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Where are the stars of Hi-de-Hi now?

Where are the stars of Hi-de-Hi! now? As actress Ruth Madoc dies aged 79 – MailOnline takes a look at the varied lives and careers of the cast who left millions in hysterics with their holiday camp antics

  • Hi-de-Hi immortalised British holiday camp culture, flinging a cast British actors firmly into the limelight 
  • On Saturday it was announced that Ruth Madoc – who played chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh had died aged 79
  • Here MailOnline reveals what happened to the rest of the stars after they hung up their yellow coats for the last time in January 1988… 

It was the series that immortalised British holiday camp culture, flinging a cast of relatively unknown British actors firmly into the limelight and making them household names.

After storming onto our screens in 1980, Hi-de-Hi! remained at the forefront of British comedy for eight years and nine series.

On Saturday it was announced that Ruth Madoc – who became a household name playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh in the BBC One show – had died at the age of 79.  

The star – who passed away following a fall – had a career which also spanned an array of roles in theatre and musicals, from Fiddler On The Roof to Gypsy.

After her death, here MailOnline reveals what happened to the rest of the stars after they hung up their yellow coats for the last time in January 1988…

Where are the stars of Hi-de-Hi now? As actress Ruth Madoc dies aged 79 MailOnline takes a look back at the varied lives and careers of the rest of the cast (pictured together)


Sad: On Saturday it was announced that Ruth Madoc – who became a household name playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh in the BBC One show – had died at the age of 79  (pictured left in 1984 on the show and right in 2019)

SU POLLARD (Peggy Ollerenshaw)

Su played Peggy Ollerenshaw, the kooky maid who aspired to be a Yellowcoat and tried to get involved in the camp’s entertainment in any way she could.

While her character was known for her frizzy Eighties perm and oversized spectacles, the actress – now 73 – has something of a flamboyant dress sense in real life.


Icon: Su played Peggy Ollerenshaw, the kooky maid who aspired to be a Yellowcoat and tried to get involved in the camp’s entertainment in any way she could (left in 1980 and right in 2022 on Masterchef)

Despite a short-lived pop career during her time in Hi-de-Hi! Su stuck with acting, and shortly after the series came to an end she starred in the BBC’s You Rang, M’Lord? with fellow Hi-de-Hi stars Paul Shane and Jeffrey Holland, followed by a presenting turn and Radio 2 drama For Better or For Worse.

More recently, she’s made regular appearances in children’s pantomimes and a series of musicals. Pollard has appeared in over 35 stage plays and musicals, as well as over 40 pantomimes.

She most recently appeared on the 2022 series of Celebrity MasterChef. 

And, of course, she still wears her signature brightly coloured glasses.

More recent: More recently, she’s made regular appearances in children’s pantomimes and a series of musicals. And, of course, she still wears her signature brightly coloured glasses

ThrowbacK: While her character was known for her frizzy Eighties perm and oversized spectacles, the actress – now 73 – has something of a flamboyant dress sense in real life

PAUL SHANE (Ted Bovis)

Hi-de-Hi! star Ruth Madoc dies aged 79 after a fall 

The actress – who became a household name playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh – passed away yesterday following a fall which forced her to pull out of performing in pantomime Aladdin in Torquay.

As camp host, Paul Shane’s much-loved Ted Bovis was one of the most important characters in the series. 

When the time came for him to leave Maplins, he revealed that he had landed himself a pantomime role – as well as a job demonstrating a potato peeler in supermarkets.

With his Teddy Boy quiff, sideburns and loud checked jackets, Ted was also a reminder that the series was set in the 1950s, rather than the Eighties. 

The actor, from the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Rotherham, who was forced out of mining after injuring his back at the age of 27, first became a singer and then a comedian. 

After an appearance in Coronation Street, Paul went on to play a the scheming holiday camp host for the entire run of the series, before joining Hi-de-Hi! writer Jim Perry’s You Rang, M’Lord?

Although he never found the same success as with Hi-de-Hi!, the father-of-three had his own series, Very Big, Very Soon. 

Throughout the Nineties he starred in Holy City, Emmerdale and a Touch Of Frost as well as various theatre and pantomime performances. 

His death in a hospice in May 2013 at 72 followed a prolonged period of ill health. 

