Sunday, 15 February 2015

Hi-de-Hi, Penny Irving!

BBC2 is doing its 'Afternoon Classics' again at the moment, focusing this time specifically on sitcoms (it had previously included classic detective dramas like The Rockford Files and Cagney and Lacey alongside sitcoms) with repeats of Open All Hours, To The Manor Born and, best of all for me, Hi-de-Hi! 

This is a much welcome repeat of the Jimmy Perry and David Croft 50s holiday camp set sitcom which gives us a chance to enjoy its old school charm and the brilliant comic timing of the late and much missed Simon Cadell.

But, on a purely aesthetic level, it also gives us a chance to admire the beauty of diminutive pocket rocket Penny Irving as Yellowcoat Mary

The petite red haired beauty was a glamour model (with appearances in The Sun's Page 3 and Top of the Pops album covers) and actress, having previously starred in Lindsay Shonteff's Big Zapper and Carry On Dick and as a Pete Walker regular with roles in his features The Comeback and House of Whipcord

She was a familiar 'dollybird' in a variety of late 70s and early 80s comedy and variety shows including The Benny Hill Show and The Two Ronnies, as well as a hostess on the gameshow Mr & Mrs, and memorably a role as one of Young Mr Grace's impressive 'harem' of assistants in Croft and Lloyd's Are You Being Served? 

But it was perhaps her role as Mary in the first series of Hi-de-Hi! that really showcased her acting talents, including a convincing Scottish accent from the Hitchen born lovely.

To my mind she would have certainly brightened up a wet day ensconced in the Hawaiian Ballroom of Maplin's Holiday Camp, though her previous Girl of the Month roles at Mayfair and similar with Club International are certainly ones she didn't show in the family friendly sitcom

For more of Penny see my previous post here

1 comment:

  1. I always liked young Mr Grace's gorgeous helpers - the nice bit of cleavage was always very exciting in the sex starved seventies!