They won't get me in the jungle, vows Su

It's 25 years since classic comedy Hi De Hi! left our TV screens - but kids still call at Su Pollard's home asking for Peggy.

Su, who lives off Liverpool Road, Islington, made her name as the Maplins maid who dreamed of being a yellow coat.

And it is a measure of the show's enduring popularity that so many still remember it.

"I never mind people coming up to me and saying 'Hi De Hi!', especially some of the younger ones - especially when you think it was 25 years ago now," says Su.

"It's been repeated recently on UKTV Gold, which is how they know me. 

"I don't like to disappoint them so when they ask for Peggy, so I always say 'No, I'm afraid Peggy's not here at the moment but I'm sure she'll be popping back later and I'll tell her you called'." 

Su has spent the past weeks appearing in a line-dancing competition on Channel Four's Richard and Judy.

"I'm not too bad at dancing. However, I always say I have trouble with my balls - the balls of my feet that is. It's my weight transference. Singing comes far more naturally to me. 

"I am quite slow at learning dancing. I do get there in the end but have to go over the moves. I won't go into the jungle like Jordan did - but I will do line-dancing."

Su, 55, first came to Islington in the 1980s when she rented a flat near Upper Street. "It was what some people might call a bit of a dodgy area then," said Su.

"It was before it perked up, but I thought this area had potential. I liked it straight away and I've always loved living here. 

"I love Mr Patel the newsagent over the road from my house in Liverpool Road - they've got everything you could want, and I love the way I can walk to the West End.

"I love all my neighbours and the people you meet here are marvellous. Everyone has a nice word for everyone else and it doesn't matter if you're on the TV or not. I'm very happy to be in the borough and have no intention of moving." 

Su adds: "You see some of the families who grew up with Hi-De-Hi! the first time and they've got their own families now, and they are enjoying what their mums did 25 years ago.

"It was lovely to do work on Hi-De-Hi! and do something that was so popular. In its heyday in its Christmas special edition it got an audience of 26 million people, which is just an inconceivable figure now."

Su signed up for the line dancing competition when she returned from a holiday in Australia following a stint as booze-guzzling, mean Miss Hannigan in a touring production of Annie.

"It's all systems go now," she says. "I've also got a new series of Little Robots with Lenny Henry and Martin Clunes and a fashion-shoot coming up in New York.

"I love being busy and I won't close any doors but I'll only do something if I like the vibe and feel the quality of the work."

Su is also planning to return to the stage with a one-woman show as she did in the 1980s. And she will not rule out playing in her very own Islington.

"You've always got great venues here like the Union Chapel, it would be great," said Su. "It was so much fun last time and I can't wait to do it again.

Islington Gazette
April 2005