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August 29, 2004: 'Evening Times' - Brief Encounter
Evening Times - 26th August 04Glasgow Evening Times
Brief Encounter

Su Pollard shot to fame as the kind-hearted but hapless Peggy in the seaside sitcom Hi De Hi. She followed that up with similar roles in You Rang M'Lord? and Oh Dr Beeching!

As well as her TV appearances, Su has enjoyed a successful singing career, has appeared in West End musicals such as South Pacific and in stage dramas including Abigail's Party. 

We caught up with her at the King's Theatre in Glasgow, where she is on tour with the smash-hit musical, Annie.

What's your first memory of Glasgow?

I came here 30 years ago as part of the chorus in The Desert Song. We heard the pubs opened until midnight, so after the show, we piled into the first one we saw - but the barman just looked at me and scowled, 'nae wimmin allowed, hen.' 

I don't think they even had 'wimmin's toilets.' 

So is it good to be back?

Oh yes. I've returned dozens of times since. I'd actually planned a cast lunch at the Kelvingrove Museum this year, which is my fave part of the city, but was disappointed to hear that it's closed for renovation. I also love the Transport Museum, the Italian Centre and the Barras. 

Brit Ekland told me Princess Square is her favourite place to shop. Glasgow is one of the top three cultural cities in the UK. 

Do Glasgow audiences scare you?

I've never had any bother - yet! 

How did you get your break in showbiz? 

On Opportunity Knocks in 1974. I came second to a singing Jack Russell dog! 

Do you prefer stage or TV?

The stage gives you more freedom of expression. Cameras can restrict an actor but there's nothing like using a whole stage, or a live audience. 

Did you enjoy playing Peggy in Hi De Hi?

She was fun and she was very good to me. But my favourite TV role was Ivy Teasdale in You Rang? We only did 26 episodes, between 1988 and 1992, but the writing was excellent. 

What do you think about today's sitcoms?

To me, it's all about the writing. Friends was OK but it was really just one-liners. My favourites are Sergeant Bilko and Bewitched. Both were made about 40 years ago but are still being shown today. 

How are you enjoying Annie?

It's such a feel-good show, and I think that's needed, given the state of the world today. 

My character, Miss Hannigan, is a baddie, but not a nasty one. 

She needs a man - but the only one she can keep is Jack Daniels. 

You're also a singer. Do you miss that aspect of your career?

In the 80s, I got to No 2 in the charts with Starting Together and had a solo album that went silver. 

I'm launching a one-woman show in the spring which is a mix of comedy, acting and singing. 

You famously appeared with a drunk Oliver Reed on Parkinson. 

What a night that was! Poor Ollie, he felt he had to act up to his image or people would regard him as a boring old man. When he wandered on with that jug of orange, I thought he'd pour it all over me.

Will we be seeing you again in Glasgow? 

You bet ... and I hope Kelvingrove's reopened by then!

August 29, 2004: 30 years, and counting!!
30 years in showbiz!This year Su is celebrating her 30th year in the crazy world of showbiz - no mean feat!

Su, famously, made her television debut in 1974 on the enormously popular talent show hosted by Hughie Green, Opportunity Knocks, where her rendition of 'I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No' from Oklahoma saw her come second to a singing Jack Russell dog. Now, whatever happened to him/her?

As we know, Su has starred in numerous television series' since, and toured the UK, Europe and the world in dozens of theatre productions, guested on hundreds of telly shows, and popped up in a variety of ads. 

SuOnline will be commemorating thirty years of Pollardom in the next couple of months. Please check back SOON for something a little special.

August 29, 2004: 'Annie in Glasgow' - I think they're gonna like it there
Annie, which closed it's run at the Kings Theatre in Bath Street, Glasgow last night, has been an astounding success at the historic theatre, currently celebrating is centenary year.

Reports from yesterday's Matinee performance was that there was a full house, and then some!

This is the first visit to Glasgow for the Chris Monero production of Annie. A long overdue one too, if the ticket sales and audience reaction are anything to go by.

August 29, 2004: 'Evening Times' - Annie get your fun
Evening Times - 25th August 04Glasgow Evening Times
STAGE: Annie get your fun


The star of Annie, the irrepressible Su Pollard, admits that she wasn't immediately stricken with a screaming desire to play the part of Miss Hannigan in the hit show.

