Bikinis, Bars and Benidorm Hayley


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Bikinis, Bars and Benidorm

Documentary series. Hayley Pearce examines the lure of sun, sea and sex and explores the lengths people will go to in pursuit of a good time on holiday.


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Holidays - if you're anything like me, you live for them.

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No worrying about everyday life, no cleaning, no stress.

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We work all year round, so why not treat ourselves to

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a week of fun in the sun?

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You can get a flight anywhere these days but most of us still

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head off to the Spanish Costas.

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They're cheap, cheerful and, for tens of thousands of us

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every year, are a great place to escape and go crazy.

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Just cocktails for breakfast, men everywhere, sun pounding.

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Whether you want to go to just get a banging tan or just relax

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or even just get pissed every single day, it's just fun, fun, fun.

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But just how far will some of us go in pursuit of a good time?

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I'm packing for Benidorm,

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one of Spain's most notorious party towns, to see for myself what

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really goes on when we leave our 9-5s behind.

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So will I handle a week out there or will I come back a broken woman?

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We'll see.

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I'm Hayley Pearce, you know,

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the tea lady from BBC Three's The Call Centre.

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I'm a fairly typical twenty-something from the Valleys

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just trying to get by and make sense of it all.

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of us jet off in search of sun,

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sea and sex.

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Holidays are meant to be a break from the day-to-day grind,

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the highlight of our year, but do they live up to the hype?

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I'm in Benidorm, one of the top destinations for young Welsh

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holiday-makers, to find out.

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So it seems pretty quiet at the minute, Benidorm.

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Not much sign of partying or wild behaviour.

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I was expecting it to be a bit louder than this at this time.

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Who knows, maybe it is the calm before the storm?

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But, yeah, I've arrived now so let's get the party started.

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But just a few hours later and Benidorm is coming to life.

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Well, it's now early evening and the bars are rammed.

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The strip is packed, it's full of fancy dress and stags and hens.

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This is what I've been looking for.

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I can't wait to go and have a look at it.

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-Oggy, oggy, oggy.

-Oi, oi, oi!

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Everybody's in the party mood but what exactly do they want out of their holidays?

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Drink and sun, drink and sun.

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Banging.

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Good fun.

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Everyone's like... Having it. No messing about, hard-core fun.

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Had the time of my life. I work hard, played harder. Let's have it!

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Describe Benidorm in one word.

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Fan-fucking-fabulous.

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# Would you follow me into the jungle? #

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Sounds pretty simple.

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It's all about the good times, especially if you're a stag.

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Oi, oi, what's happening, boys?

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-Hi.

-Hi.

-Hi. How are you doing?

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'I'm meeting a group of lads from West Wales who are

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'over for a last weekend of freedom.'

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So I take it you're the stag, then.

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-Yes.

-How long have you been out here for?

-Only this morning.

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-Yeah.

-This morning, yeah.

-How many of you are there, then?

-24.

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-24 of you?

-All farm boys.

-Farm boys?

-Yeah.

-Awesome.

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So what are you looking for this weekend, boys?

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Well, a good time, like. A good weekend, like. Son.

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I'm looking to take my wife to be, I am, home, I am. I can't wait.

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Anthony and the boys have invited me to tag along

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on their first night out.

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And it doesn't take long for the young farmers to track down

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the only livestock in town.

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Time to show them how it's done.

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Just call me Queen Bronco.

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I've had a great night but time to quit while I'm ahead,

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leaving the boys to party long into the Benidorm night.

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Great night last night. Absolutely banging, to be honest with you.

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The square is right up my street and I'm feeling quite all right

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this morning so I'm just going to have a strut around the local area

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and see what it's got to offer, to be honest.

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Apart from the small group of dedicated sun-worshippers,

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there's still plenty of room on the beach.

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What's interesting is that all the people out last night that were drinking,

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they are nowhere to be seen now.

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It's very quiet on the beach and it's full of all the locals

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so I can only presume that they're all in bed with a hangover, maybe.

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-Right, we need a prop at the back, we do.

-I'll go up the back.

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But there's no sleeping in for Anthony and his stags.

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Oi, oi, how's it going, boys? All right?

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How are you feeling, boys?

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-Oh, absolutely hanging this morning.

-How's the head?

