Ah, Benidorm. Known as the land of sun, of busy beaches and free-flowing alcohol. It’s also known for its stargazing, and not the celestial type. Benidorm is actually a holiday destination that’s much-loved by celebrities.
Cheap and cheerful as holidays in Benidorm might be, they’re a popular pick for the rich and famous. That’s because this sun-soaked town also has a swanky side, one paved with glitzy accommodations and 5* luxury that’s not just reserved for the Hollywood elite. So the next time you’re cruising through Benidorm’s streets, keep an eye out for some of these famous faces.
Not only one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, Julio Inglesias is also known as a regular in Benidorm – a slightly lesser title, but hey. He got his start in 1968 by winning the Benidorm International Song Contest and from there has sold over 100 million records worldwide.
Inglesias was a familiar face in Benidorm in the sixties and seventies, and now owns a home in the nearby town of Altea. Recently, he’s also been spotted staying in some of Benidorm’s most lavish hotels.
John McClane himself has scaled the vents of Benidorm’s ritzy hotels – okay, maybe he stays out of the air ducts and opts more for the pool, but you get the picture. Bruce Willis, of Die Hard, The Sixth Sense and Armageddon fame has been spotted luxuriating in the area’s top hotels, so you never know when he’ll be back for seconds.
Penelope Cruz is considered to be one of the top – if not the tippy top – actresses to come from Spain. Born in Madrid, Cruz is best known for her roles in Vanilla Sky, Blow and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but has recently been seen filming in Altea, a town just a 20-minute drive from Benidorm. A philanthropist, fashion designer and mother, you never know when she might pop over to vibrant Benidorm.
Francis Ford Coppola
This one is still but a blip on the radar, but worth keeping your eyes peeled for all the same. Francis Ford Coppola – famed for directing The Godfather trilogy – has been rumoured to have his sights on Ciudad de la Luz, a now-defunct mega studio in nearby Alicante. Sources say Coppola has made two bids for the complex, where he’d reportedly like to transport his Zoetrope Studios, though nothing is yet confirmed. Alicante is just on the other side of Benidorm, so for Coppola not to pay his respects to the holiday haven would just be plain insulting.
Funny man and Tony Award-winning actor James Corden is now in Los Angeles as he hosts popular talk show The Late Late Show with James Corden – if you haven’t seen his car karaoke session with Adele, you need to get on that. But before his stint as Mr. Hollywood, he joined then-girlfriend Sheridan Smith in Benidorm, where she was filming. Corden was apparently strolling through the streets with his headphones in – a signal not to mess with him – but that just means he’s got the whole celeb-on-holiday thing down.
The cast of Benidorm
Okay, this seems like an obvious one, but perhaps you didn’t know that the hit ITV show Benidorm is being revised for its – wait for it – 10th season, due to air in 2018. Returning to the show will be Sherrie Hewson, Tim Healy and Jake Canuso, which means sightings of this hilarious cast are pretty much a given.
Rock God Bruce Springsteen has been rumoured to vacation on the shores of Benidorm and, in 2009, visited the town on tour. The Boss is best known for his rock anthems and super albums Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., selling more than 120 million records worldwide. Here’s to wishing and hoping that his 2009 tour visit won’t be his last.
The former cast member of Coronation Street has been spotted a number of times on holiday in Benidorm. Goodyear came into fame as a result of her Corrie role as Bet Lynch, barmaid-turned-owner of The Rovers Return pub. Nowadays, Goodyear is happy to hang up her bottle opener and mingle with the crowds in Benidorm’s bars and restaurants.
If Penelope Cruz is out and about near Benidorm, you can bet her husband Javier Bardem won’t be far behind. A native of the Canary Islands, Bardem is most recognised for his ultra-creepy role in No Country for Old Men and a-little-less-creepy spot in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. He too has been spotted near Benidorm on set, so hopping over to these busy shores isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
Holidaymakers shouldn’t be surprised when they see the bushy-bearded Ricky Tomlinson out and about in Benidorm. Best known for his role as Jim Royle in ITV’s The Royle Family, Tomlinson supposedly owns property in Benidorm, so he can be seen frequenting the area’s bars, restaurants and airport regularly.
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