Eldorado, the BBC’s saga of sun, sea, sand and sangria and set in a fictional version of the Costa del Sol ran for only a year, two decades ago. The sets were wobbly, the actors untrained, the plot-lines strained credulity.
But isn’t that true of the best TV productions? (Hello, Dr Who!) Even though it ran for such a short time it’s still embedded in the nation’s memory for the sunny locations, the multi-cultural cast (some of whom spoke their own language on the show, without subtitles for the benefit of UK viewers – a bit of a mistake admittedly) and the dubious charms of middle aged nightclub singer Trish Valentine. So, 22 years later, where are the stars now?
Polly Perkins – Trish Valentine
Let’s start with that indomitable nightclub singer, Trish Valentine. The British actor starred in the show at the age of 47, playing a video shop worker by day and a cabaret artist by night. Trish also had a 19 year old toy boy, Dieter.
Where is she now? Polly has most recently been seen in 2012 starring in another soap, the slightly less sunny Eastenders, as Dot Cotton’s sister, Rose Cotton.
Polly Perkins as Rose Cotton – image via BBC
Kai Maurer – Dieter Schultz
Dieter Schultz was the eye candy on and off boyfriend of chanteuse Trish. When he wasn’t partying he could be found giving windsurfing lessons.
Where is he now? Kai Maurer had some small parts on stage and screen both before and after Eldorado but ultimately has ended up as an elite flying instructor.
Buki Armstrong – Gerry Peters-Smith
Gerry Peters-Smith was the hippy drifter who landed on the golden coast after travelling around the world, and didn’t mind spending the odd night on the beach.
Where is she now? Veteran actor Buki Armstrong has popped up on many features since, including playing the acclaimed female 17th Century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi for a history program. Most recently she popped up on the Catherine Tait show in 2004, playing her sister.
Campbell Morrison – Drew Lockhead
Family man Drew Lockhead was central to Eldorado, propping up bars all over the beach. His rebellious son and difficult marriage weren’t helped by his drink problem.
Where is he now? Scottish actor Campbell Morrison starred in a ton of TV series and soaps after Eldorado, including East Enders, Corrie, The Bill and Hamish McBeth. Sadly he died in 2008.
Here he is in a fleeting appearance on ‘Taggart’
Jesse Birdsall – Marcus Tandy
The slick hair and even slicker business instincts of Marcus Tandy are the main things that stuck in many a teenage girl’s head about the brief tenure of Eldorado. Marcus was the resident bad boy with the dangerous good looks.
Where is he now? Jesse Birdsall didn’t let the demise of Eldorado halt his acting career, and and appeared in a vast list of TV shows including The Bill, Casualty, and Footballer’s Wives. His acting career is brought bang up to date with a long-running role as Fraser Black in Hollyoaks, in which he appeared up until 2014.
A few years ago there was a lobby to bring Eldorado back to our screens – it’s said that the original sets are still out there, just outside of Malaga in Spain. We reckon it would be a popular move, and it would be fun to see the old faces again!
Eldorado Cast photos copyright BBC.