"It was the idea of hearing the main song, Tomorrow, every night of the week, that terrified me," she said, with a throaty laugh.

"I thought it would drive me mental. But when you hear all the songs in context, you appreciate the quality, and you realise all the lyrics are fabulous.

"The show itself is a real winner, it's extremely polished, it moves along very quickly and the dialogue is tight.

"Without fail, every single person comes out and entertains.

"That's why I've toured with the show three times now. I'm really having a wonderful time in this part."

She added, with a mischievous grin: "And even if I'm having a bit of a bad day I can scream at the kids and people think I'm acting."

Set against a Manhattan skyline in the era of the Great Depression, Annie The Musical follows the rags to riches story of an 11-year-old orphan without a friend in the world, except her faithful dog, Sandy.

Annie's only hope is to escape the orphanage where the tyrannical Miss Hannigan makes life a misery, and with the arrival of Daddy Warbucks her dreams finally can come true.

Classic songs include Tomorrow, A Hard Knock Life and You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile.

However, you don't think of Su as being able to metamorphose into drunken spinster Miss Agatha Hannigan.

The actor who was catapulted to fame by classic comedy series Hi-De-Hi! is associated with warm, sympathetic characters - life's underdogs who are in need of a kind owner to feed them, pat them on the head and take them on long walks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Su has grafted a little of her practiced vulnerability on to her Annie role. 

"Well, the way I look at it, she has no bloke in her life, all she has is the whisky bottle and the radio to keep her company.

"So you try and work up a little sympathy for her."

There's no doubt that Su's Miss Hannigan will prove to offer value for money given her four decades of success in the business. 

"I think the reason for my longevity is because I think I'm only as good as the last performance. I'm always looking for new ways to improve, to bring new bits of business to a performance.

"In so doing, you create consistency. And if you are happy with your own performance then other people will enjoy it."

Su appreciates that the success of Hi-De Hi! was a double-edged sword.

But her attitude to typecasting and being recognised perpetually as the hapless Peggy is to live with it. 

"It's always with you, there's always an element of that. But you have to take the positives and move on.

"Look at the fantastic work Michael Crawford has done on stage but he is still Frank Spencer. 

"What you do is embrace it. At least you are leaving a legacy of good work behind you."

Su admits the classic comedy has been very good to her. 

"I've been very fortunate and over the years I've been able to put a bit away. I like lunching, taking mates out, that sort of thing. That's how I spend my money. But I have a couple of good advisors and I'm not consumed by money. 

"In fact, the first thing I bought when I got a bit of cash from the series was to buy swish curtains with the little handle at the side to draw them closed.

"I was up half the night opening and closing the curtains. I was so excited."

Su's stint in Glasgow will offer the chance to meet up with friend Dorothy Paul. In fact, Su toured England recently with the Glasgow performer's stage play, The Happy Medium.

"It was marvellous. But I told Dorothy I'd never had to learn so many lines in my life."

Regardless of the demands of constant performance, Su recoils at the idea she could have ever contemplated a normal career. 

"Normal? Oh no, never!" she exclaimed. 

"It's a word I only ever want to hear appropriated to me when I hear my blood test results."

by Brian Beacom; Evening Times: 26th August 2004

August 29, 2004: Su on TV
Saturday 4th September : UKTV Gold - 9.00am
Saturday 4th September : UKTV Gold Plus 1 - 10.00am
If Wet - in the Ballroom. Series 2, episode 1. 
The classic comedy series set at Maplin's Holiday Camp in 1959. After several days of rain, the staff are at their wits' end, having exhausted their repertoire of indoor amusements. Starring: Simon Cadell, Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Su Pollard, Jeffrey Holland, and Felix Bowness.
August 29, 2004: 'Glasgow Herald' - Don’t miss: Annie
You might be under the impression that Edinburgh is the only place in Europe where you can enjoy a spot of theatre this month. But despite the profusion of dramatic activity in the east, theatrical life still goes on elsewhere.

And if you're looking for a gentle way to get back into the swing of things before the autumn season takes off, you could do worse than catch this old heart-tugging musical about little orphan Annie and her schemes to escape the tyranny of her New York orphanage.

