When you think about actors who have revolutionised the British film industry, the chances are Su Pollard will be high up on your list.

With a career spanning over 45 years, the actress is a true national treasure whose voice and face are instantly recognisable by young and old alike.

An eccentric, colourful and outgoing personality, Su is most famous for starring in the BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi, which aired between 1980 and 1988.

Set in a holiday camp in the fictional Essex town of Crimpton-on-Sea, Hi-de-Hi follows the story of the camp’s staff at a time when the British holiday industry was already in decline.

Playing the much-loved chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw, Su’s character captured everyone’s hearts as the kooky maid who aspired to become a Yellowcoat and get involved in the camp’s entertainment life in any way possible.

Much of the filming of the series took place at Warner’s Holiday Camp in Dovercourt, which was portrayed as the fictional holiday camp of Maplins.


Smile - Su Pollard is most famous for her role as PeggyPeggy Ollerenshaw in the BBC series Hi-de-Hi!

Smile - Su Pollard is most famous for her role as PeggyPeggy Ollerenshaw in the BBC series Hi-de-Hi!


During their stay in Dovercourt, the Hi-de-Hi actors used to live at the Cliff Hotel, where Su always stayed in room 11.

The hotel was demolished in 2018 but the actors have always enjoyed returning to the town for a reunion.

In 2013, episodes and rare clips were shown at the Electric Palace cinema, followed by a question and answer session with the stars.

Now, a display featuring the iconic yellow coats, as worn by Su and actor Paul Shane, forms part of Harwich Museum.


Challenge - Su Pollard was one of the contestants in the 2021 celebrity edition of MasterChef

Challenge - Su Pollard was one of the contestants in the 2021 celebrity edition of MasterChef


Forty years later, Su is embarking on her first ever An Evening with Su Pollard tour, with Clacton’s Princess Theatre and Witham Public Hall being two of the stops on her list.

Su said: “I want to do mixture of entertainment - maybe some anecdotes, jokes and a bit of everything.

“The second half will be a Q&A session with the audience.

“What we are hoping to bring is value for money and people will surely get that.”

Su says she is excited to be returning to Essex where she spent so many years filming.

She said: “I do remember when we were doing Hi-de-Hi! the cast went to Clacton and we were at the pier.

“We stayed at the Cliff Hotel in Dovercourt and we went to Samuel Pepys wine bar.

“It was fantastic and we used to go there after filming.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Su during filming for Hi-de-Hi!Su during filming for Hi-de-Hi!

“I have fond memories of around here. We spent ten years. It was a long time.

“The Princes Theatre is fabulous as I recall.”

Following her successes in Hi-de-Hi!, Su also stole the show in the follow up series You Rang, M’Lord? and Oh, Doctor Beeching!.

In fact, she has so many callings that her glitzy resume includes 35 stage plays and musicals, as well as more than 40 pantomimes.

As a singer she even scored number two in UK’s music charts in 1986 with her song Starting Together.

You might also recognise her from the 2021 season of Celebrity Masterchef, where she cooked up a storm with her quick-witted jokes, characteristic chaos and, of course, pasta carbonara.

But after 40 years, Su still sees her reflection in Peggy.

The eccentric dress sense and bright coloured glasses clothes are just one side of that resemblance.

“We are still quite similar but I seem to do a little bit more work than Peggy,” Su laughs. “In our imagination Peggy went on to be the manageress of a cinema.”

The 72-year old actress is now hopeful for another year of productivity but also “just looking forward to being fit, well and happy”.

In the meantime, the comfort of knowing she has brought sincere moments of happiness to every British household for the past years will keep her going.

She said: “I still get letters saying ‘My nan bought me the box set of Hi-de-Hi for Christmas and I really enjoy it. Can you sign it for me?’

“My great pleasure is the fact people are sill loving it and the younger audiences are also getting used to it.”


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