CAST MEMBERS of the ITV series, Benidorm, joined creator and writer Derren Litten to hand over a cheque for over €10,000 to the Busy Bees charity this week.
Charity directors and founders Wayne and Des Bellamy-Wright, were invited onto the set of the hit TV show, now in production for its tenth series, to meet some of the cast and crew and collect the cheque, which Derren happily signed over.
Actors, including Kate Fitzgerald (who plays Loretta Chase), Bobby Knutt (Eddie Dawson), Josh Ford (Rob Dawson), Steve Edge (Billy Dawson) and Julie Graham (Sheron Dawson), lined up alongside Wayne and Des to watch the signing over.
The huge amount, €10,181.86 to be exact, was raised at a charity fundraising event last year, whilst the Benidorm actors and crew were in the resort filming series nine, currently airing on ITV 1.
The raucous evening of karaoke and fun saw the famous faces from one of the UK’s top-rated TV series let their communal hair down to belt out some of their favourite numbers to a delighted audience of holidaymakers and local residents.
Derren, a familiar face around the many karaoke bars in town, is well known for his love of the Japanese singing phenomenon, which has taken the world by storm, since the 1970’s and regularly persuades other members of the cast and crew to join him.
He and his Benidorm team came up with the idea of putting on their own show to indulge in his favourite pastime and raise some money for a local charity at the same time.
Wayne, also a famous face on the Benidorm entertainment scene for his outrageous stage persona Levi G, has been a tireless charity fundraiser ever since he moved to the area, particularly for the children and vulnerable women living in the Emaus Residential homes.
Wayne and Des had just set up their own Busy Bees Charity, with an aim of bypassing the beauacracy of the Emaus organisation to target the kids, young adults and mothers with babies most at risk and in need of help.
Busy Bees, became an obvious choice for Derren, when choosing which charity would benefit from their fundraising efforts, having seen the work Wayne had done to help the underprivileged children in the past.
So, on the night of their karaoke event, every penny the cast and crew collected went to the charity.
Ticket sales, door charges and money from buckets passed around the audience, was added to cash raised from a prize raffle and auction for one-off gems of memorabilia from the Benidorm series, including signed scripts from Derren.
The final total was a true testimony to the fabulous members of the ‘Benidorm Family’, who gave their time freely for the charity and to the generosity of the audience who digged deep into their pockets on the night.
Receiving the cheque, beside the pool of the fictional ‘Solana Resort’, otherwise known as the Sol Ocas Pelicanos Hotel, Wayne expressed his gratitude to fundraisers:
‘The EMAUS homes are facing a desperate crisis right now’, he said, referring to the current situation, which could see them closed within two weeks, ‘But we will make sure that every penny of this amazing total goes directly to the women and children most in need.’
For his part, Derren, visibly moved by the plight of the kids, had some fantastic news to pass onto Wayne and Des.
The cast and crew had such a great time at last year’s event, they are planning another one later this month. Derren confirmed:
‘We were amazed how much we raised on the last one, so this time, we have set ourselves a target to beat last year’s amount. We have the venue and the date, Friday 26 May at the UK Cabaret Club in the Rincon de Loix.’
Full information will be revealed as soon as the final details are settled, so music lovers, watch this space to find out how you can get your seat to watch the Benidorm karaoke crew ride again.