This touring production stars Su Pollard, who's been in so many stage shows and pantos that she must be fed up of the perennial Hi-De-Hi tag by now. She's been starring in Annie on and off for a couple of years, playing against type as Miss Agatha Hannigan, the drunken spinster in charge of the orphanage. Sensing the chance to make a quick buck, she makes a false claim of parentage over Annie in order to claim a $50,000 reward. Things look bleak for the little girl, but betcha bottom dollar, the sun'll come out tomorra.

The musical, written by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, had its Broadway debut in 1977 when it ran for more than 2000 performances. When it transferred to London's West End, it clocked up 1500 more. Inspired by Little Orphan Annie, a popular cartoon strip by Harold Gray syndicated by the Chicago Tribune, it overcame the initial scepticism of would-be producers and backers to be one of the world's most successful musicals. A spin-off film and a stage sequel, Annie II, fared less well.

Among the child stars who've warbled through tear-jerkers such as Tomorrow, It's A Hard Knock Life and You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile is Sarah Jessica Parker, who spent a year in the role on Broadway. At the King's, Glasgow's Starstruck Stage School is providing the young talent to swell out the ranks of orphans. Also on stage are Glasgow-born James Smillie, star of TV's Return to Eden, and Louise English, a veteran of Bugsy Malone and Me and My Girl.

by Mark Fisher; Glasgow Herald: 26th August 2004

August 26, 2004: 'Annie', and Su, on the road again!
Annie 2004Su, along with the cast of Annie, is now on the road again...

The acclaimed musical opened at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow last night, and continues at the venue until Saturday. 

Next week Su (playing, of course, orphanage owner Miss Hannigan) and the gang will visit the Milton Keynes Theatre.

Su, and the prodution, is once again being enthused over on numerous websites and by online theatre critics.

Further updates on Annie's progress through the UK tour will be posted here sporadically. Please do check back over the coming weeks for further information and show reports.

To visit SuOnline's dedicated Annie section, click on the picture.

August 26, 2004: Su in recent UK press
Stars galore for theatre 

A glittering new season is set to take off for the Theatre Royal in Norwich with an array of top performers lined up for the city.

Annie, featuring Su Pollard is on September 7-11, followed by the Chisinau National Opera with Aida, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci on September 16, 17 and 18.

For more information call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Glasgow Evening Times
Emma's a star pupil

A young actress from Glasgow's West End is to take centre stage in her third major theare production in a year.

Emma Brien, from Jordanhill, is to star in next week's Kings Theatre production of Annie alongside Su Pollard.

• Su was also briefly mentioned in the 'Belfast Evening News' this week in an article on a new production of A Happy Medium about to open in the city.

August 14, 2004: 'Comedy Connections'
Su in 1972Coming Soon to SuOnline - A page of Su-related screen captures from the Comedy Connections edition, dedicated to Hi-De-Hi!, broadcast on BBC1 earlier this week.

Rare images from Su's Opportunity Knocks appearance, her first sit-com Two Up, Two Down, Su as a Yellowcoat, and more...

Please check back soon for this addition to the Su Telly Archive.

August 14, 2004: 'Annie'
AnnieSuOnline's Annie section has now been updated with details on the 2004 UK tour. Please click on the picture to browse the Annie section.

Annie is a heart-warming rags to riches story of an 11 year-old orphan who longs for her parents to rescue her from a New York orphanage and its mean tempered matron, Miss Hannigan (Su Pollard). Annie is offered the chance of a lifetime when billionaire businessman (with a heart of gold) Oliver Warbucks decides to adopt her, but not before Miss Hannigan and her brother Rooster scheme to kidnap Annie and claim the reward money. 

The classic musical features: 'Tomorrow', 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile', 'It's A Hard Knock Life' and more. 

"The sun doesn't come out tomorrow - it shines all over the stage" - The Stage 

"A wonderful show that gives you a huge dose of the feel good factor" - Gloucestershire Echo

August 9, 2004: 'Hi-De-Hi!' - Comedy Connections
Comedy Connections - Hi-De-Hi!Su was pictured in many UK TV guides and magazines over the past week.

All in relation to tonight's Comedy Connections - The episode dedicated to Hi-De-Hi!

Comedy Connections - Hi-De-Hi!

Series charting the history of some of the best British comedy shows looks at the inside story of holiday camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, written by David Croft and Jimmy Perry. Interviewees include the two writers, and stars Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Nikki Kelly, Jeffrey Holland and David Griffin.