In May 2009 he told how he was undergoing life-saving heart surgery following tests.

At the time he said he collapsed in 2007 and added: ‘I went to see a heart specialist and an angiogram showed I’ve got narrowing of the arteries.

‘I’m either having two or four bypasses – they won’t know, until the operation.

‘If I didn’t have this op I could be dead in 12 months or I could last ten years.

‘You don’t know, but I’m not taking that risk.’

He became a widower in 2001 when his wife Dory died, and is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren.


Important: As camp host, Paul Shane’s much-loved Ted Bovis (left) was one of the most important characters in the series (pictured right in 2013 the year he died)

Role: In 2001, Paul played Stan in Holby City who managed to fuse the power in the entire hospital after a money-making plan with Jeremy Edwards (left) went wrong

Different TV roles: Paul joined Paul Barraclough an Shona Lindsay in the short-lived sitcom Mother’s Ruin in 1994

BARRY HOWARD (Barry Stuart-Hargreaves)

Barry Howard, who was born in Nottingham, found fame as one half of ballroom dancing duo Barry and Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves.

He had a handful of small parts including in Terry And June before joining the long-running series.

Starring alongside Diane Holland, who played his onscreen wife, Barry often became a victim of the joke at the holiday camp while his snobby spouse tried to maintain her dignity and rise above it all.

Like many of his fellow Maplins campers he went on to join You Rang, M’Lord, as well as the George Cole comedy, Dad.

He also appeared in 1994’s The House Of Windsor, as well as having his own This Is Your Life in 1989.

But despite Barry’s success in the sitcom he often felt pigeon-holed by it later in his career when casting directors would try and book him for roles similar to the holiday camp dancer.

Here he is: Barry Howard, who was born in Nottingham, found fame as one half of ballroom dancing duo Barry and Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves

Varied: A veteran pantomime performer, Barry regularly played an ugly sister alongside John Inman. Here he is getting ready for Aladdin in the Hackney Empire in 1997

Barry, who lived in Poole, was also a veteran pantomime performer and regularly appeared alongside John Inman as the ugly sisters. 

He also starred with Bernard Cribbins in David Tennant’s last Doctor Who episodes in 2009.

While performing in a stage revival of Hi-de-Hi in 2010, he said of his stage career, ‘I’m what’s known in the trade as an old touring tart and I throw my knickers on the back seat and just drive to where the show is.’

Barry died age 78 in 2016 after a battle with blood cancer. His agent said in a statement, ‘The much loved actor Barry Howard, best known for his exquisitely supercilious Barry Stuart-Hargreaves, the champion ballroom dancer in BBC’s hugely popular Hi-de-Hi, passed away today aged 78.’

JEFFREY HOLLAND (Spike Dixon)

His character the hapless comedian Spike Dixon, chose his Maplins career over love when his long-standing girlfriend Brenda gave him an ultimatum between staying and going home to Edgbaston.

Although the show was set in the summer, it was filmed in the colder months so over the numerous occasions Spike was thrown into the pool his cries of shock were a genuine result of hitting the freezing water.

And despite striking up a relationship with colleague April, he ended the 1960 season by announcing he was going to follow his friend Ted Bovis (Paul Shane), who had landed a role playing a Chinese policeman in a pantomime.

Back then: His character the hapless comedian Spike Dixon (left), chose his Maplins career over love when his long-standing girlfriend Brenda gave him an ultimatum between staying and going home to Edgbaston

Now: He has been married to fellow actor Judy Buxton, who appeared in General Hospital and The Sweeney, for 12 years and even had a spell as a scriptwriter

Jeffrey joined Paul and Su Pollard in the Upstairs Downstairs-inspired sitcom You Rang M’Lord and now 69, he has appeared in a series of British TV dramas and even enjoyed a turn in Coronation Street in 2011.  

He also landed a role as Rupert Darling in The National Union of Space People, a comedy drama involving outer space.

He has been married to fellow actor Judy Buxton, who appeared in General Hospital and The Sweeney, for 12 years and even had a spell as a scriptwriter. 

DAVID GRIFFIN (Clive Dempster)

David arrived in series six after Simon Cadell left, playing aristocratic war hero – and ladies’ man – Clive Dempster DFC.

He was a particular hit with Welsh femme fatale Gladys Pugh and after an on-off relationship the characters married and jetted off to Australia when Hi-de-Hi! came to an end.


