5th March 2009:
Hello everybody and a great big, fat fabulous
2009 to you all !
At last I have PROPER time to be able to write
another missive, without too much interruption.
Ive been at Campus R. Soles for 3 days now,
getting my house in order, literally, and
remembering what is in what cupboard etc. The
great bonus about returning from a few months
away is one can view things again. I.E.
Ive never really liked that or
Is this still here ? so one can
extricate things without feeling too sentimental.
in Swansea was a really luvly, fulfilling
experience. Warm, appreciative people. I must
have been stopped in the High Street a dozen
times a day with people wanting to see how I
liked their town and did I want to come for tea ?
And not just be salt-of-the-earth mothers
and grannys. There were a few petrol heads
and bikers I took a shine to !
But the stage prevailed so I had to forego lava
bread and cookies. Speaking of traditional food,
I couldnt quite get orgasmic over Welsh
cakes. I found them to be a mixture of scone and
tea-cake, which in itself is not unappetising
just doughy. I even tried them with jam, which
only slightly enhanced the experience. Anyway
enough of culinary chit chat.
The panto proved to be hugely popular and a great
success, to everyones delight: the
producers, council, theatre staff and performers
all benefited from the experience. Theatre
management, especially, are always happy to have
a show make money, but panto is particularly
important as good takings can be a tremendous
help in funding the forthcoming seasons
events. Chris Jarvis, Buttons and the director as
well, was a superb asset. We had a real rapport
and his desire for a good story, swiftly told,
matched my own - Im chuffed to say that in
6 weeks I only saw three children go to the
toilet ! Well, you cant be doing with a
show that is 2 hours 35 minutes long. Panto is
not Les Miz. Our social life was fab and on the
doorstep. I can highly recommend a bar with music
called THE LOFT. Its not a club as such but
there is space to shake your booty. A luvly guy
called Steve owns it and so far it is immaculate,
having only been open around five weeks. Also,
there is a main street dedicated to fun and good
times - Vine Street. Fab restaurants, bars,
discos - one of my favourites being Flares, a
franchised club specialising in 70s and
80s sounds. You have got to have something
you can move to, invent your own choreography. We
ended the season with a fab party in a club
called OCEANA. Well it consisted of several large
rooms, each containing its own disco, but
differently themed. Highly recommended. I was
particularly impressed with the VIP room. Even if
you were performing in Swansea, if you were not
invited by the management you couldnt get
entry. I like that idea. So many profile people
assume its their right to be
admitted everywhere so its very refreshing
to have that policy.
I shall now turn my attention to the much loved
and extremely popular 60s musical SHOUT. As
many of you may know, this started life
off-Broadway and was brought to my attention by
the British producer Mark Goucher. I was in luvly
Malvern, being horrible to the dwarfs - in
character, I hastily add - when I was sent a CD
containing all these memorable 60s songs
but not much of a script. I was immediately taken
with the arrangements and got very excited,
especially when the wardrobe mistress, Chris, who
was not prone to verbal whoops became
very animated. Needless to say, I accepted the
job only to discover A LOT OF WORK was needed to
finalise the script. A million congratulations to
everyone who was involved. It turned out to be a
huge success. Ill never forget our opening
night at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Although
we felt we had a good product, as all performers
like to think - out of loyalty to the sweat,
tears and sheer physical and mental output over a
rehearsal period demands. One never knows how a
show is going to be realistically received until
it has had its first outing. Claire Sweeney
- a great girl - and I looked at each other with
tears of joy as every member of the audience
stood and cheered, whistled and shouted for
more. I felt liked Madonna without
We had a really fabulous tour. We went to so many
places, venues new to me sometimes and ones we
returned to with luvly memories of past shows.
The girls in the show were truly fab, with a
great work ethic and talent. I have to say it was
one of the most enjoyable jobs of my career - 35
years this year - so that gives you some idea of
how I rate the show. To be able to go onstage
eight times a week and enjoy every second brings
untold job satisfaction and can only benefit the
audience. It was gratifying to see people of all
ages, able and unabled, all appreciating the
performance in their own way. Oh dear, pass the
Also, another fab bonus is that Ive met
many great people who have become friends that in
every town I visited I was able to make contact.
Im lucky in that my pals arent all in
London so when Im touring we get to meet
up. With the best intentions, Im sure none
of us have all the time to specifically visit
every friend we have on a regular basis,
especially New Zealand, so to be able to say
hello even twice a year is a real bonus.
Shona, Donna and I, the SHOUT girls, did a gig at
the Palladium for the Air Force, remembering our
brave warriors from World War Two. What a
privilege. Prince Michael of Kent is the Patron
and he is hot ! I can see what his wife sees in
him. Hes handsome, has a luvly smile, very
well groomed - he should be a Crufts
entrant, and hes very funny.
29th October 2007:
And, once again, apologies
for my tardiness with the webletter. I did begin
it months ago, detailing how the Menopause was
going (the musical one!) but I got side-tracked.
As you are probably aware, the show has now come
off, but what an experience!
In one month's rehearsal
the cast packed in a mountain of work; most
choreography and vocals. One month is considered
a luxury to get a show on in musical theatre,
but, really, we could have done with two. There
was such a lot to absorb, even manually changing
scenes as we went along. Getting everything right
at the same time proved to be a real challenge to
say the least and many a night I found myself
waking trying to remember steps, harmonies, what
props to use and when.
those of you not familiar with the show, I'm sure
the title "Menopause The Musical" will
give you a fair idea of what it is about.
A cast of four ladies in,
approaching, or having come through the menopause
explain through songs their experiences, with
often hilarious outcomes. Jeannie Linders, the
writer and producer, felt that all four
characters represented parts of herself. In fact,
all the characters really represented women all
over the world. Universally, it is popular as
most women can relate to the subject. She very
cleverly chose well known Sixties/Seventies songs
and substituted the lyrics; i.e.. 'My Guy' became
'My Thighs'. In fact we all learned the new words
so well we can't remember the originals!
Us four girls, three
musicians, a great crew and staff at the Shaw
Theatre had a fun, memorable time and, of course,
the icing for us was the fact the audience loved
it. It wasn't meant to be Brecht or Kipling, it
was meant to convey in a sympathetic, funny,
moving way a subject that has driven countless
women to despair, descending into a kind of
madness. The tears and laughter and fond embraces
at the end of the show only served to underline
how uplifted all those ladies felt. Some ladies
hadn't been out for two years because they had
become so low in spirits. But our little show
gave them hope and encouragement, as they felt
they were with other kindred spirits in the
audience. If ever a show had a feelgood factor,
it's the Menopause! It's so easy to brush aside
something that doesn't appear to have any
substance and too often critics can't wait to
plunge their verbal knives in, but I was very
proud to be part of a show that made people
laugh, cry, and to be happy. They were
At the moment a UK tour is
being discussed, but for any of you lucky enough
to live in or around Dublin, the show is on at
the Tivoli Theatre, so I do urge you to pay a
visit. While you're there please give my luv to
Miquel Brown, mum of Sinitta, who was in our
production. Go Miquel!!
I have to say being in
London and living at home since finishing panto
has been such a fabulous change. Not having to
plan train travel etc. has been a little weird as
I've toured a lot over the last few years. I must
admit, though, it is marvellous to get away from
the dreaded London traffic. I've lost count of
the times I could have been in Nottingham during
the journey across London.
Anyway, I've had a fab
social time recently. I really do think I could
become a lady who lunches - I've been to several
and I'm now walking briskly at every opportunity
and have recently reacquainted myself with baked
beans on toast as I strive to fit into my leopard
skin trousers! But I'm fortunate to have some
luvly people in my life and being able to spend
time with them while not on tour is a real bonus.
My great pal, James
Smilie, who played "Daddy Warbucks" in Annie
got married to the fab Caroline and has moved
permanently to Perth, Australia. It's a great
place but, personally, I think it's like Milton
keynes with sun. No offence, Miltonians!
During August I went to
Malvern for the publicity launch of the panto.
Once again, I'm thrilled to be playing
"Wicked Queen" in Snow White. I
adore the show, and Malvern is such a picturesque
town, quite posh, I think, so we'll have to wake
it up a bit! Having been before, I'm sure we'll
have a luvly time, as the patrons adore their
theatre and are very loyal. The staff are very
committed and have a generous spirit. I have a
few, fun things planned. Tickets, I know, are
selling fast, so secure yours soon! Please feel
free to say hello afterwards. I always have time
for anyone who wants to chat, so don't be shy,
say hi-de-hi! I think I should go into marketing!
went to a luvly book launch for a friend of mine,
Roly Curram. You may remember him from the
ill-fated BBC soap, Eldorado. Typical -
Just as it was coming good, it was axed. That's
showbiz! He has since had a second career as a
published writer, so it was with great pride I
went along to a building next to the Savoy Hotel
on The Strand to sample some canapés and to
purchase his book, entitled The Rose Secateurs.
What a fabulous read. It's a thoroughly
entertaining piece, with a great twist at the
What a place to have a
book launch. The reception was on the 12th floor
and the spacious room leads to a terrace
overlooking the Thames. Well, you can forget
walking, tubing, cabbing. The view meant you
could see from St. Paul's to Battersea. It was
just marvellous. And to see everything lit up,
all the landmarks, including the newest icon, the
London Eye, brought tears to my eyes. I was so
proud that I live in one of the greatest cities
in the world.
