Actor SU POLLARD may be
well into her 50s but she has lost none of the
frantic energy she used to great effect as the
potty Peggy in Hi De Hi. She whirled into Melanie
Pollard answers the phone like a whirlwind. Her
sing-song voice is full of energy and warmth and
instantly transports me back 20 years to a happy
time when Hi De Hi, Ho De Ho was the coolest
comedy catchphrase ever.
54, first burst onto our screens in Opportunity
Knocks and after her legendary stint as Peggy Hi
De Hi's downtrodden chalet maid the versatile
actor has turned her talents to roles in hit TV
and theatre shows such as You Rang M'Lord, The
Vagina Monologues and Annie.
Nottingham-born performer, who is renowned for
her somewhat manic personality
"enthusiastic," she insisted,
"let's not say manic" comes to the
Orchard Theatre, Dartford, this week.
Happy Medium is a comedy about a woman who
dabbles in the spirit world but Pollard says she
has shied away from researching the role.
have been tempted to go to a medium myself but I
haven't yet. I don't know why. Maybe I'm scared
of what is lurking," she said.
would definitely ask if there was anybody there I
know. I think most people would, whether they
believe it or not. There is a certain curiosity
there. A lot of people like to be comforted when
they have lost somebody. They want to ask Are you
all right?' and Where are you?'"
affable star has only recently finished stints in
The Vagina Monologues and Annie, both of which
bought her to Dartford. Is she a workaholic?
call myself a work enthusiast. I do like touring.
It is nice to get out of London and get away from
the traffic and meet your friends around the
country. I have been down south for about 30
years now. I love it.
you don't go to a theatre for years and then, for
some reason, you are back three times in a year
so I am looking forward to it."
cut her teeth in the working men's clubs of the
Midlands and, after an apprenticeship at the Arts
Theatre, Nottingham, got her big break on Hughie
Green's popular talent show in 1974.
her time the industrious Pollard has provided the
voice of Penny Crayon, released several singles
and an exercise video and appeared in numerous
pantomimes and Royal Variety Galas all
light-hearted fare. Would she consider doing
something more serious?
would if I felt it was a good part. People say I
could play the nurse in Shakespeare but it has
been done by every single person who is
considered a comedy performer.
don't want to go down that route just for the
sake of it but if something serious came up which
was good and I felt it was worthwhile I would
certainly give it a great deal of thought. I like
to pick and mix work, if you know what I mean. I
like to have a go at all kinds of things if I
feel it is interesting."
in the spirit of Only Fools and Horses and Auf
Wiedersehen Pet, would Pollard consider doing a
new series of Hi De Hi?
don't think so, unless it was stunningly directed
and produced or it was done by David Croft one of
the series' writers who knows it inside out
because it would be a shame to do something which
wasn't as good quality as the original.
wouldn't like to feel I was going backwards.
People want to say, oh it was so good, it was
just as good as it ever was, but look what people
said about Ab Fab."
laments the fact some of the old gang and friends
such as John Inman will be attending a book
launch by Croft without her. "Work comes
first on this occasion," she said.
she is out making new friends and, after a
fabulous cameo on Kathy Burke and Jonathan
Harvey's cringe-worthy comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme,
she is "in talks" with Harvey to appear
in a spin-off.
love it when you say I'm in talks," she
is almost exhaustingly energetic and follows this
run with a Christmas season of Annie in
looks great for her age. How does she do it? By
getting sweaty to her own fitness video perhaps?
have gone off that now, I have moved on. I do
three 40-minute sessions a week and I do a lot of
skips. It is marvellous. I do really good floor
exercises and try to walk wherever I can. I am
really careful about what I eat but I like the
odd biscuit I do love a biscuit!"
then the whirlwind is gone and the line goes
dead. So I go straight to the biscuit tin in
homage to one of Britain's most likeable and