Important role: David arrived in series six after Simon Cadell left, playing aristocratic war hero – and ladies’ man – Clive Dempster DFC

In real life, David, who is now 79, toured in the stageshow The Good Sex Guide alongside Hi-de-Hi! co-star Su Pollard and also enjoyed a four-year stint as Emmet Hawksworth in Keeping up Appearances.

He’s also appeared in Doctor Who, ‘Allo! Allo!, Emmerdale and a string of films throughout the Eighties and Nineties such as The Walking Stick and Battle of Britain.

SIMON CADELL (Jeffrey Fairbrother)

Simon played Jeffrey Fairbrother, was an uptight Cambridge-educated professor turned entertainment manager who joined Maplins in the hope it would help him gain an insight into the lives of ordinary people. 

But after the series came to an end, father-of-two Simon Cadell, who died in 1996, carved a career as a successful stage actor. In 1993 he was given an Olivier Award for his role in Giles Havergal’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel Travels with My Aunt. 

Star: Simon played Jeffrey Fairbrother, was an uptight Cambridge-educated professor turned entertainment manager who joined Maplins in the hope it would help him gain an insight into the lives of ordinary people

After: But after the series came to an end, father-of-two Simon Cadell, who died in 1996, carved a career as a successful stage actor (pictured second left with rest of the cast)

A prolific smoker – who at one point was said to get through 80 cigarettes a day – he died of lung cancer at the age of 45 in 1996. 

In one of his final interviews, Simon admitted: ‘I don’t want to build myself up as anything special. The cancer is still there. We’re learning to live with each other. It’s a bugger of a disease.’  

WHERE ARE HI-DE-HI!’S OTHER STARS NOW? 

NIKKI KELLY (Sylvia)

Nikki Kelly, 71, played glamorous Yellowcoat Sylvia Garnsey in the long-running show

Nikki, 71, played glamorous Yellowcoat Sylvia Garnsey in the long-running show. 

Apart from racy roles in a risque film, You’re Driving Me Crazy’ and touring with No Sex Please, We’re British, Nikki went on to play several pantomime villains. 

In 2010 she appeared in the revised adaptation of Hi-de-Hi, playing the ballroom dancer Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves, who was originally played by Diane Holland.

 

DIANE HOLLAND (Yvonne)

Diane, who died in 2009 at the age of 78 from bronchial pneumonia, trained as a dancer before being given the role of Yvonne Stewart-Hargreaves by her brother-in-law Jimmy Perry who co-wrote Hi-de-Hi!.

At the peak of the show’s success she became something of a Forces’ sweetheart, getting letters from the Falklands.

She went on to act in the sitcom The Upper Hand, a magistrate in Grace and Favour and a sequel to Are You Being Served.

 

FELIX BOWNESS (Fred)

Felix Bowness played jockey Fred Quilley.

The D-Day veteran had a singing lesson from Vera Lynn after attending one of her concerts.

He joined the touring comedy circuit in the late 1940s before becoming a warm-up act for Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies and later Sir Terry Wogan’s chat show Wogan.

And as well as joining his Hi-de-Hi! colleagues in Oh, Doctor Beeching! and You Rang, M’Lord? he also appeared in The Benny Hill Show, The Liver Birds, The Goodies, Dad’s Army, Porridge and Are You Being Served?

Felix, who was married for 59 years to Mavis, lived in Berkshire, where he died at the age of 87 in 2009.

Felix Bowness played jockey Fred Quilley

 

LINDA REGAN (April)

Linda, 73, is best known as Yellowcoat April, who goes out with Spike.

As well as TV work on Minder, London’s Burning, Birds of a Feather, Holby City, The Bill and Doctors, she has also become a successful crime writer with a series of novels under her belt. She is married to Mildred and George star Brian Murphy.

 

LESLIE DWYER (Mr Partridge) 

Leslie Dwyer, who died aged 80 in 1986, played Mr Partridge, the miserable Punch and Judy man who disliked children at Maplins.

Born in Catford, south east London, into a music hall family, he acted from the age of 10 in films including Hitchcock’s 1959 remake of The 39 Steps.

He also starred in the best of Seventies TV with parts in Steptoe and Son, Terry and June and The Sweeney.

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