Madge from the Benidorm TV Show Broke the Set!

For fans of the Benidorm TV show, it may surprise them that Sheila Reid, who plays the cast favourite ‘Madge, actually trashed the Benidorm TV set with her mobility scooter!

In real life, actress Sheila Reid can walk and drive perfectly well, but for her role as Madge, the heavily tanned, mobility-scooter riding OAP, she first had to learn how to use the scooter she rode around on the show. Sheila admitted to the audience on live TV that she accidentally trashed the Benidorm filming set when she was first given the mobility scooter as she learned to get to grips with the machine.

The actress has portrayed Madge in the ITV comedy series since it began in 2007. However, she said in an interview that she struggled to drive the scooter in the beginning and ended up ruining the carefully planned sets, and many scenes had to be re-set and shot over again. During the series, Madge had a succession of hilarious adventures, including pimping her mobility scooter, having dreadlocks and smuggling tanning pills.

The ‘Madge’ effect

The character of Madge became so popular that the real-life Benidorm holiday resort saw a massive demand for mobility scooters. Local Benidorm hotels have always accepted mobility scooters and have looked after many thousands of disabled guests over the years. So popular was her Madge character that hen parties would fly to Benidorm and dress up as Madge while driving around on mobility scooters.

Due to the popularity of the TV show, and in particular the acid-tongued Madge and her mobility-scooter, the resort town had to restrict the hire and use of mobility-scooters to disabled users only after a surge in use by able-bodied holidaymakers. When Sheila Reid decided to scoot off into the sunset after playing Madge for seven years, she did comment that she would miss her colleagues and, of course, her iconic mobility scooter, but not the 5.30 am spray tan sessions dressed in paper knickers that she had to endure to get into character as the shows perma-tanned poster girl.

So affected by her departure were the Benidorm cast and crew that they had special t-shirts made. On the front was printed: Adios, Los Garvos, and on the back it said We’ll miss you.

The return of Madge and the gold mobility-scooter

Benidorm fans were thrilled to hear that Sheila had accepted an offer to return to the show as Madge after seeing her character jetting off to Las Vegas to spend millions of inheritance money.

Although Madge did come back to Benidorm alone, leaving her family in the US, she came back to the show with a bang! Madge was back in Spain to make some property deals, but in reality, she loved Benidorm so much she simply couldn’t stay away. Viewers watched Madge steal every scene while wearing plenty of bling and riding a gold mobility scooter, which the show writers thought was a wonderful touch.

Despite her millions in the bank, it wasn’t long before Madge was back to her old self and causing mischief everywhere she went. Although the Benidorm TV series finished in 2018, the iconic Madge and her mobility scooter live on in the hearts of her fans. Today Benidorm is one of the most popular British TV comedy shows watched on streaming services.

Benidorm hotel chain bans “Madge” mobility scooters (May 2016)

Holiday-makers are baffled after one of Benidorm’s biggest hotel chain groups unexpectedly banned mobility scooters.

Incensed holiday-makers voiced their horror and objections on social media and travel forums as old. infirm and disabled guests who have already booked at the company’s nine hotels in the Spanish resort of Benidorm were thrown into panic and anxiety. The mobility scooters, made famous by the character of “Madge” in theITV series Benidorm, are a common sight at hotels in the resort.

The hotel group Servigroup initiated the ban due to complaints from other guests that mobility scooters were “clogging hallways and causing accidents”. But disabled user Katherine Airson, 66, who stays at the Hotel Pueblo five times a year, says she is “absolutely disgusted”.

Katherine explained: “There is an allocated place at the Pueblo to park mobility scooters as they’re not allowed inside. It’s never been a problem in the past at the hotel. This is about the able-bodied hiring scooters when they shouldn’t be using them.”

Ms Airson added: “I have had arguments with able-bodied people blocking the parking bays and charging up their scooters. t’s unfair that they’re allowed to hire scooters. They have spoilt it for the disabled. There will be more accidents. I saw two teenage girls yesterday racing along the seafront shouting at people to, ‘Get out of the way’.”

Servigroup’s operations director said: “Part of the problem is mobility scooters are used by people for fun, drunken antics or out of sheer laziness and the needful majority of users may now have to suffer due to the selfishness of a few.”

Local radio show host David Rowland said: “They started off as a fantastic idea that allowed the more elderly and less able to enjoy their holiday, but now they are like a cheap taxi for the lazy, drunk and too-fat-to-move Brits.”

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