::  SuOnline main page  ::  The only place to find Official News & Information - Direct from Su  ::  Su Pollard News Archive

Christmas, 2004: Happy Christmas from Su, & SuOnline
Best Wishes to all SuOnline visitors. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to pay us a visit. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Peaceful 2005!

Merry Christmas from SuOnline

Su sends a huge THANX to everyone who saw A Happy Medium, Annie, visited SuOnline, or simply just said "hi!" this year - "Much luv and a wonderful 2005!!!!", Su x x x

December 18, 2004: 'Annie' - Manchester Online review
Manchester Online"If she’d been born in America she would be a big Broadway star. As it is, she’s still a joy." Manchester Online on Su.

The Manchester Online website ran a glowing review, earlier this week, of Annie at the Tameside Hippodrome. The show is not to be missed, definitely a Christmas treat!

Manchester Online
Annie @ Tameside Hippodrome
Reviewed by Natalie Anglesey

The musical you will either love or hate is packing them in at the Hippodrome, which is celebrating its centenary year.

There’s additional cause for celebration, because 11-year-old Emma Hopkins, who lives near Bakewell, is cast in the coveted leading role and it’s her first professional appearance. 

She is terrific as little orphan Annie, belting out the big numbers like a seasoned trouper.

But this Annie is no wilting flower. She is a tough child who tries to escape several times from the dreadful children’s home in downtown New York, run by the horrendous Miss Hannigan.

This is where the talented Su Pollard comes into her own, as the gin-swigging, harridan who hates children. In a beautifully-judged performance, she sings, dances and makes you laugh all at the same time. If she’d been born in America she would be a big Broadway star. As it is, she’s still a joy.

James Smillie is one of the best Daddy Warbucks I’ve seen, and Louise English is charming as Grace, Annie’s friend and Warbucks’ love interest.

This sentimental Cinderella story may not be everybody’s cup of sugar, but it’s full of singalong songs like Hard Knock Life, You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile and, of course, Tomorrow.

It’s saccharine-sweet at times, but the audience still loved its feelgood message, and I’ll be very surprised if you don’t leave the theatre singing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow endlessly all the way home.

December 18, 2004: Annie @ Christmas
After 16 weeks of touring the UK; visiting Glasgow, Nottingham, Londonderry, York, Torquay, Liverpool, Birmingham and many other cities and towns along the way, Annie is now in residency, for Christmas 2004, in Ashton Under Lyne.

Annie - The Musical
13th December 2004 - 8th January 2005
Tameside Hippodrome
Oldham Road, 
OL6 7SE 

December 18, 2004: Su's Year!
A Happy Medium2004 has been another highly successful year for Su.

The year began with Su starring as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at the Hexagon in Reading. This year also saw the release of the second Hi-De-Hi! DVD/VHS box set... Su starring as Ellen Small in the nationwide tour of A Happy Medium... the publication of David Croft and Jimmy Perry autobiographies (both including Su anecdotes)... the DVD release of Penny Crayon, voiced by Su.

Hi-De-Hi!, Gimme Gimme Gimme, and Stars Reunited all enjoyed reshowings on UK television this year. While a new edition of Comedy Connections focused on Hi-De-Hi!... Su was the face of Home-Tek all through the Summer... and she was interviewed in numerous magazines (many of which can be found in our news Archive).

Oh Doctor Beeching! was finally released on DVD in 2004... and Su, once again, toured the UK playing Miss Hannigan in Annie The Musical... She received rave reviews for the role, and is spending this festive season, as the wicked orphan owner, enthralling children of all ages at the Tamesdide Hippodrome in Ashton Under Lyne.

Roll on 2005!

December 18, 2004: Su in 2005
2004 has been another busy and successful year for Su, but what does 2005 hold?

• Su will, once again, voice the character of Noisy for another batch of Little Robots episodes. This children's series has been hugely successful.

• The Australian arm of the BBC have asked Su to do some presenting for their network. While Down Under Su will also help promote Hi-De-Hi!, via interviews and trailers, as the show is currently being re-aired there.

• Su hopes to continue developing her one-woman-show. The show has the working title of Lady In Waiting. "I'm doing some sketches about my career, playing myself and Shaney (Paul Shane) and Ruth Madoc with wigs," revealed Su.

• There are talks of overseas tours of A Happy Medium, in which Su starred earlier in 2004, including a visit to Australia. Su is very keen to reprise her role as Ellen Small: "It was a great vehicle for a female performer and I was only off stage for five minutes - apart from the interval! - for the whole show. It was a marathon but it was marvellous. 

• Sleuth Su? - Su has had meetings regarding a pilot for a sitcom about an eccentric private investigator. "A bit like Miss Marple," says Su.

• Plus, there could be yet more of the dastdardly Miss Hannigan!

