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We were all happy campers when much-loved British sitcom Hi-de-Hi! burst onto our TV screens back in the early 80s.
Set in the fictional seaside town of Crimpton-on-Sea in the late 50s and into the 60s, the show really struck a chord with viewers of all ages with many of us Ho-de-Ho-ing along with the largely loveable cast of put-upon holiday camp workers.
A true TV juggernaut at the time, Hi-de-Hi! ran for a whopping nine series from 1980 to 1988, with the Maplins resort introducing viewers to a friendly team of largely unknown actors.
Among them were chalet maid/yellowcoat Peggy Ollerenshaw, played by the irrepressible Su Pollard, as well as camp host Ted Bovis – played by Paul Shane, who later sang the show's rollickingly good rock’n’roll theme tune Holiday Rock when it was released as a single.
Elsewhere, popular characters included chief Radio Maplin announcer Gladys Pugh (Ruth Madoc), entertainment manager professor Jeffrey Fairbrother (Simon Cadell), camp comic Spike Dixon (Jeffrey Holland), riding instructor Fred Quilley (Felix Bowness) and dancing instructress Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves (Diane Holland).
As with so many popular sitcoms, the BBC's Hi-de-Hi! thrived on its hugely likeable cast, with us really rooting for Peggy to finally swap that mop for the coveted yellow coat, or for Gladys to realise her romantic ambitions.
To mark the sad death of Ruth Madoc, who played Gladys Pugh in the show, Daily Star looks at what happened to the holiday camp workers.
Gladys Pugh (Ruth Madoc)
Radio Maplin announcer and sports organiser Gladys was well known on the show for her immortal catchphrase ‘morning campers!’ Gladys’s unrequited loved for Simon Cadell’s Jeffrey Fairbrother was a long-running theme of the show.
Post Hi-de-Hi! saw Ruth embark on a series of stage productions including numerous Agatha Christie plays and the musical Annie.
She appeared in the David Walliams and Matt Lucas sketch show Little Britain, and also opposite Amanda Holden in travelling circus comedy Big Top. Ruth later bared all in the stage production of Calendar Girls, and last appeared on our screens in medical drama Casualty in 2019.
Ruth sadly died at the age of 79 after she had surgery following a fall she had earlier in the week.
Her agent revealed that she died on Friday, December 9, while in hospital as they added: "A real legend of the British entertainment scene she was one of a kind and a unique talent loved by many. She is gone far too soon. Our hearts are broken!"
Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves (Diane Holland)
The supercilious Yvonne, spouse of the rather more tranquil Barry, caused a lot of friction – and laughs – by believing she was socially above most of the other Maplins staff members.
When her time at the holiday camp ended, actress Dianne appeared in sitcom The Upper Hand and as a music teacher in Jersey-based detective drama Bergerac, with John Nettles.
She also appeared in Are You Being Served spin-off Grace and Favour, where she appeared as infamous female magistrate Celia Littlewood.
She went on to play the maiden aunt in The Nutcracker in The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and later appeared in Casualty in 2001.
Yvonne died in 2009 at the age of 78.
Peggy Ollerenshaw (Su Pollard)
The ditzy chalet maid was desperate to become a Yellowcoat and would attempt to get involved in the action any way she could.
Actress Su Pollard played the role to perfection, often with hilarious results.
Following Hi-de-Hi! Su appeared in more TV comedies including You Rang, M'Lord? and Oh, Doctor Beeching! and performed alongside David Hasselhoff in Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal.
Su has also presented Songs of Praise three times, enjoyed four appearances on Radio 4’s panel game Just a Minute, and in December 2010 made a guest appearance in hit ITV comedy Benidorm. She was also a guest on Strictly Come Dancing, enjoyed a short-lived pop career and made countless appearances in children’s pantomimes and various musicals.
Last year she also appeared in TV’s celebrity MasterChef – which she described as ‘stressful’.
Show host John Torode was unimpressed by her infamous chicken blunder, where she ‘hacked at it’ while plating up. Needless to say, she didn’t win.
