BBC1 daytime staple Doctors features a sitcom reunion in Monday’s episode as former Hi-De-Hi! stars Ruth Madoc and Su Pollard team up to play a couple of warring women vying for the attentions of Ronnie (Paul Chuckle), a fellow resident at their sheltered housing unit.
Speaking about the chance to be paired with her former co-star, Madoc said: “When Su’s name was bandied about, I thought it was ideal. I haven’t worked with Su since Hi-De-Hi! Yes, we’ve been on interview programmes together, but never actually doing parts. So this has been a joy to do. Not that we don’t see each other quite a lot – Su and I have always kept in touch.
“And both Su and I have done pantomime with the Chuckle Brothers, so that was lovely too. We had a few laughs – I don’t know what the rest of the cast thought!”
On the topic of what viewers can expect to see this afternoon, Pollard added: “Well, I’m playing a character called Mary and she and Jean – who’s played by my old mate Ruth Madoc – are vying for the attentions of this chap called Ronnie, who’s played of course by an old friend of ours, Paul Chuckle. So it’s lovely for the three of us to be together.”
Madoc – who first came to prominence playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh on the holiday cam-set comedy – also revealed that she’s a regular Doctors viewer. “I’m a fan of Doctors. I think it’s lovely. That’s when I’m not working myself. Sometimes I miss out on storylines. I like the plots that do go on for about three or four episodes and I’m sure that the viewers like that too. I do miss out, but I managed to catch up before filming this role.”
Hi-De-Hi! originally ran on BBC1 between 1980 and made a star of both Madoc and Pollard. When asked whether she minds being asked about the sitcom after all this time, Pollard (aka chalet maid Peggy) replied: “We were really fortunate to get into a great show like that. I mean, you’ve got to be somewhere at the right time and the right place, and it is a lot of luck. We had such good material to work with.
“I mean, the writers were very strict, David Croft and Jimmy Perry, they knew exactly what they wanted us to say. It was painstaking work. We learned how to be disciplined, but we also learned how to have fun. They encouraged a lot of fun! I never forget those years, never! Why should I? I wouldn’t want to!”