Forest supporter Su is hoping to have Rams fans on her side for stage musical
SU Pollard's true colours maybe that of a Nottingham Forest fan but she will be cheering on the Rams temporarily while in Derby.
The TV favourite, who found fame in the 1980s holiday camp sitcom Hi-De-Hi, was brought up in Nottingham and from Monday (April 4) finds herself back in the East Midlands starring in Annie at Derby Assembly Rooms.
"While I'm in Derby I'll try and send positive thoughts to all the Rams players and see if they can do better," she says, before whispering, "but Forest are doing well and I'd love to see them back in the Premiership."
Su grew up in Nottingham dreaming of showbiz success and even predicted her own career path in a school essay.
"When I was 14, they asked the question 'Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?'.
"I said that I saw myself at the London Palladium on stage singing – and ten years later, that's where I was, in a charity performance.
"And from then on, I was able to get more and more professional work and now here I am. I have been very fortunate and have met some great people."
Su's most famous role was the eccentric maid Peggy Ollerenshaw in the hugely popular series Hi-De-Hi, which made her a household name. She even scored a No 2 pop hit in 1986 with the song Starting Together.
Sue admits she owes a lot to Peggy and Maplins.
"What a break that was. We all still talk about it with great affection. I spoke to my mate Ruth (Madoc) last week; I saw Barry (Howard) when I was in Bournemouth and we went out to lunch; I met up with Paul (Shane) when I was in Doncaster and this week we are in Kings Lynn and I'm meeting David Croft (the show's co-writer), who lives a few mile from here. We are lucky to have these connections. It was team work. We were taught not to let ego get in the way but to work hard at our craft."
Now she's looking forward to being back in the East Midlands.
"My dad, years ago, used to sell handbags in all the markets, including Nottingham and Derby," she says.
"He used to get really annoyed about the ring road saying it was really hard to get in and out of Derby. But I tell you what I love most, the accent. That's why I like coming back to the Midlands. As soon as someone says 'In't it nice weather' I'm happy. They don't say 'in't it' in London."
She's also delighted to be coming back with Annie, the smash hit Broadway musical based on a 1920s comic strip.
"The story is as relevant now as it was when it was written," she says, explaining Annie's enduring success. "Back then there was another financial crisis and Wall Street collapsing. Now we are having a similar meltdown."
Annie's the story of an 11-year-old girl sent to an orphanage presided over by the drunken Miss Hannigan (played by Su).
"Annie offers hope in adversity," says Su. "She has this wonderful adventure and meets the president. He's all doom and gloom but she sings that wonderful song Tomorrow and inspires him.
"It shows us that everyone can overcome difficulty – then it all ends happily and we go home having had a wonderful evening.
"It's a well-crafted show. The characters are all very stereotypical – Annie the feisty little girl who reminds me of Cinderella and Miss Hannigan could well be the Wicked Queen – but you know straight away where you are. Everyone has a favourite song and the men seem to love it as much as the girls and often have a tear in their eyes as well."
It's fair to say that Miss Hannigan loves the bottle more than the children in her charge.
"She's gone on the booze because she's been in that orphanage for 25 years. These kids are so terrible to her, they are always trying to escape and she's worried about losing her job if they get away.
"She has a really sad life and then she gets carted off in a strait jacket. Poor cow.
"It's a lovely part to play. She's very energetic, she's always falling over, hiding the bottles.
"It's great fun and the best thing is that I don't have to get glammed up. I have this terrible wig that must have nits in it. I kick it about the dressing room and stamp on it.
"This is my fifth time in the show. It's a great one to do when you aren't 28 anymore; you need a bit of authority to play this one. There are some good acting bits, sad moments, some comedy and I get to sing and dance. It's the whole caboodle in one package."
Su loves touring with the show but is always on the look out for new challenges.
"I'm taking my vitamins, eating my broccoli, trying to keep up my stamina and I'd love to be in a brand spanking new musical or play Mama Rose in Gypsy or maybe my own sitcom – which I'm talking about. As long as it's good and I can do it justice, then I'm happy."
WHERE: Derby Assembly Rooms
WHEN: April 4-9, 7.30pm nightly, Wednesday and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
TICKETS: £14-£25 (concessions £12-£21, family ticket £60, Monday to Thursday only)
BOX OFFICE: 01332 255800