Observations: Vegas is right at home in Spain
Friday 02 October 2009
Johnny Vegas is lying on a sun lounger by a dazzling blue pool. We are at the Solana Hotel, the location for Benidorm, ITV1's raucously entertaining sitcom about a group of dysfunctional Brits who run riot on the same all-inclusive package holiday every summer.
Try as he might, Vegas can't conceal the fact that he's having the time of his life in the sitcom, which returns for a third series in a new hour-long format tonight. "I'd never moan about being in Benidorm," he says. "We can't possibly be miserable about this job – we're effectively being paid to sun-bathe!"
This is exactly the sort of bravura routine – honesty mixed with hilarity – that has made Vegas so popular with audiences.
In Derren Litten's sitcom, which in the past has racked up eight million viewers per episode, Vegas plays Geoff, who styles himself "The Oracle". A self-deluded mummy's boy who comes to the resort every year with his mother, he tries to conceal his deep sense of insecurity by showing off his (supposed) genius at pub quizzes. This time round, he develops an ill-disguised crush on Chantelle (Hannah Hobley), a teenage mum who also holidays at the Solana every summer.
Vegas, who also stars in the successful BBC3 sitcom Ideal, about a strangely likeable drug dealer, explains that, "This year, Geoff has run out of places to hide. He's realised that he can't keep lying and starts to show that he likes Chantelle. He also has the odd scene where he mentions that in the past he tried to kill himself, and that's the first time I've found myself with any sympathy for him.
"He's always been in denial about his flaws – he's always found other people to blame. He wants a relationship, but that's never going to happen if he carries on like this."
Some critics have accused Benidorm of mocking its characters, but Vegas is having none of it. "Benidorm doesn't look down its nose at the Brits who come here – it's just really honest about what they get up to. If people take umbrage at that, there's every chance they see something of themselves in these characters."
'Benidorm' is on tonight at 8pm on ITV1
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
The Fall, series 2, episode 3 – TV review: The Gillian Anderson drama is starting to push the realms of plausibility, but who cares?
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’