December 18, 2004: Su on CHRISTMAS TV
Little Robots : CBeebies - Saturday 18th December : 2.35pm
Sweet Dreams, Scary. Stop-frame animation about Tiny and his Little Robot friends, who create their own world from the scrapheap on which they find themselves abandoned. Scary iss so tired he falls asleep right in the middle of one of his magic tricks. Tiny finds out that he has had difficulty sleeping, so he and Noisy vow to help.
Little Robots : CBeebies - Sunday 19th December - 2.35pm
By Myself. Stop-frame animation about Tiny and his Little Robot friends, who create their own world from the scrapheap on which they find themselves abandoned. Stripy wants to go fishing on his own, but the other Little Robots want to come along.

Hi-De-Hi! : UKTV Gold - Christmas Day : 7.05am
Hi-De-Hi! : UKTV Gold Plus 1 - Christmas Day : 8.05am
Hi-De-Hi! : UKTV Gold - Boxing Day : 7.35am
Hi-De-Hi! : UKTV Gold Plus 1 - Boxing Day : 8.35am
Eruptions. Series 3, episode 13. Classic comedy from Christmas 1982 at Maplin's Holiday Camp. Comedian Ted isn't happy when Joe Maplin installs a working model of a volanco which erupts during his act. The only thing to do is sabotage it! Starring: Paul Shane, Su Pollard, Ruth Madoc, Simon Cadell, Geoffrey Holland.

December 18, 2004: 'Annie' - BBC Birmingham review
A fabulous review of Annie, at the Alexandra Theatre, from BBC Birmingham:

BBC Birmingham
Review: Annie @ The Alexandra Theatre
Reviewed by Clive Fuller

This latest touring version of the much-loved musical 'Annie' last seen a year ago arrived in Birmingham prior to its Christmas engagement at the Tameside Hippodrome, Ashton-under-Lyne. 

The local children from the Betty Fox Stage School clearly enjoyed every minute of the show and were a sparkling group and very popular with the audience. However, the sound was rather indistinct during the opening scene and occasionally at other times too for various members of the cast. 

Lively and well orchestrated

The music was lively, well orchestrated, filling the entire theatre with all the much-loved numbers to the delight of the good-sized audience.

Although director Chris Colby got from his cast a wonderful team effort and this really is one of those shows where everyone works, Act 1 appeared at times somewhat slow paced particularly when the dialogue did not keep the attention of the younger members of the audience.

In comparison Act 2 was fast paced from the start and retained everyone's attention right up to the rousing and well-received finale.

Choreography spot on

The choreography by David Kort was spot on, making the production numbers big and the individual performances tight.

The staging itself was bright, well decorated and captured nicely the opulence of New York society and the squalor and poverty of the orphanage and streets.

At last night's performance talented Stacey Hunt played the orphaned Annie with considerable stage presence and she had a strong singing voice too, which made her performance of 'Tomorrow' memorable. She was also a big hit with the audience.

Zany stage prescence

The ever-popular Su Pollard played the dreadful Miss Hannigan with great flare and a zany stage presence which her many fans clearly enjoyed. Su's hairstyle and costumes were somewhat madcap bringing considerable individuality to the role, which she has now made her own.

She was excellent in the production number 'Easy Street' after which you knew a sticky end was only a matter of time away!

James Smillie gave all of his considerable stage experience to the role of Daddy Warbucks producing a powerful and animated performance throughout. He was excellent in 'NYC' and 'I don't need anything but you' and built a good stage rapport with Annie.

Charm and sophistication

The role of Grace Farrell, Daddy Warbucks secretary was played with both charm and sophistication by Louise English. Her costumes and particularly that for the ballroom sequence were beautiful.

Matthew Hewitt as Rooster Hannigan and Melody Jones as Lily St Regis were both well cast as the villains of the show and their performance of 'Easy Street' with Su Pollard was the highlight of Act 1.

Christopher Marlowe was impressive in the character part of F.D.R. Danny the dog played by Sandy got plenty of reaction from the audience with a high 'aah' factor and many wishing they had such a well behaved pet at home.

The show is sure to please and will no doubt do well at the Alex and continue to fill theatres throughout the country for many months to come.

December 1, 2004: 'Annie' update
Su is in Birmingham this week, with Annie playing at the Alexandra Theatre in the Midlands city. 

Next week sees the show at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, before the festive run at the Tameside Hippodrome, in Ashton Under Lyne, begins.

December 1, 2004: 'Worcester Evening News' - Su all set to star in Annie
Su Pollard is remembered by millions as loveable cleaner Peggy in the hugely popular sit-com Hi-de-Hi. 

But she is a highly talented and versatile actress with numerous television and stage credits. 

Her most recent role, for which she has won rave reviews, is as the Jack Daniels soaked Miss Hannigan in one of the most captivating and delightful musicals of all time - Annie. 