All that and canapés en
Had a bit of fun with
Jamie Theakston, re his recent wedding. Was on
his radio show, pretending to gatecrash the
ceremony. I think he was scared I might stand on
tables at the reception and be naughty! I would
Then i attended a fab
civil ceremony for two great pals, Allan and
Alan. It was so good, every detail was perfect,
apart from my shoes. My heels were so high my
balls were killing me so I had to partake of a
taxi. It was only from a local Town Hall to a
restaurant at the end of a road but a girl can't
have aching balls.
Saw a really good musical
called When Midnight Strikes. Hopefully it
will have a longer run when it is produced on a
Also saw a luvly Prom
concert at The Albert Hall. It was the Blue Peter
Saturday Morning Proms. How marvellous that the
whole auditorium was full, not only full, but
full of young people, probably experiencing not
only the Albert Hall for the first time, but also
the musical programme. The taste was eclectic,
insofar as there was an excerpt from Peter
& The Wolf, Connie Fisher reprising
'Favourite Things' and a selection of Bollywood
songs. judging from the reaction of the children
and adults he morning was a great success. long
Recently, my sister Jean's
Fiancee Tony and I went to the Langham Hilton
Hotel. It was an afternoon of "Strictly Tea
Dancing" organised by my friend Gloria
Hunniford, in aid of her charity for her
daughter, Caron, who died of breast cancer almost
three years ago. Since her appearance on Strictly
Come Dancing she has remained friends with
all the professional dancers and for the second
year running has held an afternoon tea. Members
of the public are invited to the hotel for
champagne, a luvly tea, very much like a Devon
one, an auction conducted by the luvly Chris
Biggins, a cabaret by the talented Brian Conley,
and to have a chat and a dance etc., with invited
guests like myself. Well, I danced myself to
death; jiving, sambaing, waltzing, all in a black
chiffon frock with pink ostrich feather fringing!
The ultimate attraction was, of course, the pros
from "Dancing", who gave displays of
jaw-dropping virtuosity - the stamina required to
produce that sort of performance is nothing short
As I had another
"do" to attend, i sadly said goodbye to
Anton, et al, and cabbed my way, with Tony, to
the Bloomsbury Ballrooms, near Kings Cross. A
very lavish spectacle greeted us, as John Addy,
my marvellous friend of almost 25 years, hires
the venue several times a year for his club
"Salvation". His aim is to provide a
great evening's entertainment with fab music,
bar, guest artistes, marvellous stilt-walkers,
lots of camp, on a Sunday, usually from 6.00pm
till midnight. I went along to say hello to
everyone, mingle and sign autographs and have
pictures - in general, just to mix. I had a
marvellous time. People are, on he whole, very
nice. They just want to enjoy themselves, with no
hassle. If you fancy going to one of John's
"do's" in the future, just click to his
I also had the great good
fortune to receive an invitation to a fab
birthday lunch, courtesy of my luvly friend,
Karl, dress-designer and maker to the Queen, held
at Mossiman's in Kensington. This time, I left
the serious heels behind! A beautiful, six-course
lunch was enjoyed by 18 of us. Luckily, the
portions were not distortions. Once in a while it
is just fabulous to go to a restaurant for a
sumptuous feast, almost like a banquet, and to
remember it in years to come. That was one of
those times. To be in the company of honest,
entertaining people, each enjoying each other, is
a thing never to be taken for granted.
A marvellous day, made
even better by party poppers and confetti bombs.
Well, a girl can't go to a party empty-handed.
Do tune in on 13th
November for The Paul O'Grady Show.
myself, Paul, Ruth and Jeff - Peggy, Ted, Gladys
and Spike - are appearing and as yet have not
been given any specific brief. I secretly think
we will be involved in a sketch with Paul playing
I've so much enjoyed
sharing my last few months with you and I
sincerely hope life is good for you all at the
moment. Once again, my heartfelt thanx to Davie
who has been a tireless stalwart, in my view
producing one of the best sites ever, not
forgetting luvly Rob, a friend and great
Much luv to you all,
15th July 2006:
And welcome to a, so far,
I extend a thousand apologies for such a late
missive. A lot of which can be attributed to the
recent passing of my beloved dad. I'm sure those
of you who have experienced the same situation
will understand perfectly the tide of emotions
one feels. Added to that the huge practicalities
involved. The paperwork! Help! My sister,
Jeannie, has been an absolute star in that
department, whilst I've been involved in clearing
wardrobes, etc; organising relatives, and
generally helping to run a smooth ship.
Now that dad has had his
official "send off", things will no
doubt gel into their usual places.
I would like to thank
everyone for being so kind and supportive during
this time. It is so much appreciated.
My dad left me a
marvellous legacy of positiveness. His stock
phrase was "get on with it...", so I'm
doing just that.
Thanx for everything, dad.
Well, I think it's
catch-up time now! Where to start! I guess it's
as far back as panto in Rhyl. I had a really
luvly season there, made all the more enjoyable
because I stayed in a marvellous place - The Pier
Hotel, run by two great guys; Richard and Wayne.
They really looked after us, as most of the cast
Apart from the early
morning performances, breakfast was sometimes as
late as Midday. What luxury is that! The whole
aspect of the Pier was a joy, especially the
social side! Let's just say there was many a
jovial early morning tipple!
We really had a lot of
fun, and a cast who all joined in with each
other. A highlight was a girl and guys night,
where the genders were swapped. Can't tell you
how gorge some of the fellers looked. It's
amazing what a bit of imagination and a few bits
of lippy can do! The guys all agreed, tho, that
high heels were not good for the balance.
Thanx to everyone involved
in that luvly season.
No sooner had I arrived
back home, the next I embarked on another
first foray into Shakespeare. It was pretty weird
to be a Panto Queen on Saturday and a nurse on
Monday! But the variety of work that is showbiz
makes it such a great vocation.
Luckily, I was given the
script of Romeo & Juliet several weeks
before. I had to read it on a daily basis to
familiarise myself with the dialogue. I came to
realise that Shakespeare's language is quite
decipherable once you get the gist of it. Like
any script really. It's just that his is more
thorough and beautifully written - more flowery
than the Botanical Gardens!
What a fabulous
experience, tho. Once I'd really got to grips
with the play I enjoyed every moment. It was a
joy to see the audience enjoying themselves,
especially the younger students giggling
nervously at the double entendre!
We had quite a few sex
Gods in the cast, who certainly gave the girls
something amounting to palpitations.
Once again, we had a great
camaraderie between us. Nearly every week it was
someone's birthday, and each one was celebrated.
In fact, Jane, our Company Manager, carried with
her boxes of compulsory party poppers and paper
With a play as long as Romeo
& Juliet you really need a release,
especially after a matinee day. So it was great
to have parties and visit clubs, etc. My ethos
has always been "work hard, play hard"
as you feel you've earned your leisure time.
I tell you what, tho', the
concentration required for 'Speare is phenomenal,
especially because the dialogue is so well-known,
so if you get your thou's and thee's in the wrong
place, the rhythm goes, along with the text.
Despite that, I would
definitely do the "Bard" again. Thanx
to luvly Jenny King, the Producer, for the chance
to do it.
Caught up with loads of
mates after and had a great night watching Footloose.
Fab energy. Was out of my seat in a flash. As was
everyone else. Luvly to be so well entertained.
Next night went to the
'Annual Quiz' at the Grovesnor House for the
cancer charity "Children with Lukemia",
always hosted by the fabulous Jeremy Beadle.
Caught up with showbiz pals from Corrie, Eastenders
and The Bill. A great night. I won an
enormous bottle of champagne for dancing. A cross
between Noddy Holder and Freddie Mercury!
Had a great time at
Langham Hilton. A very camp tea dance, organised
by my pal Gloria (Hunniford) to raise funds for
the Caron Keating Foundation. Caron, as you may
know, died from breast cancer, so it was a
fitting fundraiser, as well as fun. Cliff Richard
sang a song, acapella, dedicated to Caron.
Superb! Every note was perfect. He even took off
his belt and signed it for an auction item.
Unfortunately, everything else stayed on. He's
such a good sport.
Chris Biggins made a great
job of the auction, and everyone entered into the
spirits - not the alcohol type, as there was only
tea from the Orient.
We were treated to a
stunning dance cabaret, provided by the
professional participants of Strictly Come
Dancing. And we got to dance with them. Make
no mistake - they were fit!! How fab to be
samba'd to death!
I was wearing a tiara that
promptly left my head after a particularly
energetic move, whereupon I trod on it. Well,
it's now become a necklace, as I squashed it
It was great to see people
I've worked, premiered, and partied with...
Robert Powell, Victor Spinetti, Lionel Blair,
Guitar legend Bert Weedon, Paul and Debbie
Daniels, Zoe Lucker, and members of the public
who had bought tickets to have a chat with
everyone, and to contribute to a great cause.
It was particularly good
to have a luvly chat with Michael Barrymore. He
looked great. He is undoubtedly a fab talent, and
whatever his past troubles, it was good to see
Later, my friend, Mario
and I ventured to a pub in Islington - well, more
a hi-tech bar, actually. There I was in my long,
sequinned frock, squashed tiara, feather boa,
silver shoes and a sparkling handbag.
