The real SunTrap – see the sights that inspired BBC1’s new sitcom in Gran Canaria

Writer and producer Neil Webster guides us around the setting of Bradley Walsh and Kayvan Novak's new comedy

In BBC1 comedy series SunTrap, undercover reporter Woody (Kayvan Novak) flees to Gran Canaria when his cover is blown, and finds his former mentor Brutus (Bradley Walsh), who now owns a bar on the island. “Gran Canaria is an amazing place for locations,” says Neil Webster, SunTrap’s co-writer and producer. “There are so many different types of landscape… you get verdant woodlands, sand dunes and a high-end look, like Las Vegas. The Canarian pace of life is wonderfully slow, and they’re really relaxed. The best thing to do is hire a car and drive around the island. In some places you’ll feel like you’re in late 19th-century Spain. It’s not the knotted handkerchief holiday destination that you would imagine… and it’s pretty much sunny all year round.”

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Puerto de Mogan

“This is where we tend to start and end each episode,” says Webster. “It’s where most of our action takes place. It’s a marina, which is important to us, and Brutus’s bar is our regular location, in that kind of Cheers way.”

You can visit the bar from the show – it’s on the headland and has upstairs seating overlooking the ocean. “The bar is called  El Faro. In our world, Brutus has bought the bar. We thought: ‘What would he call it?’ If he had seen El Faro he would just change the F to a B and call it El Baro.”

Puerto Rico beach

“We did a lot of the beach shooting at Puerto Rico. We shot Woody on a banana boat there and we did a scene with Brutus giving chase on a jet ski. It turns out Bradley is an excellent jet-skier, so we had him in his element bombing up and down. People can visit the beach and have a go at the watersports.”

Pirate Galleon

“In the last episode, Woody and Brutus get abducted by pirates,” says Webster. “There’s actually a wooden tourist pirate ship in Puerto Rico called Timanfaya – we went out to sea in it for three days and used a lot of their crew. We’d used the pirate ship in the pilot and decided to write a whole episode on it. You can go out on Timanfaya. It’s a pirate experience, with quite a lot of drinking and 90s disco – I’m not sure it’s exactly what they did in the 17th century – but it’s a really fun day out.”

Maspalomas

“The crew stayed in this big tourist town where there are the most amazing sand dunes. In episode five there’s a kind of murder mystery – who killed Spanish singing superstar Elton Juan? We shot his music video Sandal in the Wind in Maspalomas’s sand dunes. We got Lee Boardman to play Elton Juan (an 80s dream for us). The dunes are amazing, but you have to be careful because a portion of them make up a nudist beach and you’re never quite sure where it starts.”


Visit the Canary Islands with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


Faro

“There are a lot of high-end hotels here, and we shot some big set piece scenes with Kayvan and Bradley, Simon Day and Morgana Robinson, including a stakeout at Hotel Lopesan. The hotel almost looks like something out of Beverly Hills Cop with its huge fountains – it was beautifully lit. Faro would be the place I’d go on holiday, it’s really nice.”

North Road

“The further north you go, the more it feels like Hawaii, it’s so verdant and green. We filmed at San Andres, when Woody first lands and blags his way into a taxi and gets to the marina,” explains Webster. “There’s the most amazing road cut into a mountain – it’s like California’s Pacific Coast Highway. And when you venture inland you’ll find lots of tiny roads and villages.”

Palmitos Park

“At the end of the first episode Woody is trying to find a talking parrot. He ends up at a bird park because he thinks that one of the people who owns it has liberated the bird. We shot it all in Palmitos Park, a really beautiful bird park north of Maspalomas. We spent a lot of time with the guys dealing with the falcons. They do a bird show two or three times a day: you can see it more than once because they have very little control of the birds. The whole joke about Woody sending the bird off around the mountain is so close to the truth.”

Watch SunTrap 10.35pm, Wednesday, BBC1 (11.05pm in Wales, 11.35pm in N Ireland)


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Visit the Canary Islands with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details