Benidorm Madge star looks unrecognisable in throwback snaps before ITV show fame

Benidorm star Sheila Reid, who plays Madge Harvey, is completely unrecognisable from her early days as a young actress in the 60s.

The show’s most iconic character would be nothing without her witty one liners, electric scooter quick tongue and is best known for her favourite hobby – sunbathing.

Her actress, however, looked a far cry from the Madge we know and love today in her younger years.

The 84-year-old TV personality has previously spoken about how she became interested in acting because she “wasn’t keen” on who she was.

She told the Stratford-Upon-Avon Herald that she adopted the “acting bug” because she was “small and very fat with crooked teeth that crossed over at the front”.

“I used to just live in a world of make-believe because I wasn’t terribly keen on who I was.

"It was interesting because with acting I would play character roles and where there were roles where you played yourself, I found that the hardest thing of all, because I would have to strip it all away and be me.”

She spoke about her older sister and younger brother who “weren’t interested in the arts at all”.

Despite this, she used to “drag them all in to do plays” in front of their family and called herself a “writer, director and star”.

Before her role as the beloved Madge, Sheila began acting in the 1960s, firstly on ITV’s Armchair Theatre.

She continued on with ITV and took on roles in Tales of Mystery, Love Story, BBC’s Z Cars and became an original member of the Royal National Theatre.

Reid performed Othello alongside Laurence Olivier in 1963 and in more recent years took part in Casualty, The Bad Education Movie and Doctors.

Sheila landed her most memorable role as Madge back in 2007 as part of the satirical comedy Benidorm, which focuses on the lives of bold and brash British holidaymakers in the height of Spanish summer.

The series came to an end in 2018 after over ten years as bosses admitted that ratings had dropped and they decided to cancel the programme “on a high”.

The actress was also married, formerly to actor Julian Curry and then her partner of 32 years Terry Bullen.

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