-Oh, it's banging.

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I had to have five cans of Stella for breakfast.

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So how are you finding having a hangover in the sun?

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-It's different to back home, isn't it?

-It's boiling.

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-You're like a lobster, boy.

-He swims like a lobster and all.

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So, have you got enough minerals to go back out tonight or...?

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Oh, God, yeah, we have the minerals, you know.

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We're Welsh farm boys, aren't we? Plenty of minerals.

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The boys are knocking them back.

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They're already a bit worse for wear and it's only 11am.

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But, for others, a weekend escape is not enough.

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Some people go on holiday and never come back.

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# Love is like candy on a shelf

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# You want to taste and help yourself... #

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I'm off to meet some guys who have given it all up to live

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the holiday lifestyle all year round.

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Starting with TJ's, the only Welsh bar in town.

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Bar owner Tony Jones moved out here from Swansea seven years ago.

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He's getting ready for a big night of football.

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In a few hours' time,

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Wales play Belgium in the Euros quarterfinal. Get in!

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So why Benidorm? What brings you to Benidorm, then?

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It's a question I've been asked many, many times.

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I still haven't got a proper answer for it.

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The place is addictive but nobody can say why.

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There's nothing to put your actual finger on,

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it's just it gets hold of you and I love the place.

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It's so great to find a Welsh bar in Benidorm.

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-I bet you get loads of Welsh in, do you?

-We do.

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British people are very strange.

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When the British go on holiday they don't seem to embrace

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the culture of the country they go into.

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People like a little bit of home when they go away.

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We can provide a little bit of Welsh in Spain for these people.

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So would you ever go back to the UK

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or are you set in Benidorm for life now?

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-No, I'll stay here until I die now.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

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What's not to like?

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You've got sunshine, the cost of living out here is a lot cheaper.

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You don't have to earn as much money to live here as you do in the UK.

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It's... I can't... I can't think of a downside, to be honest.

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Tony's decision to move out here has clearly paid off.

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Someone else who is also hoping to find happiness in the sun is

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Billy Bailey from Bridgend. Billy works as a prop.

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His job is to rope in the drinkers off the streets and get them

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into the bars.

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We always come this way because then you don't walk them past the bar

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next door so they disappear.

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Most bars have at least one prop and tonight I'm joining Billy

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as he's on a mission to pack out TJ's for tonight's big game.

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So is it hard to get people in or do you get abuse sometimes?

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I do get abuse.

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When we had the match last week, I had somebody spit in my face

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because of the football but then you have to ignore that.

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Obviously, because I'm a big, fat, camp guy, I have a bit of stick for

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it but then it's nothing I haven't heard before breakfast arguing

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with my husband so I tend to have retorts anyway so it doesn't

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really matter, it just goes over me like water off a duck's back.

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What brought you to Benidorm?

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Well, I decided I wanted to change my life to something different and more chilled.

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I'm 35 and I needed just to go down a gear because before this

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I was working with children with special needs for 15 years,

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which can be quite hard and a bit gut-wrenching

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so I just thought I needed a year off to do what I probably should

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have done at 19 and be a big baby.

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So this is why I'm doing this now, to be a man-child, basically.

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-Best thing you ever did?

-So far, so good.

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-OK, well, let's get to work, then.

-All right, cool, you take that side.

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Look for anyone in Welsh outfits. I'll take this side.

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Time to get some punters in. I think I got this.

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-So we've literally got only...

-You've got this.

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-You own this area.

-Watch this, then. Wales! Hi, mate.

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What are you doing tonight? Come here. Never mind.

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You can also shout as much as you want, if you like.

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TJ's tonight, karaoke after the match. Welsh match at 9pm.

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Now, if you look down there, there is a bunch of red people coming.

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These are the ones we want. So if you shout loud you can get them in.

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There's also some coming this way so it should be like shooting

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-fish in a barrel.

-Show me. Show me how it's done.

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TJ's, the only Welsh bar in Benidorm,

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-showing the match tonight at nine o'clock.

-No, no, Belgium.

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Boys, the Welsh bar. The only Welsh bar in Benidorm.

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Quick pint down you. It's awesome. Come on, then.

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TJ's, the only Welsh bar in Benidorm. Come on, guys. Come on, let's go.