Monday 9th August 2004 : BBC1 - 10.35pm

August 9, 2004: 'Oh Doctor Beeching!' on DVD / Hi-De-Hi! on DVD
Oh Doctor Beeching on DVDRevealed! The cover artwork for the soon-to-be-released Oh Doctor Beeching! DVD.

The DVD will feature the Complete Series One, and it’s full steam ahead for the inclusion of a bonus documentary about the Severn Valley Railway.

This much anticipated release will be available from 13th September 2004.

Visitors to the Official Su Pollard website are able to place pre-release orders for discounted copies from Stationmaster Bartholomew: Email - carolyn.bartholomew@bbc.co.uk

Still on the subject of DVD's, it looks highly likely that the third Hi-De-Hi! set, consisting of series' five and six, will be released around April 2005.

Many thanks to Carolyn Bartholomew.

July 30, 2004: Official Su webletter
A letter from Su!As mentioned last month, Su's second webletter of 2004 is coming soon... we promise!

Please check back over the next few days for a substantial missive from the pen of Su. 

A Happy Medium, the Annie 2004 launch, Royal Ascot, Home-Tek, Charlie Dimmock, Bobby Crush and Liberace's Suit, Saturday Night Fever, Duncan from Blue, the Hyde Park Hilton Hotel, Tom Jones, Russ Abbot, 'Party in the Park'... and a zillion other things from the hectic life of Su.

You'd be crazy to miss it!

July 30, 2004: Su newsy bits & pieces!
Home-Tek• Su has recently recorded a new radio show in Brighton. No further information at present, but broadcast details will be added here when known.

• 'What's On' magazine recently named Su as 'The campest woman in the UK'; "I can add that to my 'Rear Of The Year award", said Su!

• The 'Home-Tek' ad campaign, featuring Su, is still running on TV sets around the nation. Keep your eyes peeled for Su and a variety of outfits. Please click on the screen capture for a page of pictures from Su's television ad.

• At the moment Su is in the studio recording voiceovers for another instalment of the hit BBC children's animated series Little Robots. Su, of course, plays 'Noisy'.

July 30, 2004: 'Annie' - Launch
It's Miss Hannigan!Su recently attended the launch for the three-week Christmas run of Annie at the Tameside Hippodrome.

Su had a great time, and especially enjoyed catching up with Louise English, who will also be reprising her role as Grace Farrell, and meeting up with Australian actor James Smillie, who will be playing Daddy Warbucks in the 2004/5 run of the musical.

Su said: "Although I do 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 baddie" element!"

July 30, 2004: 'Annie' - Cast
The main cast for the 2004/5 UK Annie Tour, plus Cheristmas residency at the Tameside Hippodrome, in Ashton Under Lyne, has been confirmed.

Miss Hannigan : Su Pollard
Grace Farrell : Louise English
Daddy Warbucks : James Smillie

July 26, 2004: 'Comedy Connections' - Hi-De-Hi!
The edition of Comedy Connections dedicated to Hi-De-Hi! has now been confirmed for transmission on Monday 9th August 2004, on BBC1 at 10.35pm.

It features interviews with Jimmy Perry and David Croft and various cast members and there are also clips from other programmes, including Dad's Army and You Rang, M'Lord?

Thanks to Carolyn Bartholomew and Stevie Bashford @ The Su Pollard Shrine.

July 26, 2004: 'Teeside Evening Gazette' - Next stop West End
Su in ANNIESu was mentioned in an article in the 'Teeside Evening Gazette' last week:

You have heard of the Phantom Of The Opera, now stand by for the Phantom Of The Popera.

It may have a cheeky title but it is no joke. It is a big new musical intended for London's West End and it is one of the highlights of the new autumn season at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

It lines up with other musicals, plays, dance, the Circus Of Horrors, and the return of Annie with Su Pollard, in more than three months of shows before the pantomime opens.

"We have booked Annie for the school holidays again two years in a row because you couldn't get tickets to it for love nor money last year," says theatre chief, Derek Cooper.

"It is one of only three shows to have completely sold out here - the others were Girls Night Out and the Roy Orbison Story.

"We have nearly sold out lots of shows where there was only the odd single ticket dotted around here and there, but we sold everything for Annie.

"The producers had the choice of where they took it and we are delighted we have got them to bring it back here. Su Pollard was great in it last year as Miss Hannigan and she is also back again."

