Hi-de-hi, campers! Ruth Madoc returns to our TV screens in an episode of BBC1's daytime soap (opens in new tab)Doctors (Monday, June 16).
We caught up with the actress to find out about her trip to Letherbridge, her days as yellowcoat Gladys... and those naughty Little Britain boys!
We haven't seen you on the telly in a while. What have you been up to?
"For two and a half years I was touring around the country in the stage version of Calendar Girls. But I need to really get back into the swing of doing telly. My agent and I are thrilled. Every role he's put me up for has come through!"
For starters, you are guest-starring in Doctors. Tell us about your character, Alice?
"Alice is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She gets a bit confused about what day it is, what time it is. She is in her own little world. I understand how this woman is. Years ago, I was a state-enrolled nurse and nursed geriatrics. So it was an interesting role to play, very true to life."
Could we see Alice again?
"Alice's story is not completely resolved. The surgery are going to keep an eye on her, so you never know. But the Doctors cast and crew were wonderful. I did a couple of scenes with Adrian Lewis Morgan who plays Jimmi, and is Welsh. So we had a rapport there. He's a very nice young man!"
What other TV stuff have you got coming up?
"I'm doing a smashing part in Casualty (BBC1). I've just done an episode of Mount Pleasant (Sky1) as a rather predatory woman! And I'm flying off to Spain to film an episode of Benidorm (ITV). I'm playing a glitzy singer. They want to fly me home when I've finished filming. I said, 'Oh no, you can leave me there in the sun. Don't worry!'"
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from Hi-De-Hi (opens in new tab)?
"I keep in touch with Su Pollard (Peggy). I think we would like to work together again. The only other thing we did was open The Royal Variety Show. I think it was 1985. I had never actually seen it until recently. Someone had it on video tape. To open the show was a nerve-wrecking experience, but I’m thrilled to have done it."
Where do you think your character, Gladys is these days?
"In the last episode, in 1988, Gladys got married and went to Australia sheep-shearing! So whether she has come back from there and her marriage to Clive has ended, I wouldn’t know. But I have a feeling she’s still somewhere like Bonga Bonga!"
Is it true you almost DIDN'T do Little Britain (opens in new tab)?
"When the Little Britain script originally came through, my husband read it and nearly died! He said, ‘You can’t do this. It’s so rude, Ruth!’ Then my agent phoned and said, ‘But Matt Lucas and David Walliams have written the part of Daffyd's mum for you!’ Of course, the joke was family entertainer Ruth Madoc saying all these dreadful words! But my son read the script and said, ‘Oh, go on Mum, do it. You’ll get street cred!’"
Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.
Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?
Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!
Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.
He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.
Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)
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