film.”
And of Benidorm
itself, where the drama is actually filmed, he adds
that it was “a blast. I hadn’t been out to the resort since I was a boy on a family holiday, so I was experiencing things from a completely different perspective this time. It’s a crazy place!”
Fans of the hit series will have been pleased to see the return of a number of regulars, including the Garvey family, who have been checking into the Solana hotel since the series began in 2007. Mick Garvey (Steve Pemberton), his wife, Janice (Siobhan Finneran), and her mother, Madge Harvey (Sheila Reid) are all back; as is Mick and Janice’s son, Michael. Still played by Oliver Stokes, ITV said
ahead of the start of the new season that viewers “would be surprised to see how grown up Michael […] has become” adding that the lad is now “an adventurous teenager who’s set to cause his parents many troubled afternoons by the pool.”
Other returning characters include Donald and Jacqueline Stewart (played by Kenny Ireland Janine Duvitski), Joyce Temple Savage (Sherrie Hewson), Les (Tim Healey) and his son, Liam (Adam Gillen) and Kenneth DuBeke (Tony Maudsley).
They have already been joined by newcomers, the Dykes: Clive Dyke (Perry Benson), his wife, Tonya “not Tanya!” (Hannah Waddingham) and their two children, Tiger (Danny Walters) and Bianca (Bel Powley).
was created and is written by Derren Litten (The Catherine Tate Show) and is produced by Tiger Aspect
for ITV. The current season is broadcast on Thursday evenings on ITV 1 between 9 and 10 p.m.