Malvern Theatre audiences will be able to catch Su - who will be joined by children from the Cecilia Hall Dance Centre in Malvern as the orphans - when Annie hits the stage between Monday, November 8 to Saturday, November 13. 

Annie is the story of 11-year-old orphan Annie who has spent a miserable childhood in a New York orphanage dreaming of finding her real parents. 

Fate takes an unexpected turn when local billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks (played by James Smillie who appeared in the West End's La Cage aux Folles) decides to host an orphan for the Christmas season and Annie is chosen as the lucky candidate. 

Annie and Warbucks develop a special bond and Warbucks decides to adopt her after first promising to make every effort to find her folks. 

The announcement of a $50,000 reward for Annie's real parents to come forward creates chaos as hundreds of people make their claim. Miss Hannigan, her ex-con brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily concoct their own claim. 

Warbucks' adoption plans are thwarted when Rooster and Lily, in disguise, manage to successfully bluff all. 

It seems as though Annie's dream has finally come true until the impostors are exposed. 

Annie is sure to warm the hearts of any audience who will be swept away by songs including Tomorrow, It's A Hard Knock Life and You're Never Dressed Without A Smile.

December 1, 2004: Su talks about 'Annie'
[ Su as Miss Hannigan ]Su is interviewed at BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Please click on the picture of Su, as Miss Hannigan, to visit the BBC website.

You will need Real Player to listen to the interview.

Please visit SuOnline's Annie section to read the newly updated Reviews 2004 page.

November 17, 2004: Su/''Annie' update
AnnieSu is this week in Londonderry with Annie.

The musical is playing all this week at the Millennium Forum.

The production has visited Billingham and Malvern in recent weeks and continues to delight audiences at each venue it visits.

Next week Annie plays at the Grand Opera House in York, the final date of the tour before the cast take up residency for the festive season at the Tameside Hippodrome in Ashton Under Lyne.

Please click on the picture to visit SuOnline's Annie section.

November 17, 2004: Happy Belated Birthday to Su
Su celebrated her 55th Birthday on Sunday 7th November. A big thanks to everyone who sent Best Wishes. Su had a great day and sends her love and thanks to you all.
November 17, 2004: 'Belfast Telegraph' - Su says hi-de-hi to Derry in new theatre musical
Su is interviewed this week in the 'Belfast Telegraph'

Actress Su Pollard this week said "hi-de-hi" to Londonderry as she donned the dressing gown and whiskey whine of Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie.

This week, the NWT caught up with the actress as she prepared to tread the boards at the Millennium Forum.

It's been two years since the popular screen and stage actress made a big impression on the city. 

And she says the feeling was mutual.

Speaking in her trademark up-north lilt, she said: "I love Derry. Everybody was so fantastic the last time we were here, so I've been really looking forward to coming back.

"The people are marvellous, they come up to you in the shops and they make you feel so welcome."

The former Hi-De-Hi and You Rang M'Lord comedy actress added: "The Millennium Forum is a fantastic venue and a great flagship for Derry. 

"For anybody interested in the arts and media, it's a beautiful place."

Ms Pollard said that her new role had presented her with a thrilling challenge and added that the old warning regarding working with children had not proved true.

"One of the perks is that if you have had a bad day you can then take it out on them as Miss Hannigan; get your anger out," she laughs. 

"Only joking, the kids are really, really good especially the ones in Derry.

"The last time, they knew everything that was taught to them."

Urging local people to come and watch the show, she added: "I like it because it's family entertainment: you could take your great grandmother or your great grandchild to see it. 

"The story keeps moving and it's a feel good show, a rags to riches tale, and after all that adversity it all turns out well.

"Of course the songs are brilliant as well."

She adds: "It's great value for money. People have to save up hard and that's important that they go away thinking, 'you know, that was well worth it'," she said. 

And Su added it has been interesting performing in the broken heels of Annie's carer.

"She is more human that most and her position is very relevant today - the haves and the have-nots still exist.

"Her life has totally gone down the pan and she's been left looking after a stack of kids."

And Su doesn't mind a bit that she still gets the Hi-De-Hi from the public almost every day.

"I'm just so glad that it is still going strong in people's memories," she says.

November 4, 2004: 'IC Croydon/IC Surrey Online' - High De High
Su was recently interviewed at 'IC Croydon/IC Surrey Online':

There's just no stopping Su Pollard. The actress, who found fame with her portrayal of drab chalet maid Peggy in the sit-com Hi De Hi!, takes on life with such energetic exuberance she's like an express train leaving you breathless in its wake.

She's got such a warm, sunny personality it is hard to imagine her as drink-sodden harridan Miss Hannigan, who rules the orphanage with a rod of iron in the musical Annie.

But Su is now on the road in her third tour of the show and has got all the niceties - or rather the nastiness - of the role down to a fine art.