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There we are. Wales!

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Down here. Let's go.

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THEY CHANT: Wales! Wales!

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'This place is buzzing and the game hasn't even kicked off yet.'

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I'd like to think that I've earned my beer money for the night,

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even if I was preaching to the converted.

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Well, what an experience that was.

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Managed to get a few Welsh people in. My make-up was melting.

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It's not as easy as it looks but Billy managed to get people in and

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it's actually so nice to see people working as well as partying out here.

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FOOTBALL COMMENTARY PLAYS ON THE BIG SCREEN

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Watching the match surrounded by all these Welsh fans,

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it's hard to believe that I'm even in Benidorm.

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It's more like being back home on a match day.

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Just 15 minutes into the game and the mood is killed

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by a Belgium goal.

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But we all know what happens next.

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CHEERING

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A Welsh equaliser and we're back in the game.

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The night just gets better and better.

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CHEERING

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I've never seen anything like it.

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It's amazing how one moment can make everyone forget their worries

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and bring us all together.

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It doesn't get any better than this. Holiday or any day.

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# You have to laugh

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# Or else you'll cry

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# You have to live

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# Or else you'll die. #

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What a result, what a game.

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I'm so proud of Wales and I'm so happy to actually spend it

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with a bunch of Welsh fans in Benidorm.

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What a buzz that was, then.

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It's the morning after the night before.

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Benidorm's looking more crowded than ever,

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and the temperature's rising.

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Oh, my God, this beach is rammed.

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You literally can't even move, they're like a bunch of sardines.

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If you imagine having a hangover on this beach,

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I couldn't think of anything worse.

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But it's not just the beach that's packed.

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It's not even lunchtime and the bars are already heaving.

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I need five minutes in the shade.

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Honestly, it's absolutely boiling, I can't cope.

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I don't know how they're all doing it.

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Even in this heat, nobody's slowing down on the booze.

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It just doesn't stop.

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By the evening, a lot of people are looking pretty out of it.

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But others are just getting started.

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So, girls, what's on the agenda, then?

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-Lots of drinking.

-Yeah, there's lots of alcohol out here.

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Yeah, and sun, boys...

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Oh, it's boiling. Oh, and there's lots of boys here.

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-Have you pulled since you've been here?

-Not yet.

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-Not yet?

-Not yet.

-Well, good luck anyway.

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SHE LAUGHS

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-And happy birthday.

-Thank you.

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Oh, Kim, it's so nice to see a Swansea girl out here.

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How are you finding it so far?

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Well, I come out here every year, to be honest with you,

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and I love it, to be honest.

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It's got the nightlife, it's got the drinking.

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And, to be honest with you, with one litre, for a euro, of beer,

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why would you not come here?

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What's your thoughts on the whole drinking culture out here?

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To be honest with you, it's hectic, it's mental,

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it's a lovely place, but you don't want to be here too late

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and have too many drunk people around.

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Drinking and holidaying just seems to go hand in hand.

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When we're away, we spend on average 50 euros a day on booze,

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and when it's this cheap you'd expect a bit of trouble.

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I'm joining the local police on patrol to find out how bad it gets.

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So, someone's actually hit her tonight in Benidorm.

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So there's obviously a little bit of trouble going on with the Brits.

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She's Irish.

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Claiming to have been hit by a man on the street, the woman

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is told to report the incident at the local police station.

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So what's your experience with young British people out here, then?

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Well, in Benidorm, the basic problems that we've found is that

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they might not remember what apartment they are

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or what hotel tell they are.

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They might get rough with each other,

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and then they just end up shaking hands and, er...

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sharing a drink, and they're pals after that.

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So Benidorm has got a quite high reputation of being quite wild.

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Are you trying to change that reputation, or...?

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Er, I wasn't really aware that it had a reputation for being wild.

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-So it's good vibes in Benidorm, then?

-Oh, yes, in that sense, yes.

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It's 4am, I'm absolutely knackered,

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I just want to go home to bed, to be honest with you.

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Every single night in the square, it's just full-on.

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Like, I'm used to party people, but they're just in your face.

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I couldn't handle doing that every night, no chance.

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But what was really baffling, mind,

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is that the police don't seem fazed by it at all.

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After three nights straight on the town,

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I'm beginning to wonder if there's more to this place

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than just getting wrecked.