Unfortunately I got mistaken for that night's
Still hungry for
entertainment, I went to Malaga - not that
evening, a week later. Two friends own an
apartment in a luvly place in Calahonda.
Fabulous. An old type, Spanish dwelling, still
with original fittings and a superb balcony view
of the luvly aquamarine sea.
I should be doing A
Place In The Sun!
Nightlife was ten minutes
away. Met loads of ex-pats. All luvly. And just
one or two "Dodgy Daves", with broad
A fab night was had at
'Bunny's', a drag cabaret club. Just my type of
stuff. I luv a bot of camp! Never! Of course,
most of the audience was British, so we all had a
good old knees up.
I luv foraging around in
the local supermarkets. Everything seems so much
better than our stuff. It's just pshychological,
really. Although I couldn't get enough of Spanish
tomatoes. I'm mad about tomatoes in general. I'm
coming back as one so I can spend my whole life
in a greenhouse.
Just before I went to
Malaga, or Malager as I call it, I appeared on Loose
Women. I just luv that show. They look after
you extremely well, sending cars, which often
these days is a bonus. Pity, really. Most
programmes have a "limited" budget
these days, which usually means "not much
money in it, but you'll get lunch!".
The show is very tightly
run. Staff know exactly what they're doing and
most importantly, it's fun and informative. I
just hate working on, what I consider,
sub-standard stuff. Anyway, that was all good.
Saw an extremely good
production of a new muscial entitled Enchanted.
Written, acted and produced entirely by
ex-students of Guildford School of Acting. I must
salute their endeavours. I was royally
entertained. The performances were excellent,
script very good, if too long, but first-timers
very often are, I wish them all well.
Had a great, but hectic,
time appearing on the Prince's Trust 30th
Anniversary. So many mates were there, plus
people I've seen but don't really know. So, it
was a nice adventure. A difficult thing to
organise. Live stuff really does have to stick to
the itinerary. Especially on ITV, with the
I've never seen so many
Had a great catch-up with
my mate Les Dennis. Great to chat with Ronnie
Corbett. I had my heels on, so he appeared to
look like an inhabitant of Lilliput! He's
enjoying a real rennaisance at the moment. It's
great. What marvellous work he did with Ronnie
Jonathan Ross and I had
some banter about who was wearing the loudest
outfit. I think it was a draw.
The only downside to
functions like the Trust is that one is always
asked to repair to the bar for "canapes and
conviviality". Nothing wrong with that, but
actors luvingly refer to this as "hostility
in the crush bar", so called, as the clamour
for drinks is 20-deep and the canapes usually
consist of pastry-based ingredients. So every
time you have a chat. you choke on the puff! Not
conducive to witty conversation.
Luvly Duncan, ex-Blue band
was there. Ant and Dec hosting. So many people
you would all know.
Also, a few days later, a
very nice acknowledgment from HRS Charles,
thanking us for our participation. You know, I've
always liked him, especially when Hi-De-Hi!
was at its peak and he came to the Blue Peter
studio to do something with plastic, and as he
passed our dressing rooms he gracefully shouted
"Ho-De-Hi!". Obviously, totally wrong,
but he said it with spirit!
Am doing a programme
called Destination Lunch with Judith
Chalmers and Peter Purves. Luv them. Due to be
broadcast on Sky TV. It's a new lunchtime chat
show, hence the title, and will go out live on
Sky, Monday 7th August.
Will be in Nottingham,
week-commencing 28th August, for another stint of
Vagina Monologues. Just luv that show.
By the time you read this,
I will have done the Press Launch for panto.
Mansfield Palace Theatre, being wicked again.
It's a luvly theatre. I've played it before and
was lucky enough to see my mate, Ray Meagher,
there two years ago doing his King Rat.
Have been offered a really
good play - one performer and 18 characters! A
challenge, eh? We're looking to do it after
panto, so I'll keep you posted.
Off to Regents Park
Theatre to see my luvly mate, Joshua Dallas, in The
Boyfriend. Hoping for a good night, as the
show, although quite trite and cute, offers good
characters and tunes. What I call "a bit of
trivia" but sending you home with a
feel-good glow. And nothing wrong with that.
I've decided my New Year
Resolution starts now, ie; my efforts to keep you
informed on a more regular basis will be
implemented forthwith. Thanx John, who sent an
email to nudge me in that direction.
My thanx to all of you who
are loyal and supportive, older and newer,
especially, too, to Davie who manages and indeed,
controls my site and is very valued, especially
by professionals who wish to engage in on-going
developments. Thanx Davie, I so appreciate
what you do.
Special thanx, too, to Rob
Cope, who's input is invaluable.
Hope we've caught up now -
look forward to monthly missives!
Much luv to you all -
and don't burn!
3rd June 2005:
How luvly to be in touch
with you all again. And may I welcome new
visitors to the site.
Well, where to start?
we had a great finale to the 'Annie' tour,
finishing at Ashton-Under-Lyne, a beautiful
theatre, with very supportive staff in every
department, especially the wardrobe, with the
help of the luvly Twinkle, who made my wig, as
Miss Hannigan, look "designedly
I then spent two weeks
catching up with mates in-between "domestic
stuff" and getting teeth etc. checked out.
Well, a girl has to have favourable gnashers!
Then a couple of hours organising my holiday in
Sydney, 'cos I just decided on the spur to visit
mates I hadn't seen in years.
I had a great adventure!
My flight was with Gulf Air. Who, on this
showing, I will definitely use again. Everything
was smooth as silk. From the moment the limo
picked me up, to the moment I collected my
luggage from the Sydney carousel.
The campest part was
getting a personal visit from the in-flight chef,
who went through the menu thoroughly and was
quite prepared to mix and match requirments to
the individual's taste.
The lounges were fab, but
I wasn't very successful with Duty Free. I was
disappointed with the lack of choice from the
perfumery, so anyone reading this who has any
interest in representing good products - i.e. any
"chairman of the board", please do a
My friend, Lee, a fab
woman and very gracious to me, has a fab
apartment overlooking one of the many bays in
Sydney, focusing on the Harbour Bridge. it was
gorge to sit or stand, or nearly fall over on the
deck! Even at 6am, sometimes, which is rather on
the early side for me.
Every day I did something
different, even just pottering. Not having to
adhere to discipline and a schedule was really
freeing and liberating. I adore my work as you
know, but it's fabulous for us all, I think, to
get re-energised and focused and now I'm ready
for my first Oscar!
Anyway, I fell totally in
luv with Lola, Lee's poodle, who's also called
Lolly. I took her for walks and played and rolled
around, loving it all. I can really understand
how people luv their dogs - you get so attached.
I really miss saying; "Lolly, get the
ball" and her being so luvly and obediently
bringing it back, usually twelve feet away!
I have begun to morph into
a king prawn. The size of the things! I think
every vein I've got has been infused with the
essence of Morton Bay bugs, green prawns, giant
scallops. marvellous sea food. I ate so well in
Oz. Not necessarily big-ly, but wel-ly, and
without this sounding like an Egon Ronay
celebration, now I'm home, I can't get used to
Went to a fab restaurant
with my luvly mate, Ray Meagher, Alf in 'Home
& Away', and caught up once again with luvly
Kate Ritchie, who plays Sally and Cordelia, who
plays Morag. What a fab night! We all signed
several autographs 'cos some American diners had
seen 'You Rang, M'Lord?' on cable TV. So we all
had a great chat, good laugh, and finished off
with party poppers, a must for every girl's
There followed a tour of
Luna Park, the luvly Blackpool Pleasure
Beach-like attraction, which Ray's apartment
overlooks, 75 storeys up. Needless to say, I kept
at least 10 feet away from the balcony. I'm a
real Wendy Wimp when it comes to heights.
A major fab time was a
party at Lee's on the first Saturday of my stay.
Lee tried to teach me at least the rudiments of
the proper peeling of a prawn. She was brilliant
and I was dead chuffed having reached the grand
total of three in 10 minutes. Lee decided that,
although I was a good student, I would still be
peeling when the guests arrived. I was allocated
the task of preparing the table, flowers, salads,
glasses, outside candles and seating
arrangements. I am never going to be a party
planner! Four hours later I was stuffed.
Anyway, it all went
fabulously and all the guests were marvellous.
Some of you may know Fiona Spence, "Vinegar
Tits" in 'Prisoner: Cell Block H', the
wonderfully "inept" soap from
I really enjoyed my time
with everyone. We danced away, the obligatory
party poppers were released, all the food was
consumed and everyone was sated satisfactorily.
Caught up with a luvly
mate, Lou Stark, who I was in 'The Good Sex Guide
Revue' with. He's been domiciled in Sydney for
eight years. He took me to Doyles Fish
Restaurant, then a party at the Harbour Bridge,
with magnificent flashing lights and music till
dawn, then two transvestite bars.
Arrived back at Lee's to
pack and bid a tearful farewell to Lolly, who
whimpered her way to the door with her ball. Ah!
Great trip home - no
hassles - luvly driver waiting to take me back to
Campus R. Soles, and a reunion with every room.
Do you ever do that? Say hello to your usual
surroundings on your return from visiting?
