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Liverpool actors and Hi-de-Hi co-star pay tribute to Ruth Madoc

1 year ago

Liverpool actors and Hi-de-Hi co-star pay tribute to Ruth Madoc
File photo dated 12/3/1984 of (left to right) Su Pollard, Simon Cadell, Michael Knowles and Ruth Madoc, from the BBC 1 comedy Hi-de-Hi. Madoc has died aged 79, her agent has confirmed in a statement. Issue date: Saturday December 10, 2022.

Hi-de-Hi! co-star Spike Dixon says he ‘never stopped laughing’ on set with Ruth Madoc

Hi-de-Hi! star Ruth Madoc who died age 79 after a fall has been remembered for her fun and laughter.

Her agent said she was “gone far too soon” after suffering a fall earlier in the week, which had forced her to withdraw from starring in the pantomime Aladdin at the Princess Theatre in Torquay.

She died on Friday afternoon in hospital following surgery, he said.

Madoc became a household name playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh in the BBC One sitcom about a holiday camp set in the late 1950s.

Her career also spanned an array of roles in theatre and musicals, from Fiddler On The Roof to Gypsy.

Liverpool’s Les Dennis and actor Joe McGann paid tribute to the actress on Twitter.

Les Dennis said: “So very sad to hear that lovely Ruth Madoc has passed away. She was such a talented and lovely woman. Thoughts with her family.”

And Joe McGann wrote: “Such sad news about the amazing Ruth Madoc. I was lucky enough to work with her more than once and I loved the bright, skilful, funny, fearless, kind, and inspiring ball of light that she always was.”

Ruth Madoc starred on stage and screen (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

In a statement given to the PA news agency, Phil Belfield of talent agency Belfield & Ward said Madoc was “truly a national treasure” and had been looking forward to touring with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in January 2023.

He added: “A real legend of the British entertainment scene she was one of a kind and a unique talent loved by many.”

Jeffrey Holland, who played Spike Dixon in the BBC One sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, spoke of Madoc’s many talents during an interview with BBC News on Saturday.

He said: “We were together for a long time, not just in Hi-de-Hi! the TV series but we did the stage show, the summer seasons with it and I did several pantomimes with Ruth as well over the years back in the 1980s so we’ve got a lot of happy memories to draw on and she was a wonderful performer and she’ll be greatly missed.

“She was a very talented musical performer with a wonderful singing voice, she has a history that goes back a long way. It was a joy to work with someone like that, we had such laughs.

“I was very lucky to work with that comedy crew, we never stopped laughing from morning until night. I will have those memories of Ruth forever, she left us a wonderful legacy with Gladys Pugh.”

Holland said Madoc used people she had grown up with as a “role model” for the voice and characterisation of Gladys.

He added: “She drew on her own ancestry and dragged that wonderful voice up from exaggerated Welsh valleys voice – they called her the vamp from the valleys.

“It’s such a tragedy but there you go.”

During her varied career, Madoc also starred in Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ comedy series Little Britain, playing character Daffyd Thomas’s mother.

Sharing a photograph of the actress on Instagram, Lucas said: “We are both shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Ruth Madoc.

“We grew up watching her iconic and genius performance as Gladys Pugh in ‘Hi-De-Hi’ and were thrilled when she agreed to come on board ‘Little Britain’ as Dafydd’s mum.

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