From Hi-de-Hi to Ha Ha! Hood...Su Pollard is still a national treasure

The Ha Ha! Hood cast.
The Ha Ha! Hood cast.

Despite just a few hours’ sleep before our interview, Su Pollard is as chatty, bubbly and outrageous as ever.

Like a human anti-depressant, the divine Miss Pollard is full of bounce and positivity as she enthuses about her show at the Grand Theatre in Lancaster next Wednesday night (September 24).

“It’s called Ha Ha! Hood and there’s another ‘H’ in it, for ‘hilarious’,” she says.

“There’s a lot of action, it’s Pythonesque, there’s a bit of panto, stand up and sketches. It moves along very swiftly.

“Don’t expect Einstein. It’s a fun, value for money show.

“It tells the story of what happens when Maid Marian and Robin Hood meet up again 10 years after being divorced.”

The show also stars her fellow 1980s stalwarts, comic double act Cannon and Ball. The three are great friends.

“It’s the first show we’ve done together and there’s only five of us in it. It makes a real change from working on a musical with 40 people.

“We have to change ourselves, we don’t have a costume dresser, and have to sort our own props. It’s a DIY show. But you can’t afford to get up yourself, darling!”

This might be worlds away from when Hi-de-Hi was pulling 17m TV viewers in the 1980s, with Su as one of the holiday camp sitcom’s most enduring characters.

As aspirational chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw, she became a national treasure.

People still shout ‘Hi-de-Hi!’ at her in the street, almost 30 years since the last episode.

“It once happened up a mountain near Athens,” she laughs. “This Greek guy told me his brother had a chip shop in Birmingham and used to watch it. I shouted ‘Ho-de-Ho!’ back at him.

“All of the characters were drawn from people (writers) Jimmy Perry and David Croft met when they were Redcoats. That’s why it was so believable, people could identify with them. The show had heart, that’s why it was so popular. It’s going to be repeated soon.”

Su is also well-known for her zany dress sense and still likes to make an impression at 64 years young.

“Today I’m wearing a shiny jumper with stars on it, a bright pink watch, pink studded slipperettes, polka dot pink and blue socks, trousers with pockets in either orange, green or yellow, and pink bows in my hair. I think you have to be adventurous with your clothes. What’s wrong with wanting to look as good as you can every day of your life?”

Ha! Ha! Hood starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £20. Call 01524 64695.