Anyway, got into work mode
almost immediately, by being invited to a
cat-walk show of Giles Deacon, Britain's hot new
female-wear designer. Really great collection and
marvellous to get a front row seat. Giles is
definitely a new star in the firmament, and he's
from Darlington, which is a bonus as I luv that
Have recently completed
another infommercial for the luvly Home-tek
people, which continue to be shown on the
Shopping Channel and the new commercials I've
made will start showing on terrestrial TV around
about now too.
Must warn you - if you're
an insomniac, avoid the Shopping Channel, it's
very addictive and can drag you screaming and
kicking into the "wee small hours"
without you even realising bedtime was three
Got lots in the pipeline,
most of which you will learn about on the News
page over the coming months, so please stay
tuned. I promise another webletter update in the
Till then, take care,
thanks for visiting, and have fun!
Have a wonderful
Su x x x
8th August 2004:
Just a little missive to
wish you all a fabulous Summer.
the moment I'm spending my sleeping hours as a
contortionist, i.e. finding new positions to put
my arms and legs to escape the heat. The perfect
place is on top of the bed, surrounded by a
mosquito net, wearing not much more than a smile.
Luckily, the theatre in
Stevenage, the Gordon Craig, has very effective
air-conditioning. never been so welcome. This is
our last week as "A Happy Medium"! And
what a challenge the play has been. The whole
cast and I agree that this has been a job with
150% concentration. your wits cannot wander for a
second. the play has improved tremendously during
the last weeks and I would like to thank everyone
for their positive feedback. I'm sure A Happy
Medium will have another outing. It deserves
one, as it is tremendous fun, both for cast and
At the moment, I'm
enjoying a great time, socialising and generally
catching up. Having done two days of
"pottering about", i.e. doing
domestics, I then set about spending time doing
what I luv most; meeting up, lunches, dinners,
and an odd visit to a gallery. Not that what I
saw was odd, just the fact that I actually went.
Had a fab time at Gary
Wilmot's birthday do. Just opposite the gate to
Hyde Park, a beautiful baroque looking Italian
restaurant welcomed its guests with champagne,
luvly food and ambulance! (OK, I know its
ambience, really, but it's a hangover from my
play, where my character was riddled with
malapropisms!!) A great band, great mates, fab
food and a host that was attentive at all times.
Now that was a "do"!
Having spent a great two
days with friends, and relishing the freedom of
no time-tables, I decided to start writing to
mates and, indeed, this "catch-up"
Went to Royal Ascot.
Apparently it can only be "Royal" when
the Queen attends. Poor cow was there everyday.
OK, I know she loves horses, but how much dung
can anyone take?
My friend, Josh (many of
you will remember him as Frederic in The
Pirates Of Penzance), and I were warmly
welcomed by Ron Wade, MD of the company HOME-TEK,
whose products I'm promoting at the moment. I so
enjoyed the box we were in, beautifully
entertained and fussed over. I lost £5 and Josh
won £16.20! We were careful to leave at a good
time, to avoid the crowds.
I wore my beautiful purple
ostrich-feathered, American handmade titfer, and
it didn't blow off once!
Then it was off to the
TRIC lunch - Television & Radio Industries
Club. This is a function attended by
representatives of the various TV manufacturers
and, indeed, companies such as HOME-TEK, hence
another invitation. This particular do was to
thank the outgoing President and welcome the
in-coming one. The outgoing Pres. was the luvly
June Whitfield, who was very gracious in her
farewell speech and, mercifully, short too. She
warmly welcomed Charlie Dimmock, who was taking
over. Nice body, luvly hair. And a lot of it!
Loads of champagne flowed,
with gorgeous food. We all spent a great
afternoon, chatting to each other and not too
Proceeded to then spend a
few fab lunches with good mates, countless phone
calls catching up. Spent a gorge evening with a
German friend, Karl, who makes the Queen's frox -
the real one - He's very discreet, I can't get
any gossip on the Queen. He does say she's
extremely gracious and funny. I shall have to
invite her to the Wimbledon week of Annie.
Also had a fab dinner with
my wonderful mate Jimmy Perry, who, as you know
is the creator of Dad's Army. Him and me
have some fab chats and fun. He was telling me
about David Croft's autobiography. Have bought it
and will be visiting him in Suffolk so he can
sign it for me. Jimmy is still writing and doing
shows for the Water rats, and attending special Dad's
Army functions. He's so fab and one of the
best-dressed men I've ever met. And his wine
cellar is T.D.F. I'm so lucky. I remember when I
used to get excited about Hirondelle! And it was
hideous. I'm so glad we've moved on in the grape
Attended the Annie
Christmas launch, which you may have read about
on the site. We were very well looked after by
the staff of the Tameside Hippodrome, and I would
like to thank everyone involved. It was luvly to
see Louise English - who is, once again, playing
Grace Farrell - and a new Daddy Warbucks; James
Smillie. James has a great catalogue of work to
his credit. Many people may remember him
especially for his appearances on an Australian
drama East Of Eden. Poor James, tho, he
has the most gorgeous white hair. It's all coming
off! It's not fair. Why can't mine be luxurious?
It's no good anyone running their hands through
it, they'd have nowhere to go!
Although I adore panto,
it'll be luvly to have a change this year. But Annie
has still got all the feel-good ingredients and
the "goody and baddy" element. Poor
Miss H will probably get booed. HELP! Anyway,
after the launch I stayed at my fab two friends'
house in Tintwistle, a luvly little village in
Glossop. It was just so great to have time away
from such a busy, cosmopolitan city like London.
Went for a lovely walk
round this reservoir, ending up at the village
pub. I so enjoyed it. I adore London and am its
greatest advocate, but how marvellous to roam the
village streets and not once see a shopping mall.
Oh, before I forget, went
to see Liberace's Suit, starring my mate,
Bobby Crush. It has been very well received and I
do hope it has a future. I loved it and laughed a
lot. Bobby did a really good job. Although a
stage performer for years and very comfortable
there, he must have been so nervous. but good on
him, ever a real pro, he rose to the occasion -
and his contract, by producing a fine
performance. Funny and poignant. Well done,
Just recently, I went to
the theatre for the first night of Saturday
Night Fever, at the Apollo Victoria opposite
Victoria Train Station. Had a ball of a night. My
escort was a luvly, chunky, dark-haired,
beautifully toothed, 30-something gentleman. More
of him later.
I was delighted to see old
mates there; Toyah was looking as good as ever.
I'm sure her hair gets longer! Must stop going on
about hair! Cheryl Baker was there with her
children and friends. Bucks Fizz are embarking on
another tour, so watch out for details. Chatted
with Dean Gaffney and his girlfriend, and luvly
Ian Talbot, who directed The Pirates Of
Penzance, and his gorge wife, Claire, who is
expecting their baby. I was so chuffed for them.
Ian has the most famous and talked about
"Bottom" - a character in A
Midsummer Night's Dream - in London. Claire
is really pretty and talented so the forthcoming
child will belong to an acting deity. It will
probably want to be a welder! And nothing wrong
with that, it makes a change from wanting to be
famous without learning your craft.
Anyway, then had a fab
moment. Duncan from Blue politely introduced
himself. I thought he was great. Unaffected,
well-mannered, friendly, not bigged-up, and
gorgeous! I forgot to take his phone number, very
remiss, I shall have to rectify that.
To get back to the show.
Great, trivial entertainment. I'm not disparaging
when I say that. We all know it's feel-good,
"had a great night" evening out. It was
very well attended and was fab to see everyone on
their feet, clapping and cheering. I set off
about six party poppers and whistled till I went
deaf. Mark Goucher, producer of Pirates,
also produced Fever. It's been a great
success on tour and I wish him the same with his
London run. It's very risky for a producer,
financially, to secure a London venue, outgoings,
etc are enormous, so GO!
Oh, went to the after-show
party at a nightclub, conveniently situated
opposite the theatre. Great 70's band, loads of
TV presenters, with hair!! And tasty canapes. My
mystery man had a luvly time, especially as he is
not in "the business". We found
ourselves behind the bar in a roped-off area,
where we took off our shoes. I wore Tammy Girl
trainers, actually, and we proceeded to devour
some sushi. Do not try it with tomato sauce.
Next night, it was off to
the Mill Theatre at Sonning. It was a quite
boring, if quick, journey. I can't stand car
travel. I would luv a private jet. I remember a
few of us from Hi-De-Hi! decided to form a
syndicate. I got carried away with the thought of
a P.P.L. The idea came to an abrupt end when the
hangar rental per year amounted to the cost of a
house in Kensington Palace Gardens!
The show at Sonning was Stepping
Out. Very good fun with some excellent
performances. Was great to catch up with mates
again, especially Mary Maddox, who I worked with
25 years ago in an all-girl group called Midnight
News - rather like Bananarama and The Three
Degrees, but more eccentric. Nice theatre, but it
smells of damp - well, it still has a working
Friday saw the arrival of
sister, Jeannie. No, she's not a nun. her
birthday celebrations started with several party
poppers and some Dave Edmonds, plus a few pals.
Then it was a trip on the London Eye. Now, never
being one for heights - unless it's of passion! -
I've always dreaded it. Anyway, not wanting the
'Wimp of the Year' title, I gritted my teeth and
jumped on. It's still moving, you know, so that
was a feat in itself. Well, after a few minutes
staring at the bottom of the pod I gradually
started to enjoy the views and ended up walking
all around it. I must thank a luvly lady, Laura,
who made sure all was well.
