SU Pollard leans back in the chair, her face breaking into the kind of smile that seems to suggest she’s known you all her life.

You’ve hardly sat down, but she’s already delivering that big Nottinghamshire welcome treatment, those long, drawn-out east Midlands vowels immediately making you feel at home.

There isn’t any trace of weariness in her voice, which is all rather remarkable, because the star of a string of iconic television sitcoms is still very much living and working in the fast lane.

Su’s starring in this year’s Malvern Theatres pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and quite obviously can’t wait to hear all that barrage of boos and hisses as she plays the part of the Wicked Queen to the full and then some.

‘Legend’ is a much-used word. But in the case of Su Pollard, the epithet is richly deserved. The star of television’s Hi-de-Hi, You Rang M’Lord and Oh, Dr Beeching has been a household name for more than three decades, so Worcestershire panto fanatics will be in for a real treat.

Life for Su is still very hectic. She’s just returned from America after filming a new series which features a cast that is virtually a roll call for some of the biggest names in vintage showbiz.

Last Laugh in Vegas features nine British stars of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, who travel to Las Vegas, live together, explore the city and rehearse for a dream gig in one of the strip’s most iconic theatres.

‘Star-studded’ as a description term gets nowhere near, for among those appearing are Bobby Ball, Tommy Cannon, Jess Conrad, Kenny Lynch and Anita Harris. Jim Carter of Downton fame is the narrator.

Su’s now leaning forward in her chair, only too happy to talk about a lifetime treading the boards.

“Las Vegas was fabulous. Everybody enjoyed it. All the Americans came to see the show. Showbiz is the same the world over. Theatre’s the same, too. I just happened to be in Las Vegas.”

Su rose through the ranks taking the well-worn route of clubs and paying her dues in smoke-filled rooms where the audience wasted no time in letting a performer know whether they were liked or not.

“I started out singing with a three-piece band in working men’s clubs. My mum and dad were always positive about everything I did. They encouraged me a great deal. Mum’s aged 96 now and still very supportive.”

Su starred in a production of Annie at Malvern Theatres five years ago in which she played the part of Miss Hannigan. And this Christmas season’s panto marks a return for Su in Snow White, in which she reprises her Wicked Queen role… and with barely disguised relish, too.

I ask her if her ‘Peggy’ character will be creeping into the panto, either intentionally or perhaps by force of habit. But she’s quick to knock that suggestion on the head.

“Peggy in Hi-de-Hi was my first big break but Peggy really doesn’t come into it. When I’m in a show, I just get stuck in. The part dictates.

“The 1980s was a golden era. I loved working with great writers like David Croft and Jimmy Perry.

“And I’m really looking forward to working in Malvern. Everything is so convenient here, the theatre, shops and places to visit.”

Su will be appearing alongside comedy dame Philip Meeks as Nursie, Mark James as Muddles, Aidan Banyard as Prince Charming, and Francesca McKean as Snow White. Banyard and McKean will be making their panto debuts.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be showing at Malvern Theatres from Thursday, December 13, to Sunday, January 6.

John Phillpott