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!

Glasgow Evening Times
August 2004