Let’s guess – your job is just one long holiday, right?
You’d think so, but it’s not when you’re sat at the airport at 7am and you’ve not slept for 24 hours, or you’re at the hospital with someone who’s drunk themselves unconscious and is being sick all over you. July and August are just a blur. It sorts the men from the boys when you’ve got 15 girls from Wigan on a hen party bearing down on you. But I reckon it’s the best job in the world. You’re meeting hundreds of people the same age as you, going to clubs for free and living in the sunshine with scantily clad females everywhere.
How meagre is the pay for new employees?
Basic pay is about £100 a week, which sounds bad but you get commission on events, free accommodation, and free food and drink most of the time. We get loads of high-season reps who are students, who go home after three months with five grand in their pocket.
Who’s your most memorable bunch of holidaying Brits?
There’s a group of Scousers that go to Tenerife every year called the Magnificent Seven. They’re real characters, very entertaining. One of them spent £23,000 in three months buying everybody drinks. As a challenge, a lad once said he wouldn’t sleep in his own bed for the entire two weeks. He couldn’t pull every night, so he slept up a tree, in the bucket of a JCB and on the beach. Squaddies are good value, too. One walked round in a nappy for two weeks, with a bucket for his drinks.
Ever had to handle the “Excursion From Hell”?
Oh yes. I did a ski week in Andorra two years ago, and it had snowed so heavily that we were stuck in a bus on the French border. People started freaking out, screaming and crying. One guy started scratching his face off and then attacked the driver, so we had to pin him to the floor. Then, once we got going again, the driver kept falling asleep, so we had to feed him endless coffees. By the time we got to the airport there was no plane for us. We spent 36 hours on that bus.
Have you invented any classic drinking games?
That’s so five years ago. We used to do stuff – drinking through socks and stuff like that, but if we even mentioned it on the microphone now, half the bar would leave.
What’s your worst-ever drunken punter horror?
In Cyprus last year, one girl from Hull, who must have been 16 stone, drank so much that she passed out. Three of us could hardly pick her up. She’d been sick all over herself and then her bowels had given way. The bus wouldn’t take her, so we had to put her in my car to get her back to the hotel. There was so much warmth, sweat and effluent coming off her that the car steamed up and I couldn’t see. She kept falling into my lap, it was absolutely horrible. We put her to bed and called a doctor. The doctor said, “Yes, she’s fat and drunk.” The next day, she thought it was funny. She didn’t even say thank you!
What hangover cure do you recommend?
This sounds really weird, but we’ve found cold boiled cabbage works well. We discovered it after we’d cooked some the night before and were half-dead the next day.
Sounds foul. Witnessed any humungous punch-ups?
In nine years, I don’t think I’ve seen a major brawl, just a bit of handbags. During Euro 2004, a load of French people ran into a bar, jumped on the stage where the big screen was and pulled moonies at the English crowd. I was amazed they got out alive.
So in a typical season how many tourists get arrested?
In a big resort, it might be ten. More than likely it’s for being drunk and disorderly. Someone got arrested for urinating on a police car with the policeman still sat in the front – not the brightest thing to do. And we had five lads jump naked off a boat in front of the harbour police – they had to pay about £1,000 each and missed their plane home. The thing to never, ever do is to take drugs. Someone got caught in Greece with a tiny amount of weed, and they got a £2,000 fine and a week in prison.
Ever have anyone die on you?
A lad on the island of Zante last year was run over by a car, which was horrible. Then a 17-year-old bloke tried to commit suicide in front of us by threatening to jump under cars. I rugby-tackled him and got an ambulance to take him to a psychiatric hospital, but they let him out and he tried again. His dad had to fly out and take him home. Another one in Corfu completely lost it. He locked himself in his room, convinced that everybody was trying to kill him, and when he did come out he walked through the resort naked.
Does the gender balance sometimes go wrong, and you get a hotel full of randy blokes?
I did a welcome meeting once for 60 people and there were only three lads there! They were proper geeks, though, and they thought they’d died and gone to heaven.
Which resort has the scuzziest reputation?
Faliraki on Rhodes is a fantastic resort but the press decided one summer that they’d descend on it after the Club Reps TV programme and it got a reputation it didn’t deserve. If you’re filming for six months, you’re going to get what you want and make it as scandalous as you wish. But it’s no different to any other resort – or even Manchester come to think of it. Unfortunately, a lad did get killed when a fight broke out but it was one isolated incident when there’s probably 300,000 tourists going there each season.
What’s your take on the fuss last year over reps encouraging orgies?
I’m sure the beach sees some action but certainly never anything organised by us. It was another holiday firm that got caught up in all of that. If it’s true, that’s going too far. Even when we used to do games, we never got anywhere near that.
Any embarrassing antics you’ve indulged in to get a party going?
I’ve dressed in my grandma’s summer dress, going round the clubs. It’s actually quite nice – a pastel floral job. I went up on the stage of a nightclub in it and the bouncer picked me up and started pulling me down. So I called him a brute and hit him with my handbag.
What’s the funniest prank you’ve seen played on a fellow tourist?
When a lad fell asleep drunk, someone wrote “10” and “Pele” on his back in sun-cream, so when he woke up he had his own human Brazil shirt in sunburn. He thought it was legend, he was well happy.
Are the Brits abroad really that bad? How does our behaviour compare with guests from other nations?
I wouldn’t say we’re saints, but the Scandinavians are just as bad, they’re absolutely nuts. They have their dinner about 3pm and start drinking about 4pm. So by 8pm, they’re all battered. You see them lolling around before anybody else has even gone out. Italians often get banned from clubs for touching up girls and generally being slimy.
Do you get old gits trying to convince you they’re under 30 so they can come and have an ogle?
Club 18-30 actually allows people aged 17 to 35. But there’s one guy who has been coming since, I think, 1978. He’s about 56. He’s deaf and everybody loves him – he comes out every night and gets smashed. We also had one rather sinister couple, aged 40 or 50, who came along once and sat around on all the excursions staring at the younger ones. Perhaps they were swingers.
You’ve just hit 30 – does that mean you have to retire soon?
I hope not, although it’s rare to have a 30-year-old rep – I now look after the Greek islands, Turkey, Cyprus and Bulgaria as regional manager. This year, I’m based in Crete. I have to fly round the resorts on a weekly basis, checking everything’s okay. I’d love to turn the clock back and get my summer dress on!