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MUSIC: Push It by Salt-N-Pepa

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Benidorm isn't just for us youngsters.

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It also attracts an older generation

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who get their kicks here a different way.

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I'm meeting one of them,

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a local legend and one of Wales's best loved radio personalities.

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-MC:

-OK, ladies and gentlemen,

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I'm inviting on the stage now Mr Chris Needs, MBE.

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# The night we met I knew I needed you so

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# And if I had... #

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Chris Needs has been coming to Benidorm for over 40 years.

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Today, he's entertaining the crowd at the Palladium Bar.

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# Be my little baby

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# Stay with me my darling

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# Be my baby now

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# Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh. #

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Ladies and gentlemen, show your appreciation,

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one in a million, Chris Needs, MBE!

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Absolutely fantastic, absolute pleasure having you down.

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Thank you, Chris!

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Chris knows this place inside out

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and he's offered to show me around.

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It's a side of Benidorm that many of us don't get to see.

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So, where are we, then, Chris? Where have you brought me?

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Well, this is the Old Town.

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This is my stomping ground,

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this is where I came first of all 40 years ago.

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There wasn't much more then, 40 years ago.

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I mean, that's all, up there, hustle and bustle,

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but this is my place, tranquillity. It's beautiful.

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And this is... oh, Bethania Chapel, Cwmafan.

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Well, same headquarters, anyway.

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Let's go down to the gay place, come on.

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-Nice food here, tapas bars.

-Oh, I love tapas.

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Tapas all around here, little restaurants,

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Chinese restaurants, Moroccan restaurants...

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..sex shop...

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-Pretty little streets, aren't they?

-Mmm.

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-Oh, look how pretty it is.

-Over there's nice.

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'I can definitely see why Chris

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'loves this part of Benidorm so much.'

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It's lovely all around here, beautiful.

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Look at that. What a view, eh?

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-Oh, that is absolutely stunning.

-Isn't it?

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So do you ever find yourself going up to The Strip?

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No. Only by accident, really, I think.

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I don't feel safe there. I feel quite threatened being there,

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because once they're boozed up they're capable of anything.

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But down here it's different. You know, they drink wine with food.

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They drink wine with wine up there.

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Do you think Benidorm will ever calm down?

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Not as long as there's, you know, life.

0:22:120:22:15

I think, you know, you get a lot of tension and stress at home,

0:22:150:22:19

and the weather's rubbish and, you know,

0:22:190:22:22

you come here and it's all inclusive,

0:22:220:22:25

and nobody, really, has got any scruples.

0:22:250:22:27

You know, "Oh, You can't dress like that!" You can do what you want here.

0:22:270:22:30

And I think as long as that lives, Benidorm will live with it as well,

0:22:300:22:34

but I think this has to be here, as well.

0:22:340:22:36

There's got to be a choice, and you have got a choice here.

0:22:360:22:39

I hope it never changes, I think it's got the mix just right.

0:22:390:22:43

Look now, up there, all of that up there is where

0:22:480:22:51

the hustle and bustle was, screaming and all the rest of it.

0:22:510:22:55

-That's where I lost my voice then.

-You lost your voice up there? Yeah, I know.

0:22:550:22:59

You can lose a lot more up there, let me tell you!

0:22:590:23:01

And then you've got this.

0:23:010:23:03

-It's like paradise.

-I just feel like I'm in a completely different place.

0:23:030:23:06

It is, it's two different places.

0:23:060:23:08

-So beautiful.

-Yeah.

0:23:080:23:09

-So, have you enjoyed?

-I have.

-Did you expect to see this?

0:23:110:23:13

-Thank you so much for showing me a different side of Benidorm.

-It's a pleasure.

0:23:130:23:16

-You might stay here next time, be nearer.

-Yeah!

0:23:160:23:19

Cheers, love. Glad you enjoyed.

0:23:190:23:22

It's made me think there's so much more on offer.

0:23:250:23:29

This side of Benidorm is lovely, but a lot of people my age

0:23:290:23:33

won't ever come here, and that seems like a bit of a shame.

0:23:330:23:36

It's my final night in Benidorm,

0:23:580:24:00

and I'm getting ready for one last night out on the town.