Got chatting to a guy from
Newcastle who had brought a little boy on the
pod. It turned out he was a lad from Chernobyl,
the radio-active city, who was flown to London by
a charity to help alleviate his day-to-day burden
of life there. Most of the inhabitants of the
place are not expected to live beyond 30. I was
so humbled. It's incidents like that that bring
you right down to reality. So it's my belief we
should all be eternally grateful when we feel
Then it was on to the Tate
Modern. I usually go to galleries, nipping in and
out of each room, knowing nothing about brush
strokes - unless you count the sit-com starring
my friend, Louise English - and avoiding the
ludicrously high-priced sandwiches. Why do they
think a see-through slice of cucumber, one piece
of compressed wet lettuce, and two dog-eared
chillis constitutes value for money?
Well, Tate Modern is just
fabulous. Every single room has something in it
to enjoy and marvel at. I don't know about you,
but I'm hopeless at art. Anything to do with a
brush and that phrase; "she doesn't do a
stroke" comes to mind. We all agreed it was
a great couple of hours.
Next stop, Harrods. Or as
my friend, Simon Cadell used to say -
"Rod's" Opulence has got to be the
describing word. Even before we went in I clocked
the door attendant. tall, wonderful, dark hair,
immaculate green uniform, white gloves, and teeth
that would do justice to Colgate.
Well, Jeannie and I were
like two kids in Tammy Girl, all giggly and
excited. Anyway, after rummaging desperately
through every rail and finding nothing - sob! -
we retreated to the foodhall for sustenance. We
chose a mixed selection of oysters. I always
thought there was only one variety, but Flavies,
our waiter, explained there was six. Anyway, I
scooped mine away from the shell, held it to my
mouth and the oyster promptly fell out and landed
in me lap. I scooped out the next oyster with a
fork, adding a little vinegar and onion.
Providing you can balance the slithery fish on
said fork and bend your head forward before the
oyster falls off, you may be rewarded for your
efforts! Champagne completed the experience (now
and then you have to get away from noodles and
Harvey Nicks was next.
Another chunk of the opulence word. Found some
fab cosmetics, complete with free overnight bag -
suede - now that's what i call a complimentary
gift. The giggling sisters skipped off quite
happily, walking to the mall, stopping off at one
of my fave hotels, the Lanesborough. Apparently
the dining room was once a crematorium, as it was
previously, the Lanesborough that is, St George's
Hospital. Luckily, my food has never been well
After a couple of
cocktails - do try a Slippery nipple - Sambucca
and Baileys - we headed off to Oxford St. Still a
nightmare! I've never liked it, even when I first
arrived in London 30 years ago. I know it's a
must-see for tourists, but to me it's tat-ago-go.
Then we decamped to another favourite - the
Langham Hilton. The bar is like a reading room
with chat. Sounds a bit dull, but it's really
great for unwinding.
Businessmen finishing the
last of their mobile calls, whilst giving
admiring glances to their female companions -
Anyway, walked halfway
home, then succumbed to a black cab. Arrived back
at Campus R. Soles, showered, re-dressed and
headed for the nightlife. Isligton is littered
with it. Went to a couple of bars, decided
everywhere was too busy, returned home and put
Tom Jones on. Fab!
Next day, Sunday, found us
at the Windows Restaurant on the 28th floor of
the Hilton Hotel, Hyde Park. As you can imagine,
the views are spectacular. I think the Queen was
a bit peeved after learning her residence would
be overlooked, but the bathroom cannot be seen
atall. So, all's well.
There is a superb,
superior buffet, of lobster, langoustine, most
meats with beautifully accompanied pickles,
exotic sauces, breads from everywher eint he
world, followed by a great selection of main
courses, served from beautiful tureens. there
isn't just meat - paella, pasta, exotic omelettes
- I'm afraid I was a dithering fart and had a bit
Then, if you can still
manage anything else, you can choose any crepe
you want, made in front of your eyes. As if
that's not enough, there's a glorious array of
cheeses, fresh fruit, and stunning desserts.
luckily, I'm not a great chocolate lover, but for
those people who are, heaven is on the 28th
While you're eating,
there's an excellent jazz musician, plus
champagne included in the price. I think it's a
fab treat for birthdays etc.
After feeling extremely
stuffed, we popped over the road to 'Party In The
Park' - Fab! Then we walked halfway home, me feet
slightly crippled so we caught a welcome cabaand
finished the day off with a hot chocolate. I jest
Have just come back from
Brighton where I participated in a new radio show
- a bit like Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't know transmission
date yet, but I'll send details as soon as...
Oh, something happened the
other day... I have been voted the 'Campest Woman
in Britain by 'What's On' magazine! Well, I can
add that to 'Rear Of The Year'.
Friday saw me and David
Alder, a dear mate who was the Major General in Pirates,
at the Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, watching
the first night of Camelot. Now, I've
never really rated this show. I think a
production I saw at the Dominion years ago put me
off. it was far too long and the pauses inbetween
the dialogue put me in a coma!
Anyway, this performance
sped along and contained lots of funny business.
Most of which came from King Pellinore, played by
Russ Abbot. he was very well received by the
audience. The lighting was so fab, and it didn't
rain! Luvly David made some fab salmon
sandwiches, accompanied by champers and
raspberries. I was really spoilt. It was a
delight to mingle afterwards and catch up with
old mates and colleagues.
I have to say I've had a
marvellous time off and done so much, so when
rehearsals are under way in two weeks, I shall
throw myself into Miss Hannigan with relish. Just
before I go - I'm making an infomercial for
HOME-TEK. Should be fun. I'll keep you posted.
Finally, once again, my
heartfelt thanx to you all for logging onto the
site. I'm always more than happy to answer emails
etc. If I don't reply straightaway it's because
sometimes it takes a while to collate, but you
will get my reply.
As a codicil, I must once
again thank Davie, who is doing a marvellous job
with the site. I think it's one of the best there
is, so definitely 200 out of 100! My thanx also
to Rob, who assists me greatly - much
Time to go - have to voice
Have a fabulous Summer and
keep in touch.
My luv 2 U all,
Su x x
2nd February 2004:
It's missive time again.
I wish you all the very best things in life in
2004 - let's all make it our goal to achieve only
I am enjoying some time
off at the moment, having finished my panto
season in Reading. I gave my Wicked Queen once
again, flouncing around the stage in a beautiful
black and red creation, complete with red wig and
diamond tiara. I wanted to wear it in Sainsburys
but the producer had other ideas. I think he was
coveting it himself! The panto had a short run -
four weeks - with two a day, so it was very
compact. I do prefer that, as opposed to a
seven-weeker with audiences dwindling after the
The social treadmill I'm
now on is almost as time consuming as panto. I've
had several gorgeous dinners recently - though
tried not to gorge myself - and caught up on
everyone's news. had a great time at my friend
Mother Alder's the other day. He's such a
hoarder, one never knows where one is going to
sit. Went with my friend, Vince, to the
Dorchester for his birthday. michael Winner, for
once, was not there. Probably being witty in
Valentine's Day is looming
and I'm off to Barcelona, courtesy of luvly
friends. I shall sit sipping something in the
Square, followed by a light lunch, and a little
sightseeing - so long as its all in the same area
- then dinner and a nightclub. I must say I do
luv Spanish architecture - well built, good,
solid structure - and that's just the guys!
On my return, I shall be
seeing my friend, Paul Shane, who is appearing in
Ray Cooney's 'Out Of Order' in Guildford.
Shaney's very good in farce, and we'll be able to
catch up once again.
Just before 'Annie'
finished, we were able to see Tommy Steele in
'Scrooge' at a matinee performance in Birmingham.
Excellent. My mate, Barry Howard, played Jacob
Marley. I have to say he was just great. Pure,
audible diction, beautifully delivered. Tommy's
legendary energy was evident, and the ensemble
singing superb. We were all inspired to give
'Annie' our best shot that night.
We had an extremely fab
rest-of-tour, with all manner of
"happenings". I was very fortunate to
work with the same luvly people, all great pros -
even the weekly orphans all had theatrical
leanings. Sadly I had to leave a week early owing
to panto commitments. A huge thanks to the cast,
crew and everyone who took the time to come see
Well, I'm back from
Barcelona. Fab place. My friend, John, is a great
shopper and we all sped to the vicinity - usually
I find shopping tedious, but immediately spotted
something in an attractive window. Unfortunately
for my bank balance I bought several items and
had to sit down!
The sights were terrific.
Didn't do many, but enough to satisfy the
cultural thirst. The clubs were great, if a
little 20th Century. Still, we all had a good
bop. Bar open all night in the hotel, so really,
a great time was had.
Watch this space for
details of a test advertising campaign I'm doing,
to be shown in the Yorkshire region. Sounds funny
and is due to go out in April, round about
Easter. I'm due to shoot it in three weeks, so
i'm about to have a busy schedule.
'A Happy Medium' is going
to be an intense workout. A lot of preparation
has already been done, with script meetings,
costume design, fittings, and wigs, etc. We seem
to have a good team and I'm looking forward to a
happy tour. Davie will, I'm sure, keep you
up-to-date with tour lists, etc. So, if we're in
a venue near you, please make yourself known. I'm
sure we can enjoy a drink at the bar.
