Behind the scenes with Josh and Nish

Hold the Front page Sky Max Josh Widdicombe Nish Kumar

Josh and Nish outside the Euro Weekly News office in Albir Credit: EWN

ON a sunny September morning in Albir on the Costa Blanca, the Euro Weekly News office is bustling with activity. The last scenes are being shot for the episode of Sky Max’s hit TV series Hold the Front Page featuring the dynamic duo of Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar in the making.

Josh and Nish spent some time working as local reporters for the Euro Weekly News and their time on the Coast of Spain is coming to an end. The crew meticulously arranges shots while animatedly chatting about the highlights of their time here. Josh and Nish dressed in their cream linen suits and Panama-style hats patiently perfected their scenes entering and arriving at the office time and again. As the director gives a nod of approval, I seize the opportunity to sit down with the two British comedians. I am eager to find out more about their insights on the world of local reporting in Benidorm and the surrounding areas.

Tell me about your experience and what you enjoyed about it.

Josh: I’ve loved it I’ve had a really nice time. Slightly too hot at times, I’m not good with the heat I struggle with the heat but beyond that, I loved my time. As I said to Michel and Steven (the owners of the Euro Weekly News) the paper is central to the community and so multicultural.

Nish: It’s been interesting to see a side to Benidorm that’s actually people who live here rather than tourists. We really enjoyed going up to Polop, it was nice to go up to the hills and see towns where people actually live, that was really lovely. It’s completely different. I guess there are two Benidorm’s, the one that people visit and the one that people live in. Benidorm is its own little place.

Is there anything you didn’t like?

Josh: I wouldn’t say the centre of the Benidorm strip on an evening is the best place to be when you have recently quit drinking! Let’s put it that way.

Nish: Yeah, it’s a boozy place but again that’s one of the two Benidorm’s, the tourist side is definitely a particular flavour. Yes, Benidorm is unique to the rest of Spain but it is a really fun place.

Josh: I loved the TV show Eldorado back in the day so it was good to live it.

Nish: I have never heard of this TV programme!

Josh: Benidorm is like Eldorado but with less drama…

Nish: I was disappointed not to run into Ray Winston in orange underpants. Sexy Beast is really my version of English people living in Spain. I guess in retrospect it’s probably a good idea we didn’t run into any of them.

What surprised you the most?

Nish: Well I guess you have no sense of what people who actually live here are like. So that was really nice and surprising and pleasant.

Josh: Yeah I thought meeting Colin (they are referring to one of the articles they wrote Dragtastic which appeared in the Costa Blanca North edition on October 4) was just incredible. You see a man who has come out here and created a totally unique life as a drag artist. Doing six shows a week, you are probably going to struggle to do that in the UK.

Nish: Yes, I don’t think the combination of horse sanctuary and drag artist is one that is very typical. It is quite specific and quite difficult to pull off and also just the fact that you can have that amount of farmland where those animals can safely live and then he can drive an hour and a half down the road and do a drag show is a very specific thing to be able to do.

Josh: I was also impressed at people drinking lager at breakfast!

Nish: Breakfast Lager €1 a pint!

What was your favourite story that you covered?

Nish: Definitely Colin.

Josh: Colin as well, but I’ll say something else. Psychic dating was certainly a unique experience

So will you guys be keeping the pink sunglasses for life?

Nish: Yes I am definitely going to keep my pink sunglasses.

Josh: I lost mine on day one.

So have you lost your sunny outlook on life then?

Josh: Well that’s what I’m blaming. I found the Euro Weekly News had a unique approach to the news in that it is good to be somewhere where there is positive news. It’s a good lesson to take into life but I’ll probably forget by the time I’ve landed in the UK.

What was the difference between covering the local news in the UK and here in Spain?

Nish: It’s so hyper-specific. It isn’t just about an area, it’s about a specific community within an area. We always knew this was going to be an episode unlike any we’ve done across two series of the show.

Josh: Also, and I can’t emphasise this enough, Michel is the best-dressed editor we’ve worked with.

Were you scared of the nails?

Josh: They did initially but I’d say she’s not as scary as she tries to make out.

Nish: Yeah, she’s lovely.

Catherine: Yes, she is quite inspiring to work for.

Nish: Yeah great, I bet she is.

Josh: You’ll have to grow those nails out!

Catherine: I’m working on it!

The Euro Weekly News episode of Hold the Front Page aired on Sky Max on May 8 and for those who missed it, it should be available to see on catch up.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!