0:24:000:24:04

Anthony's stag do boys have arranged a special surprise for him

0:24:100:24:14

and have invited me to join them

0:24:140:24:16

at one of Benidorm's most notorious bars.

0:24:160:24:19

It's a magnet for stags and hens,

0:24:210:24:22

and it's a place where anything goes.

0:24:220:24:24

For many groups, a holiday experience wouldn't be complete...

0:24:310:24:35

without a stripper.

0:24:350:24:37

WHOOPING

0:24:410:24:43

And for the girls in this party,

0:24:430:24:45

it's just a chance to let their hair down.

0:24:450:24:47

It's all harmless fun and everyone's enjoying themselves,

0:24:540:24:57

including me.

0:24:570:24:59

The boys arrive and, true to form, head straight to the bar.

0:25:010:25:05

'Even after four days of boozing,

0:25:060:25:07

'Anthony's still getting the rounds in.'

0:25:070:25:10

-Cheers.

-Wahey!

0:25:100:25:11

They've arranged a stripper for Anthony,

0:25:140:25:17

but first the party host has to get him inside.

0:25:170:25:20

Our farmer friend is looking a little bit sheepish.

0:25:210:25:25

Anthony might be enjoying himself,

0:25:340:25:36

but I'm not sure what his fiancee would think.

0:25:360:25:39

-Oh!

-Argh! no!

0:25:400:25:43

'And, as the show goes on,

0:25:430:25:44

'Anthony seems to be increasingly uncomfortable.'

0:25:440:25:47

Awww!

0:25:480:25:50

Oh, she doesn't...

0:25:540:25:55

No!

0:25:550:25:56

Aargh!

0:25:560:25:58

Oh, my God!

0:25:580:26:00

No!

0:26:000:26:01

'Clearly, this is more about shocking than thrilling.'

0:26:010:26:05

'I'm just not sure if anyone is really enjoying it.'

0:26:080:26:11

Well, I cannot believe what I've just seen.

0:26:140:26:16

That was full-on, and I've seen some things in my time.

0:26:160:26:20

And, looking around,

0:26:240:26:26

I can't help but wonder if the boys feel the same way.

0:26:260:26:29

Is this really what they came on holiday for?

0:26:300:26:33

Thanks to male bravado, we'll never really know.

0:26:330:26:36

After a week in Benidorm,

0:26:580:27:00

it seems to me that everything's on offer here.

0:27:000:27:04

You can get anything you want, and you can see why we all go for it,

0:27:040:27:08

why we all drink too much, and why it's no holds barred on holidays.

0:27:080:27:13

It's a chance to go mad and forget the day-to-day grind back home.

0:27:130:27:17

It's about embracing those moments,

0:27:170:27:19

surrounded by friends and loved ones.

0:27:190:27:22

It's about finding happiness,

0:27:220:27:24

whatever you're into.

0:27:240:27:26

I love dancing, so I've brought the boys clubbing

0:27:280:27:31

to let off some steam before we head back home to reality.

0:27:310:27:34

# All my friends are wasted

0:27:340:27:38

# And I hate this club

0:27:380:27:41

# Man, I drink too much

0:27:410:27:44

# 'Nother Friday night I've wasted

0:27:440:27:48

# My eyes are black and red

0:27:480:27:51

# I'm crawling back to your bed... #

0:27:510:27:54

Benidorm, do you know what?

0:28:020:28:05

You've been awesome.

0:28:050:28:07

I'm so glad I found the Swansea boys.

0:28:070:28:09

I cannot believe they pushed me in the pool.

0:28:090:28:11

They're mad, but I did say when I came to Benidorm

0:28:110:28:15

that I would provide a party.

0:28:150:28:17

But do you know what? It is time for me to go to bed.

0:28:170:28:21

I hope they enjoy their night, but I'm goners.

0:28:210:28:23

Until next time, adios Benidorm.

0:28:330:28:36

MUSIC: Push It by Salt-N-Pepa

0:28:390:28:43

Hayley Pearce, tea lady from The Call Centre, loves a holiday. But is the lure of sun, sea and sex all it is cracked up to be? Hayley joins a group of stags and meets some of Benidorm's biggest fans. She explores how far we'll really go in pursuit of a good time on holiday... but can renowned party girl Hayley last the week?