She explains how she puts her heart and soul into her big numbers Little Girls and Easy Street. "I really, really feel it when I'm singing Little Girls. Some kids - not necessarily the ones playing the orphans - can be a bit precocious and you can really get it all out of your system. I love it when I have to tear the arms and legs off this doll. Then I tear its head off. It's marvellous!"

And after experimenting with various drinks, she has settled on cold tea as her alcohol substitute. "I tried cola and that's too gassy and the wrong colour. Ginger beer is the wrong colour too but cold tea works. And it has no bubbles. You can't have Miss Hannigan burping all night --though I have done once or twice. Timing them in the right places can be difficult but it does make people laugh."

Su is a practised comedienne who got her first taste of making others giggle when she was just six and played an angel in the school nativity play.

While standing on a box announcing the arrival of the angel Gabriel the lid gave way and Su plummeted through it. Everyone hooted with laughter and from then on she was hooked.

At 16, in her home town of Nottingham, she began singing in charity shows and at working men's clubs. After an apprenticeship at the local theatre she made her debut in 1974 on Hughie Green's talent search Opportunity Knocks.

But for Su it didn't knock quite loudly enough. 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.

Such an indignity might have deterred lesser mortals. But Su went onwards and upwards, appearing in an assortment of stage shows which included The Desert Song, Rose Marie, Godspell and Grease.

Her big chance came with the role of daffy Peggy Ollerenshaw in the now classic Jimmy Perry and David Croft BBC comedy He De Hi!

When the holiday camp comedy ended the writing partnership dreamed up a new series set in the 20s, You Rang M'Lord, in which Su appeared as maid Ivy alongside old Hi de Hi! chums Paul Shane and Jeffrey Holland.

In the mid 1990s David Perry reunited some of the team for Oh Mr Beeching in which Su played Ethel the box office clerk and resident gossip.

Su is known to young TV viewers as the voice of Penny Crayon and Noisy in the animated series Little Robots.

She's always been happy to combine television and stage work. But having been involved in some of TV's finest comedies refuses ever to settle for second best. "At the moment I'm discussing a pilot for a sitcom about an eccentric private investigator a bit like Miss Marple," she gushes. "But if a script is not good I won't entertain it. I don't want to do something mediocre. I'm not from the school of thought that anything will do. You know me, I'm a bit like Pick & Mix at Woolworths: I like doing a bit of this and a bit of that."

She's committed to appearing in Annie for several months, including a Christmas season in Manchester instead of her usual panto, but is talking about dusting down her one-woman show again sometime soon and touring it to studio venues round about. "It's called Lady in Waiting at the moment. It's more than just singing and chatting. I'm doing some sketches about my career, playing myself and Shaney (Paul Shane) and Ruth Madoc with wigs," she explains.

Another recent project which suited Su's zany personality was a comedy called A Happy Medium in which she portrayed a latter-day Madame Arcati. "I really enjoyed that. It was a great vehicle for a female performer and I was only off stage for five minutes - apart from the interval! - for the whole show. It was a marathon but it was marvellous. I thought to myself if I can learn all those lines in a fortnight I can do anything!"

It's on the cards that Su might return to the role. "It's got a real shelf-life. It's new and it needs a bit of tweaking but it would be great for a summer season. I'd love to do it again as it's got so much potential."

For now Su is thoroughly enjoying breaking that old showbiz law which dictates you should never act with children or animals.

As horrid Miss Hannigan she shares the stage with both - a new bunch of orphans each week and a dog which has been known to refuse to make its grand entrance so that the human actors were forced to move swiftly on to the next scene.

Su, 54, single again after her divorce from husband Peter, has no children of her own but loves acting alongside a new bunch of little girls each week. "I get new orphans each Monday. Most of them are marvellous. Our choreographer goes on ahead to drill them and they have rehearsed the routines three or four times a week with their dancing schools. Sometimes I get carried away and manhandle them a bit! I tell them I am only acting as I don't want their mothers saying that Su Pollard is an old bag who hits their daughters."

by Diana Eccleston

November 4, 2004: 'Huddersfield Examiner' - Milnsbridge juniors now on Hi
Su was mentioned in a recent article in the 'Huddersfield Examiner':

They have brought the football home

Milnsbridge has a soccer team bearing its name once again in Huddersfield's booming junior soccer scene.

And they have got a little celebrity help along the way.

Actress Su Pollard of Hi De Hi fame has helped chip in with some cash to help get Milnsbridge Under 14s off the ground.

She joined her long-time friend, Huddersfield businessman John Addy, in providing tracksuits for the coaches and players.

The side have also done well on the field. Their 6-2 win at Upperthong on Sunday was their third success of the season to date, with the 100% record putting them top of the table.


::  Su Pollard News Archive  ::