Su indeed roared through Billingham last year as the fiercest Miss Hannigan ever to terrorise Annie and the other little musical orphans.

She even returned to the Forum in March as the crystal ball gazing, optimistic central character of A Happy Medium, the very new comedy set among the hereafter world of spirits.

"The Phantom Of The Popera is by the same producers as Annie. It's brand new, is being premiered in Lincoln, and is being prepared to go into the West End, so this is the only other place in the UK you will be able to see it," explains Derek.

"It is the Phantom story with a lavish set, modern pop and rock songs, and more comedy than normal."

It also has a twist, a Pop Idol competition. "The girl Christine who the Phantom is trying to get is one of the contestants. She is taking part to try and win the lead role."

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of the Opera has never been seen outside of London's West End or huge, big city theatres.

"But we did have Ken Hill's Phantom Of The Opera and that went very well," Derek adds.

Phantom Of The Popera arrives at the Forum from Mon-Sat, Oct 11-16, while Annie will be on from Tues-Sat, Oct 25-30.

By Keith Newton 
Teeside Evening Gazette
Friday 16th July 2004

July 20, 2004: Sad news
Jean LearJEAN LEAR  (1923 - 2004)

It is with sadness we announce the death of Jean Lear, alias Maplin's organist Ramona. Jean was a stalwart member of the Hi-De-Hi! cast from the second series in 1981 until the final episode broadcast in 1988.  Ramona "and her music of romance" enlivened many a poolside wheeze with her jaunty playing.

"Hit it Ramona" became the cue for Jean to play Ted's signature tune "Happy days are here again." Jean was always very proud of being a Maplin's Yellowcoat. She fought a long and courageous battle against cancer. 

Our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time. 

July 12, 2004: Su @ 'Saturday Night Fever'
Saturday Night Su!Su was out and about last Monday (6th July) evening in London's West End.

The occasion was the opening night of the musical Saturday Night Fever. Starring Shaun Williamson (ex-Eastenders) and Kym Marsh (ex-Hear'Say).

Also spotted at the event were Toyah Willcox, Kid Creole, Cheryl Baker, and a variety of Eastenders actors, past and present. 

July 6, 2004: Su on TV
Su in 'Gimme Gimme Gimme'Gimme Gimme Gimme
Wednesday 7th July : UKTV Gold - 10.20pm
Wednesday 7th July : UKTV Gold Plus 1 - 11.20pm
Thursday 8th July : UKTV Gold - 1.30am
Thursday 8th July : UKTV Gold Plus 1 - 2.30am
Singing in the Drain. Series 3, episode 5. 
Sitcom about two flatmates who have nothing in common apart from their outrageous attitude to life and their taste in men. Linda finally realises her ambition to become a model, while Tom secures an audition for a West End musical. Starring: Kathy Burke, James Dreyfus, Brian Bovell, Beth Goddard, Su Pollard, and Jonathan Harvey.

Monday 12th July : RTE 1 - 12.00pm
Save Our Heritage. Series 4, episode 2. 
Holiday-camp humour with the Yellowcoats at Maplin's. Joe Maplin orders Jeffrey to assist in the demolition of a cottage which stands in the way of his expansion plans. Starring: Simon Cadell, Ruth Madoc, Paul Shane, Jeffrey Holland, Su Pollard, and Felix Bowness.

Tuesday 13th July : RTE 1 - 12.00pm
Empty Saddles. Series 4, episode 3. 
Classic holiday camp sitcom. Fred Quilley thinks more oats is the answer when his horses start getting tired, but Joe Maplin thinks the knacker's yard is a better solution. Peggy, Ted and all the staff decide to rally round to protect Fred and his nags. Starring: Felix Bowness, Ruth Madoc, Paul Shane, Jeffrey Holland, and Su Pollard.

Wednesday 14th July : RTE 1 - 12.00pm
The Marriage Settlement. Series 4, episode 4. 
Classic holiday camp sitcom. Jeffrey tries to sort out his marital problem. Starring: Simon Cadell, Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Su Pollard, and Jeffrey Holland.

Thursday 15th July : RTE 1 - 11.55am
The Graven Image. Series 4, episode 5. 
Classic holiday camp sitcom. Joe Maplin commissions his own statue and has specific instructions issued for the unveiling. But all does not go according to plan. Starring: Simon Cadell, Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Su Pollard, Jeffrey Holland, and Felix Bowness.


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