Barry Stuart Hargreaves (Barry Howard)
Mild-mannered dance instructor Barry was the perfect foil to his rather snobby spouse Yvonne. He exuded a quiet dignity and forever seemed intent on rising above it all, usually with an arched eyebrow.
Post-Hi-de-Hi! actor Barry went on to join You Rang, M'Lord, as well as appearing in the George Cole comedy, Dad.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life, hosted by Michael Aspel, in 1989, and was the narrator of The Rocky Horror Show on tour in the early 90s.
Barry also appeared in 1994 sitcom The House Of Windsor.
Barry, who lived in Poole, also starred with Bernard Cribbins in David Tennant's final Doctor Who episodes in 2009. Barry died in 2016, aged 78.
Ted Bovis (Paul Shane)
A central character to Hi-de-Hi! Ted was the Teddy Boy-quiffed, side-burn sporting rock ’n’ roller of the camp. Bedecked in loud checked jackets and a natural on the mic, he made the perfect camp host.
Actor Paul Shane went on to join You Rang, M’Lord, and also had his own early 90s TV series Very Big, Very Soon, where he starred as a down-at-heel actor’s agent. Throughout the decade he made appearances in Holby City, A Touch of Frost, Emmerdale and countless other theatre and pantomime performances. He died in 2013, aged 72.
Spike Dixon (Jeffrey Holland)
Camp comic Spike came as a double-act alongside camp host Ted Bovis.
Like many other cast members, when Hi-de-Hi! ended he joined You Rang M’Lord and also appeared in The Russ Abbott Show, Oh! Doctor Beeching and Coronation Street – as Clive Drinkwater.
Actor Jeffrey appeared in comedy drama The National Union of Space People in 2016 and was last seen on our screens in the sitcom Simply Ken, in 2021.
Clive Dempster (David Griffin)
It was all change come 1960 at Maplins, as this aristocratic war hero replaced Jeffrey Fairbrother as entertainment manager. The squadron leader and maverick ladies’ man was the polar opposite of the shy Jeffrey.
When his time at the camp ended, actor David enjoyed a four-year stint as Emmet Hawksworth in 90s hit comedy Keeping Up Appearances, with Patricia Routledge. He also appeared in what was then known as Emmerdale Farm, Doctor Who and ‘Allo ‘Allo.
Fred Quilley (Felix Bowness)
Riding instructor Fred and his shady past of fixing horse races brought a little undercurrent of darkness to Crimpton-on-Sea.
Actor Felix went on to – there’s a trend developing here – appear in You Rang, M’Lord and Oh, Dr Beeching! He also enjoyed being in The Benny Hill Show, the Goodies, Dad’s Army, Porridge, The Liver Birds and Are You Being Served?
Felix died in 2009. He was 87.
Professor Jeffrey Fairbrother (Simon Cadell)
The uptight Cambridge-educated professor-cum-entertainment manager prompted many laughs through being completely at odds with his more down-to-earth staff.
When the show ended he took to the stage and even received an Olivier Award for his role in the adaptation of Grahame Green’s Travels With My Aunt. He also appeared in wheeler-dealer comedy-drama Minder and sitcom Singles. Simon died in 1996, he was 45.
Sylvia Garnsey (Nikki Kelly)
Glamorous Yellowcoat Sylvia was a long-serving member at the camp, appearing in all nine series.
Post-Hi-de-Hi!, actress Nikki appeared in sitcom The Upper Hand and panel game show As Seen On TV. She went on to star as the Wicked Queen Griselda in panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, reprising the role many times. She also appeared as the Evil Queen or Fairy Caboose in numerous versions of Sleeping Beauty, as well as the Wicked Witch in a panto version of The Wizard of Oz.
- David Walliams
- Amanda Holden
- Strictly Come Dancing
- Celebrity MasterChef
- David Tennant
- Doctor Who
- Holby City
- Coronation Street
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