THERE was no missing zany actress Su Pollard on two recent visits to the south coast.

The exuberant entertainer was in Bournemouth preparing to star in the town’s Christmas panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Pavilion Theatre.

And despite fast approaching her 60th birthday, on Saturday, she wasn’t toning down her flamboyant dress sense, regardless of her conservative image of the south coast: ”Oooooh! I love it down here – I say it’s where the ‘gentle-ladies’ live!” she enthused, breathlessly talking ten to the dozen, as she bounded down the town’s pier.

She certainly turned a few heads as she swept into the resort like a kaleidoscopic whirlwind. She had taken the train from her north London home dressed in tiny denim shorts, jazzy leggings, luminous green leg warmers, leopard-print shoes, sequinned top, a ton of necklaces, multi-coloured bangles, odd earrings, bright pink sparkly glasses – all topped off with a studded dog collar.

It was all a far cry from her famous TV character Peggy Ollernshaw the dithering chalet maid in Hi-de-Hi, but all very much in keeping with her title ‘Campest woman in Britain’!

She popped into an exhibition celebrating the Pier Theatre’s 50th anniversary and met up with comedy star Syd Little and CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis, who directs the Bournemouth Pavilion panto this year while also starring as Muddles The last time Su had played the Pier was some 15 years ago.

She recalled that every time she had played the Pier something pretty dramatic had happened – including almost getting blown up.

“It was August 1993. I was in Don’t Dress for Dinner with Lionel Blair, Vicki Michelle and Les Dennis and we got to the theatre early because we had a matinee to do and we wanted to do a warm-up but there was all sorts of a kerfuffle going on.

“I walked into the theatre to be told we might have to cancel the show because they had found a bomb under the pier. They had managed to defuse it because it hadn’t been fixed properly.

“It’s frightening when you think what could have happened but God was on our side that day.”

Unbeknown to Su, officers had recovered a “substantial” explosive device which had been in place beneath the pier the night before as 800 people had watched the show.

“I do have a lot of great memories.

I remember Michael Barrymore was starring in summer season at the BIC and he was taken ill and had to go into The Priory (in Marchwood) for a few days so me, Lionel and Les quickly jumped in and did a Sunday concert.

I sang a few numbers, Lionel did Give us a Clue and Les did his comedy – we had a real laugh.

“It’s funny, but every time I’ve worked in Bournemouth there’s been an incident!”

Su was back, dressed as the Wicked Queen, to chat about Snow White – which is her first Pavilion Theatre pantomime in 20 years.

She had taken a day off from her tour as the dastardly Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie and said she was excited about working with Chris Jarvis again having done panto with him last year. In fact, the pair were planning their nights out on the town!

Su said: “Bournemouth has always had fabulous nightclubs. I will definitely be going to them. After doing two shows I have all this adrenaline to get rid of ! I’m fortunate that I’m fairly fit: 60 is the new 40 and I’m lucky I have no illness.”

● Su stars in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre Saturday, December 5 – Sunday, January 3. Tickets: 0844 576 3000 or visit HILARY PORTER