I'm very seriously
thinking of putting a "One-man" show
together again. Still with some of my favourites,
but with some wonderful torch-type songs added. I
feel that 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' is a
little past its sell-by-date for me now as I,
obviously, won't be seeing 29 again *sob!* So,
once again, I'll be posting all updates via the
Other projects for next
year are also looming, but as actors are
notoriously superstitious, I shall refrain from
disclosing more details until things are a little
further down the line. The phrase 2in talks"
conjours up tentivity - I think I've made that
I'm closing. I would like
to thank Rob for his continued support and Davie
for tirelessly working to make my website
entertaining and informative for all. A big thanx
to everyone who surfs me, too. Continued success
and happiness to you all.
Much luv - Su xx
13th August 2003: A
big hello, everybody,
hope you're all enjoying Summer. At the moment,
I'm having a socially sating time, as I want to
see and do as much as I can before starting work
in earnest - well, Lincoln, actually! - Have had
a great time recently, catching up with people,
doing jobs based from home. We completed the last
episode, this series, of Little Robots,
including a song 'Anyone Can Sparkle', written by
Debbie Wiseman and Don Black, two very
accomplished and respected musical forces. A
simple, melodic tune and lyrics, it was a joy to
do. We managed to get everyone in the studio at
the same time, apart from Martin Clunes, who had
filming commitments. Lenny Henry and myself had a
few harmonies together and we had a really fun
time, catching up on news, etc.
Little Robots has
been really well-received. The execs are hoping
it will be sold to America where animation is the
big daddy! So, fingers crossed.
The Weakest Link
had me teamed up with mates I've worked with in
the past. I think I can safely say we were all
somewhat apprehensive at being quizzed by the
"Beast in Black" - Anne Robinson.
Before recording started, we were frantically
placating each other, saying 'If I vote you off,
it's nothing personal. Please keep me on the
Christmas card list!'
Actually, I was dead
lucky. I didn't really get a roasting from Anne.
I have to say, although the questions come across
loud and clear on the TV, in reality it's
extremely hard to hear any questions in the
studio. That's why, if you study the programme,
you can see quite a few contestants leaning
forward, straining to hear what Anne is saying. I
think that's part of the show's strategy. You
really have to concentrate. I though: 'I'm an
actress - get me out of here!'
It was luvly to see Nick
Owen, Limahl, Toyah, Bob Carolgees & Spit The
Dog - Yes, Anne did get one! - Steve Nallon
(Marg. Thatcher impersonator from Spitting
Image), Eric Bristow, Linda Lusardi, and one-time
partner of Janet Street-Porter, Normski. By the
time you read this it will have been shown on TV.
So I hope you enjoyed it.
Have just seen Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang, as my mate, Gary Wilmot,
had his first night as Caractacus Potts. The
songs really suit his voice. He's definitely
going to enjoy his year in the role. It was also
a pleasure to see Anton Rodgers playing the
grandfather, and my mate, Derek Griffiths. If you
haven't seen it I urge you to go, and I don't say
that on many occasions. I really want shows to do
well, but I find I'm let down by the standard of
too many these days. But Chitty has
marvellous production values. I could see exactly
what I had spent my money on. My ticket probably
bought one pair of shoes - or maybe one shoe!
We were royally
entertained in the interval by the show's
producer, Michael Rose, and I sat on a
chaise-longe that Prince Charles had used a week
Later that week I went for
lunch at The Ivy with the producer of The
Vagina Monologues. Teamed up with Tamara
Beckwith. Lovely girl, always jetting off
somewhere in her role as party organiser etc. for
the California glitterati. In the Autumn she'll
be in Bermuda - I'll be n Billingham!! I'm going
to have to speak to my agent at once! Had a chat
with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who was dining on sea
bass. He'd have preferred a table, but... (I know
- but I love music hall stuff!!)
The likelihood is I'll
probably be doing VAG MON again next June, but
I'll keep you posted.
At the moment I'm
preparing for the second Annie tour, when
I'll be working with the same cast apart from two
new members. So I'm really looking forward to
that. It's such a popular show and a great joy to
perform. There's nothing better than taking a bow
at the end from an audience who have really had
an entertaining evening and are going home really
happy. I'm a sucker for show biz!
Must tell you one luvly
comment from a gentleman who came to see VAG MON
in Canterbury. He said: 'I've really learned a
few things today. Trouble is, at my age, when I
get home I'll have forgotten what they are!'
This socialising lark is
going to turn me into a "humungas
Godzilla" person. I've developed a liking
for rice cakes, in order to stop me eating whole
loaves! Mind you, Annie will turn me into
a stick insect. have had luvly times meeting up
with mates who I haven't seen for ages. I do feel
it's important to keep in touch with people,
especially if you're the one who's on tour.
Friends are very important and must never be
taken for granted. Rather like audiences, really.
Oh, went to see a really
entertaining piece at the King's Head. Comedy
of Arias - obviously lifted from Comedy Of
Errors - It was directed by my old Godspell
mate, Andrew C Wadsworth, or Ace as I call him.
Very good operatic voices, with great comedy biz
thrown in, obviously. It would be fab if it
transferred, but as the King's Head is such an
intimate performing space, it might lose
something of its intimacy in too large a venue.
Fingers crossed anyway.
Have recently returned
from a favourite place - Bournemouth. I've played
there about 20 times and just luv it, although
the Royal Hotel has slipped a little. Service can
take an hour for a cup of tea! OK if you're dead,
as you're in no hurry, but...
Whilst there I stayed with
my old mate, Barry Howard, who has a lush flat
right near the sea. We had a great scream. We
went to see Jim Davidson, who does a great
stand-up. I think he would get an earful from
Germaine Greer, the wonderful doyenne of
feminism, but I would describe him as
"earthy", rather like the seaside
postcard "have you put it in yet,
vicar?" stuff. The audience loved it.
Next night, watched Bedside
Manners, a farce with my pals, John Inman,
Louise English - who plays Grace Farrel in Annie
- Georgina Moon and Robin Askwith, who is now
based in Gaza. I would describe the play's
content as flimsy, but all the cast are
experienced pros and added good visual comedy to
a good audience's delight. We all then repaired
to a luvly Chinese where loud chat and laughter
were much in evidence. Jim Davidson, and Roger
Kitter, his support act, joined us after their
gig. There was table dancing and I had to get off
before I fell off me high-heels!
I returned to London in
need of a rest, but alas, more socialising! Went
to Joe Allen, a really simple, but down-to-earth
showbiz restaurant. Spent ages table-hopping -
luv all that - trouble is, it's no good ordering
food, there's no time to eat it - Caught up with
luvly Bobby Crush and dear Bill Buckley, who
wrote the hit song, 'Starting Together'. They're
both hideously well and doing very successfully.
Undaunted, travelled to
Guildford to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, to see
more old mates, in a Ray Cooney farce, It Runs
In The Family, an altogether superior script
from Bournemouth. Avid theatre goers would know
most of the cast: Jeff Holland, David Griffin,
Geoffrey Davies, Judy Buxton. great to see them
all playing luvly visual biz to a very packed and
appreciative audience. I laughed my head off and
we all had tea on the terrace after the matinee.
As usual, much chat ensued, catching up with each
other, etc. I have to say tho', that I'm not very
good at being an audience. It never seems to sit
well with me, watching. I'm afraid the stage is
where I prefer to be, on it, not looking at it!
Still, it was nice to be entertained.
My friend, David
"Mother" Alder, of The Pirates Of
Penzance fame, and I are off to see High
Society at Regent's Park Open Air theatre -
My Gilbert & Sullivan debut venue - will be
luvly to catch up with Ian Talbot, director, and
Cathy Jayes, musical director. No doubt there
will be much shrieking and drinking and
conviviality - well, fab I say! - THAT'S LIFE!
Well, I think I've caught
up with all the news I have to impart. Annie,
I hope, will once again be a great success,
pleasing audiences everywhere.
Queen" costume is being fitted next week. I
rather like being a mythical Alexis Colby!
Just before I go, I want
to say a big thank you to you all for surfing my
site. Always a pleasure to hear from you. I
endeavour to reply to everyone but please
understand if I don't get back to you straight
away, as when I'm touring things can't always get
done as quickly.
Lastly, a fabulous, big,
mega thank you to Davie, who has, without doubt,
made my site a much-talked about one. Every
person who has tuned in has praised it to the
hilt, and rightly so. His care, dedication, and
loyalty to me cannot be measured, and I am very
proud to know him. He and Rob Cope, a dear
friend, have a great team spirit. Thanx so much,
Well, publication calls so
will have to sign off. Keep logging on and much
luv to you all.
Su x x x
1st March 2003:
Firstly, a very belated
Happy 2003. I do hope it's wonderful in every way
for us all.
a million apologies for not communicating this
letter earlier. Honestly, I had intended to start
it during week three of the panto, to keep you up
to speed with the show etc., but the schedule was
so hectic any "interruptions" would
have made it impossible to concentrate on being a
"Queen"! Speaking of which, I had a
ball. It was my first time playing a
"baddie" and Snow White is the
perfect vehicle for any female who wants to
tackle this sort of role. Chris Monero, the
producer, also wrote the script and co-wrote the
songs, which were very "show" tunes. A
joy to do. I must have been fairly realistic at
being evil as one child threatened to chop me
head off at the stage door, with his special
"magic sword"! Anyway, the show sold
out and became the biggest selling show in the
theatre's history, so, of course, everyone was
ecstatic, the producer, cast and audience. All in
all, a great experience. By the way, I can
recommend a FAB shop in Lincoln. POUNDLAND! I
find it extremely orgasmic. If you're a bargain
fiend, you'll never leave. I fed the crew with
cakes and goodies every day. And, my dears, the
household goods are T.D.F. Who needs Harrods?
