Actress stores up for
Su Pollard loves the perks she gets from her
private-client account at Coutts.
Pollard became a household name in the 1980's for
her role as Peggy in Hi-De-Hi!. The BBC comedy
was so successful that it ran for nine series,
followed by a sell out tour and a production in
the West End.
grew up in Nottingham with her younger sister,
Jeannie. She left school at 16 to as a shorthand
typist for eight years. She was an amateur
actress at 11, appearing in local productions at
the Arts Theatre in Nottingham.
got her first job as a professional when she was
24, in The Desert Song, an old fashioned musical
that went on a national tour. Parts in other
musicals followed, including Godspell, Grease,
Rose-Marie, and the West End productions of
Godspell and Me And My Girl.
has made countless television appearances,
including in the popular series You Rang, MLord?.
I nearly 1989 she was the subject of This Is Your
Life. She also starred in Two Up, Two Down with
Paul Nicholas, and recently completed a fourth
radio series with Gorden Kaye, For Better Or For
has just started a three month national tour with
the New Shakespeare Company's production of The
Pirates Of Penzance. She stars as Ruth, the
nursemaid to Frederic.
52, is single and lives in a town house in
much money do you have in your wallet?
£50, which is for taxis, cleaning materials and
a couple of red wine spritzers. And I often buy
greetings cards in advance, because I am so busy
you have any credit cards?
have a Coutts Gold Card that gives me Air Miles
and the use of executive lounges in airports. I
also have a Switch debit card.
don't think I could manage without them because I
couldn't face a cheque book again. I wrote out
only one cheque last year, to reimburse my
parents for their flights to Hawaii. I treated
them to the holiday which was money well spent.
you a saver or a spender?
definitely do both, in equal measures. I might
suddenly buy a £1,000 dress that I like , then
set myself a goal to save the next spare £1,000.
It goes into my current account with Coutts.
I was 16 I had a Saturday job at C&A, earning
£1.50 a week. To me it was just frothy money,
not a proper wage, so it all went.
my early twenties I did not save atall and Hilda,
my mum, used to help with my rent. When I was in
the profession full time my dad would regularly
send me £25 cheques, but then he said he
couldn't really afford it.
parents both worked for Players, the cigarette
company. Hilda was in the packing department, my
father worked in data processing.
knew I had to start saving when I took on a
basement flat with a friend and we were always
behind with the rent, which was £40 a week.
forced myself to put away £5 a week and when I
got to the first £50 I was thrilled. It was a
great sense of achievement. I wrote out a list of
all the outgoings and finally took responsibility
for my own finances.
much did you earn last year?
would probably be the upper end of five figures.
Whatever my income I always pay half into an
account with Nationwide, for VAT and tax money.
you ever been really hard up?
most definitely. At 17, when I shared a flat with
my best friend Ju. We both had jobs as typists;
it was tough going. By Wednesdays we were always
down to small change.
is the most lucrative work you have done? Did you
use the fee for something special?
played Dick Whittington 10 years ago in panto at
Newcastle and was paid a fair whack for 10 weeks'
work. It went towards one of my Peps and was
enough for a five week holiday in Australia. It
was great to fly first class. Another actor might
have spent the lump sum on a new car, but I don't
you own a property?
bought my house in Islington 20 years ago for
£70,000. It seemed so much money at the time,
but my accountant encouraged me to go ahead. It's
a town house on three floors, with a garage that
is crammed with sheet music, stage costumes, old
dolls, and rocking chairs.
years ago I managed to clear the whole mortgage
when my endowment policy matured with a very nice
payout of £65,000, so I was fortunate. I don't
know what it would be like for policy holders
am pretty sure the value of my home is getting on
for £500,000. It is near King's Cross, which is
being redeveloped. I think in three or four years
the area will be a really good place to live.
is the first property I have owned. About 10
years ago I bought a beach hut at Sutton Sea as a
present for my mum and dad. I think it cost
you invest in shares?
have a large portfolio of shares but they are
just lists to me. I leave most of the work to
Sash, my private banker at Coutts. I can do
without the task of monitoring companies, and
I've no desire to get into figures.
believe in delegating things to the right people.
After all Sasha is not trained to go onto the
stage, and I am.
Coutts you have to pay 1% of the portfolio's
value every year, but I think it's worth it
because of the kudos and extra attention you get.
There are lots of perks as a private client. For
starters you get really nice food when you go to
about Peps and Isas?
have invested in Peps since they started, and
Sasha seems to think they are doing all right.
When Peps were abolished I bought Isas.
regard this money as invisible because I don't
need it now. One day it will be wonderful six
figure nest egg.
you have a pension, or other retirement plan?
got three, with Norwich Union, Sun Life, and
took the first one out at 32, when I earned more
money with Hi-De-Hi, and set it up with a lump
sum of £10,000. I've tried to put in the same
amount for many years.
you believe pensions are a good thing?
are essential, but the word "pension"
should be changed because it dies not sound like
dad told me to start one at 17 but it seemed too
dull a thing to do. A pension should be called a
Fill - that's Fun In Later Life.
has been your worst investment?
my most extravagant - a £5,000 dress that I have
worn five times over 10 years.
suppose it has to be my house. On my part it was
just luck, I didn't have a clue about property
values in London, but I knew where I wanted to
live. In those days Islington wasn't atall
you manage your own financial affairs?
well as my private banker, I have an accountant,
Bashkent Orhan, who has a number of showbiz
clients. When I first approached him, 17 years
ago, I leant over the desk, grabbed him by the
lapels and said "If you stitch me up, you're
dead!" He laughed and said it would be more
than his job was worth.
aspect of our taxation system would you change?
would be lovely if the top rate of tax was cut a
bit, because higher earners like myself have
enough responsibilities already.
is your top financial responsibility?
make sure all the household bills are paid. I
like to go to sleep at night, knowing that all I
owe is paid by direct debit.
ago my phone and electricity were cut off. I
never want that to happen again. I pride myself
on not having had a red reminder for more than 20
you have a money weakness?
One is for buying things on the spur of the
moment. If I am with a friend who tries on a
marvellous hat I will buy it for her. The other
is for paying dinner bills, as I am usually the
first one to offer. One week I paid for five
dinners, and it came to £1,000.
is the most extravagant thing you have ever
beautiful hand-beaded and hand-dyed dress,
specially made for me by a BBC costume designer
10 years ago. It cost £5000 but it is fantastic.
The dress was for my one woman show, but I did go
to Sainsbury's in it, which caused a stir.
you play the lottery? What if you won?
I never buy a ticket. If I did and I won £1m, I
would put on my own show, with the very best
people available. I would try it out in the
provinces, then at the Palladium before taking
the show on a world tour.
is the most important lesson you have learned
always be wanting more, because the more you get
the more you want. I am not materialistic, but
money buys me the freedom to choose my work.