Why Hi-De-Hi Su Couldn't Say Goodbye

Home is where the heart is - even without Hi-De-Hi! - says actress Su Pollard - but she had to go all the way to find out!
 
The wacky Hi-De-Hi! star revealed she almost emigrated down under after the show ended - and now says: 'It would have been the biggest mistake of my life.

'When it came to the crunch, I just couldn't do it,' Su confesses in a cultured voice that Hi-De-Hi!'s scatty chalet maid Peggy would be proud of. 'I love England and can't imagine living anywhere else.'

Su actually got as far as buying a luxury home in Perth before backing out. Now she says she'll use it for holidays.

'I'd often thought about living in Australia as that's where my husband Peter comes from,' says Su. 'When Hi-De-Hi! finished earlier this year, it seemed like the right time to go out there.'

The actress was also offered a leading part in an Aussie TV show, which made the prospect of living down under even more appealing.

FLATTERING

'They approached me saying, "If you've got the time, we'd like you to do it" - which, of course, was very flattering.

'I was keen to go over there and give it a whirl - but things never work out quite the way you think they will.'

In the end, says Su, the show was postponed...and her plans to emigrate were shelved for good.

'It's fantastic to have a house in Perth,' she says, lounging in her usual zany mix of bright clothes and red rimmed glasses.

'But there's no way I'd live there permanently. The house cost us 30,000, but if it was in this country the price would be about 100,000. All Peter's family and friend's are there, so we'll be over to visit quite often.

'But neither of us wants to settle down there - we've made our lives here, and here is where we'll stay.'

Su, 38, shares a beautiful terraced house in North London with her husband, teacher Peter Keogh.

She married Peter in 1984 and, shortly afterwards, his homosexual past was revealed in a controversial court case. Now, however, they have just celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary...and couldn't be happier.

Peter has said: 'When all that business happened with me in court' - referring to when he was charged with, and cleared of, stealing 4200 to pay for a boyfriend's holiday - 'I think we both felt that as we'd got through that, we could handle anything life threw at us.'

Yet even Peter, who is now going back to work full time in a Catholic primary school, has been surprised at how well he and Su get on. The couple had known each other for just 10 weeks when they tied the knot, and he admits that, at first, it was difficult learning to share their lives.

The only blot on an otherwise perfect marriage is that the couple haven't had any children.

Now Su says she is too busy and getting too old to start a family. And Peter is not keen on the idea anyway.

'I think I'd make a good mother,' Su explains. 'If it happens then great, but at the moment I'm busy with my own career. I don't think I could keep my work going and have children.'

Su's career certainly is taking up a lot of her time at the moment. Even though Hi-De-Hi! - her first successful TV role - is over. Su says she has plenty of plans for the future.

'At the moment I'm writing a book called Hearts And Showers - it's all about teenage problems like having spots and dealing with boyfriends.

'I'm writing from experience but it's still a real challenge and needs constant self discipline to get it finished.

'The publishers approached me ages ago asking me to write it - but it still isn't finished, so I'm spending every spare moment I've got on it.

'I'm really looking forward to seeing it on the bookshop shelves, though. It is going to have a really glitzy cover - a bit like Jackie Collins but not as steamy!'

Su is also likely to be back on our screens very soon.

'I've done pilots for a couple of TV shows,' she says, 'and both of them will be brilliant.

'I'm also touring in a cabaret that's called A Frock, A Song And A Tinkle, which is the most fun I've had since leaving Hi-De-Hi!

SCATTY

Su's scatty character in the series - chalet maid Peggy - was one of the easiest parts she has had to play.

'I didn't become like Peggy, you know. I made Peggy into me,' Su admits. 'The scriptwriters used to listen to us talking in the canteen and they'd slip in things they overheard into the next series!'

The last episode of the holiday camp comedy was screened in February but the stars had their emotional farewell just before Christmas.

'It was a very sad finale to 10 years of working together,' says Su. 'There was quite a few tears, I can tell you.

'It was as though we would never see each other again.

'But it turned out that we just can't keep away from each other,' Su laughs. 'We keep in touch and I've seen loads of them since.

'We're even planning holding a yearly reunion just like the real life holiday campers used to do!'

Mike Bernard

Chat Magazine 1988