For those of you who keep
up-to-date visits to the website, you'll be aware
of the great success of Annie - the Tour.
We all had a ball and it was really emotional at
the end of each performance to see the audience
cheering and being generally moved by the show.
The producer is currently "in talks"
with a management who want to take the show to
the Far East and Dubai. I'll keep you posted, but
it's definitely on the cards. I've been in Dubai
before, courtesy of Piers Nimmo, in a play called
Habeus Corpus. Dubai is a great place -
hot, gorgeous hotels, fabulous food, interesting
culture, men in those long, flowing white robes -
jalababs they're called. I remember going to a
disco with Melvyn Hayes and I was the only
person on the dance floor - mind you, I luv a bit
of space to strut about - wondering where all the
other ravers were. I later found out the ladies
were in the upstairs bar discussing their
fees-per-hour. Most of the girls, apparently,
come from Russia - with love?
I am currently enjoying a
few weeks off and having a fabulous time. My
ethic has always been "work hard, play
hard". If I play any harder I shall have to
be hospitalised! In between revelling, I am still
recording voiceovers for Little Robots,
which, according to the producer, is proving very
popular, now beating Bob The Builder.
Currently, 'UK Gold' are
re-running Hi-De-Hi!. I still get 4th
generation young fans knocking on my door asking
for Peggy. It's a ceaseless joy for me to know
the show is a perennial favourite and something I
will always be especially proud to have been
involved in. I never forget that it was a
springboard for me, a fabulous break that all
actors would kill for.
I have recently turned
down several TV projects, such as Dom Joly
on BBC3, as I felt they were not right for me,
but will keep you posted on the TV score.
The Hexagon Theatre,
Reading, is my host for panto this year - another
Snow White. Christopher Lillicrap, what a
fantastic name, is producer and Dame and we are
currently "in talks" with regard to
script, music etc. Preparation is very important,
as the rehearsal period is somewhat
"limited" - she says, tactfully! It's a
bit of a sixties dinosaur, building-wise, but a
well-respected venue and the crew are very
welcoming and co-operative. Last time I played
there, as Ruth in The Pirates Of Penzance,
we made each other cups of tea, and I remember
performing the "Opening Ceremony" of
their refurbished ladies' toilets! I do like to
The tour dates for Annie
are almost finalised. I really enjoy performing
in this uplifting musical. I honestly love the
way the audiences are genuinely moved by what
they see. In today's climate of doom and gloom,
people do seem to want good, old-fashioned
I do want to THANK ALL OF
YOU for your emails, letters etc., and I do try
to reply to you all. It's very important for any
artiste to have loyal fans, old and new. You all
give tremendous support and that's what
encourages us to continue to give the best
standard we can, in order to give you value for
I had a luvly Sunday lunch
with Gary Wilmot. His roast potatoes are T.D.F.!
Better than Hilda's!, but don't tell her. It was
nice catching up and having a good goss. I do
have great respect for Gary - a talented artiste
and "good bloke". Also I had a great
meet-up with my mate, David Griffin - Clive in Hi-De-Hi!
and Emmet in Keeping Up Appearances - We
both appeared in The Good Sex Guide Revue
in New Zealand. When you've experienced an
adventure like that, nothing else matches up!
Just before I sign off, I
want to extend a personal, heart-felt thanx to
Davie, who is responsible for my website. I think
he does a truly magnificent job, and have been
told so constantly, especially by people in the
media. No mean praise coming from those who are
constantly in touch with other websites. The time
and effort he puts into it are really appreciated
- thanx Davie.
Finally, thanx to all of
you for "logging-on" - is that correct?
I'm afraid I'm a bit of a virgin when it comes to
terminology - and I do hope you continue to tune
into the website and to the forthcoming 'Su's
Much love to you all - Su.
13th June 2002:
a very warm welcome, plus a "Happy New
Year". Sorry I've been so long writing an
update, but as soon as I finished "Pirates
Of Penzance" in Leicester I was whisked off
to London, whereupon I repacked my case, finished
off my Christmas cards and sped off to Llandudno
where I once again got my "Dick" out
for several weeks. Once the season ended I hot
footed it to 'Campus R. Soles' - the name of my
house - and commenced preparations for the second
leg of the "Pirates" tour. The second
week of which finds me in fabulous Buxton. It's
not far from Nottingham, where I was born, so
it's a bit like rediscovering long gone memories.
We used to come here as a family on Sundays,
ostensibly to sight see, but really me dad wanted
to watch the cricket.
Anyway, the theatre is
gorge, very intimate and welcoming, and very
obviously a source of pride with the locals.
Unfortunately the night life was zilch, but
undaunted, the cast used their imaginations and
created all sorts of after show fun, which is
best left to your imaginations!
Next week finds us In
Canterbury - lovely place but I'm not going to
the cathedral again. I can't face another candle
vigil. Also next week I shall be in a voice-over
studio, voicing one of the characters in a series
called "Little Robots", a number of
whom dwell in the sky, I suppose like "The
Clangers". We're doing 50 ten minute made
for the Beeb shorts. Don't know when they'll be
aired, but will keep you posted. I play 'Miss
Noisy' - can't imagine why they thought I'd be
ideal. Providing the other voices are Martin
Clunes, Lenny Henry, Morwenna Banks and Mel &
Sue, among others. Should be fab fun - I really
enjoy those sort of jobs. Mind you, I shall be
unable to get to London from some
"Pirates" theatres, so shall have to
record my bits in a studio plugged into london.
Am hopefully going to Oz
later this year to visit my mate Ray Meacher, who
plays Alf Stewart in "Home And Away".
For devotees of the soap, Ray has just signed a
further three years contract, so you can still
get your Summer Bay fix.
Well, here I am at 'Campus
R. Soles', the name of my house in London,
languishing like an actress, having the best
time. Having finished "Pirates" I'm now
having a few weeks of 'R & R'. It's a great
feeling not having to constantly be aware that
everything you do is geared towards that
evening's performance. "Pirates" was so
demanding, physically and mentally, that you had
to be totally focused. Of course, that's all part
of the job, so rightly so, but now it's PART
Went to a fab function
last week - a party given by a rather good
booking agency, to celebrate ten years of
business. Very well organised, champagne on
arrival, quick photo with the lovely Leslie
Phillips, who I've known for years. He's married
to Angela Scoular, a great pal from the "You
Rang, M'Lord?" years. She played Lady
Agatha, who was having an affair with Lord
Meldrum. Chatted for ages to another showbiz pal,
Vanessa Feltz, who looked great. She's really
slimmed down and had lovely long hair extensions
woven in her hair. Saw loads of ex-Big Brother
housemates and rather a lot of voluptuous young
girls exposing their feminine wiles. My friend,
Vince, nearly choked on his canapés, which,
incidentally, were delicious. Gone are the days
of cream crackers with sad-looking sausages.
There were mini steak & kidney pies in a
dainty dish, followed by bite-sized creme brulee.
Then it was an evening at
Drury Lane to see the new cast of "My Fair
Lady". A packed house gave them a rousing
reception, deservedly so. An excellent
production. I fell in love with Alex Jennings,
who is the new Professor Higgins, great
performance. Joanna Riding, as Eliza, is a very
accomplished actress and did a splendid job.
Although I love supporting my mates, I'm not a
very good audience member as I always want to be
on the stage, not sat down. And, no matter how
good the show, I always nod off for a couple of
minutes. I even found myself dozing at a Michael
Jackson concert a few years ago.
"Taboo" next week, with me old mate Boy
George. I'm so pleased it's a big success for
him. By the time you read this I will have been
to Gloria Hunniford's tea party, in her lovely
big garden in Kent. She's got a lovely sauna and
swimming pool, where I went to learn to swim.
Disaster! Me arm bands deflated and I sank to the
bottom, me skin shrivelled up and I looked like
an advert for immediate hair care. So, I've never
Robots" is going fine. I've done a further
eight scripts, with another 40 to go. The
producers seem very happy with it and the rest of
the cast are having a ball making them. And they
look after you, supplying gorgeous sandwiches and
fruit to sustain us.
At the end of July I shall
be appearing in a short film called "Looking
For Lullabelle", playing Verity, one of the
tenants in a peabody flat. A cameo role, it's
very funny. As is the whole script, quite
touching too. The producers are very confident it
will get a showing at a major film festival, so
once again, I will keep you informed.
I'm in talks at the moment
with the producers of "Annie", who have
put together a short tour. As I never like
to finalise anything until I've signed the
contract I won't give you definite details, but
if all goes to plan we're looking at almost three
months, as from September this year. I shall not,
of course, be playing Annie, or Daddy Warbucks,
so I'll leave you to speculate! Next week is the opening
of the season at Regent's Par and the
"Pirates" cast have been invited to the
first night of "As You Like It" and
"Romeo And Juliet", on separate
occasions, of course.
I'm quite looking forward
to both shows as I'm really not a great devotee
of Shakespeare. Indeed, I'm hardly au fait with
any of his work, so it will be good for me to
broaden my literary education. He's got millions
of fans throughout the world, so I figure I
should at least pay my respects. There's always
the bar and the barbecue if my concentration
It's almost a year since
"Pirates" started at the same venue,
where does the time go? All our lives speed by,
don't they? That's why we have to grab every
second and enjoy as much as we can.
As I write this, I'm at a
rather wobbly table, listening to Mud's
"Greatest Hits" in the garden, with red
arms 'cos the sun's been out. I remember when we
did "Hi-De-Hi!" we weren't allowed to
go berserk with our tans, as Jill, the make-up
artist, used to have a terrible time disguising
the fact we looked like extras from "It
Ain't Half Hot, Mum".
I'm sorry I haven't kept
you posted throughout the tour, but I really will
endeavour to write on a more regular basis as I
do appreciate all your support and interest. I do
want to thank everyone who continues to log on to
my fabulous website, beautifully put together by
Davie. I hope you agree he does a really
wonderful job, putting in time and effort to make
it well worth paying a visit. Thanx so much Davie
- it's really appreciated. As indeed, is the work
done by my mate, Rob, who is in charge of all
your queries and administration, so a great THANX
to him too. But mostly, thanx to everyone out
there for your continued support.
Have a great Summer and
I'll catch up with you soon.
Muchos Luvos -
Su x x
17th August 2001:
Sorry Ive been a bit
lax of late in writing my web site update,
but my schedule has been quite hectic and just as
Ive been about to reveal all, other things
have conspired to not make it happen.
I finished filming Songs
Of Praise a few weeks ago and next week I
go to Broadcasting House to do a voice-over. Due
to my Pirates Of Penzance schedule, I
am not able to join the congregation in
Cleethorpes for the usual church interior shots,
so Im providing a non-visual commentary
instead. We had a fab time filming the show, as I
know the area quite well from when I was a mere
babe, it was really nice to revisit the old
haunts and reminisce. The people there were just
fab - really friendly and welcoming. We went to a
great do at the community centre
called The Bags Ball, which is
exactly what you might think the name portrays. I
suppose its an off shoot of the old grab
a granny night. Of course, like any woman,
I protested fiercely debating with the camera
crew that no self-respecting female would even
remotely consider herself a bag. We had a fab
night, although I have to say the choice of
music was dire. Who do DJs still play those
dreadful CDs with what I call music stabs,
i.e. Just a few bars of, say, Ricky Martin, which
youre just getting into, only to suddenly
find yourself dancing to a totally different
rhythm. Drives me nuts ! And, most unusual for
me, I was nearly tempted by a hot-dog stall. The
smell was so mesmeric, I had to drag myself away.
Why is it that at the end of a fab night, we
indulge in what must be some of the worst food
ever? The last time I succumbed all the tomato
sauce dribbled down me sleeve and landed on me
suede shoes. The stain still hasnt come
My next venture was an
appearance on a BBC Choice programme, a series of
late night chat shows, fronted by different
presenter. The one I guested on was presented by
Ralf Little, better known as Anthony from The
Royle Family. It was the usual stuff,
plus a James Bond spoof sketch. I enjoyed it a
lot. Having been in a show that has a cult
following in its repeats now - Hi De Hi - I
get treated terribly well and with great
courtesy by the young directors / producers of
today. I so pleased I was in a show that people
can still enjoy 20 years on.
I also think its
essential for established performers like myself
to keep in touch with the younger element,
not only in terms of work but also socially etc.
Actually its rather nice to be surrounded
by 20-somethings, especially if theyre not
Another show I
particularly enjoyed was Gimme Gimme Gimme.
I was asked 18 months ago by its writer
Jonathan Harvey if I would be in an episode and I
immediately said yes. In fact I almost
yelled, well, hes so good. The trouble
is when writers have to produce a whole series of
scripts, it can take some while, and thats
why I didnt get my episode until June of
this year. And even then the end product was
nothing like the original script I was sent. You
see I was brought up, professionally, in the
halcyon days of sit-com with the masters of
mirth, Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Each word
they wrote was practically sacred - you
almost had to have a change in the constitution
to alter one word. These days our sit-coms are
going the way of American ones i.e. Scripts are
re-written almost on a daily basis, albeit
to get the best end result possible and Im
all for that. The only drawback is, of course,
you dont get the luxury of learning your
lines as early as you would like. But no matter -
it was a great experience and one I wouldnt
have missed. Two friends of mine, Rob and Howard,
who are great fans of Gimme attended
the recording and deemed it excellent, so youll
have to tune in. Hopefully, you wont be
disappointed. Kathy and James are excellent
people and Jonathan Harvey is a top bloke. I got
sent a superb bouquet of flowers which probably
cost more than my fee and which, as I write, will
have to be consigned to the bin as theyre
starting to smell.
Pirates is in
full swing. Today I have a day off, as theyre
rehearsing a production number Im not in,
so Im to be found in-between writing this,
in front of my long mirror downstairs rehearsing
everything Ive learned so far, as I dont
want to waste time. We have a cast of 18, all
superb singers, all trained at varying academies.
Gary Wilmot is going to be a great Pirate King
and the costumes are T.D.F. - which means, in
theatrical terms, to die for. I cant wait
to wear my pirate uniform, its all red and
gold and big boots and showbiz. I may wear it to
Dont forget to look
out for where Ill be touring. I only
hope that when we open in Regents Park I
wont be singing a duet with a Lear Jet on
its way to Heathrow. Gary, who has already
been in the Park playing Bottom in the Dream,
says the trees make a terrible rustling noise
when its windy. Still, I dont mind,
its the first time I have ever appeared in
Regents Park and Im looking forward
to it. Another venue, another
challenge. Once Im settled in Ill
write and let you know all about it. Next Monday,
Ive been invited by the producers to attend
the opening night of Peggy Sue Got Married
at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Hopefully, it will be
a major success. I do hope so as the producers
risk a lot. Afterwards, theres a
do at the Connaught Rooms. I dont
care what we get to eat as long as there aren't
any vol-au-vents, as they stick to the roof
of your mouth when you talk !
On December 9th, we break
from the tour of Pirates and go to
Llandudno for panto. Im getting my Dick
out this year with Paul Danan - he was Sol in
Hollyoaks.- for 5 weeks. So if u
fancy some audience participation, do come along.
We then continue with the tour until April,
whereupon I am to undertake a job which, when I
get full details, Ill be on your case.
Hope alls well with
you all, thanx for tuning in and as always a big
xxxx for Dave, my website designer.
Much luv 2 u all -
30th March 2001:
is Sunday and I am musing and looking out of the
window, taking in all the different wildlife
swooping through the trees. My nuts are proving
very popular especially with the squirrels and
pigeons. As the official pigeon-feeder of
Trafalgar Square has lost his license I have a
feeling my patio will become the
replacement. Anyway, I'd like to extend,
officially, a warm welcome to you all and a big
THANX for visiting my website. Who would
have thought twenty years ago that with a
click of a button one could gather almost
any information on any subject. Mind you, I
have to say I am not an internet afficionado
as I am hopelessly technophobic, but then
we all have talents in different areas don't
we? I plan to keep you posted on my whereabouts
etc. and share with you all the juice, even my
first child., which will be a miracle in view of
my advanced years! Am looking forward to
travelling to Cannes at the beginning of April to
attend what isostensibly a gathering of radio and
TV executives to meet and mingle and,
hopefully, convince worldwide programme
controllers that they would be mad not to buy a
new animated cartoon series called The
I had tremendous fun
recording it along with other luminaries such as
Lenny Henry. We all have our own little
characters and we live in a twilight world,
with no humans, but it is very educational too,
as we care about the environment etc. My
character is a bit of a drama queen and lives
life like she's in amateur dramatics - always
singing, whistling and making loud bangs, not
surprisingly she's called "Noisy". I
can't imagine why they asked me to play it!!!
Anyway, look out for it. Also, I've done an
edition of Songs Of Praise. Don't worry
I'm not retraining as a vicar. Because the
programme is based around clowns, i.e. The
International Clown Federation's Annual
Festival, and I was once a clown in the musical Godspell,
the director asked me to sing "Day By
Day" and I had a great time recording it. I
was inundated with dogs, cats and exotic
birds, all made of balloons. The programme is
being shown on April 1st. I wonder if that
should be cause for concern! I'm also
delighted to say I am resurrecting my
one-woman-show, something I have always had
on hold, as it is a real passion for me. I will
be performing on a Sunday concert
basis throughout Great Britain and when
details are firmed up I will be posting them on
As I luv theatre more than
anything I'm really excited about the project.
Without giving too much away at this
juncture, I can confirm the evening will consist
of all-round entertainment, including
audience participation - but, fear not, you won't
be expected to throw underwear or join me on
stage for humiliating rituals. Leave that to
me... And, rest assured, my show will be
affordable and definitely value for
money. Well, that's all for now. Have got to
decide what to wear for luncheon at Grosvenor
House next week. I've been invited to the
Television and Radio Industries event. Another meet-and-mingle
and-eat-boring-canapes event. I'll let you
know how I get on.
Terra for now and much