Tributes to ‘unique’ campers Madoc Ruth Hi-de-Hi! Died

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By Creative Media News

Hi-de-Hi! star Ruth Madoc, who was forced to leave a panto performance in Torquay earlier this week due to a fall, passed away in the hospital following surgery.

Hi-de-Hi! Ruth Madoc has passed away at the age of 79, her representative revealed in a statement.

Famous for her role as Gladys Pugh in the 1980s vacation camp sitcom Hi-de- She was scheduled to star in the Christmas pantomime Aladdin in Torquay, but had to withdraw earlier this week due to an injury.

Phil Belfield of the talent agency Belfield & Ward Ltd referred to her as “a one-of-a-kind talent adored by many.”

Tributes to 'unique' campers madoc ruth hi-de-hi! Died
Tributes to 'unique' campers madoc ruth hi-de-hi! Died

He remarked, “It is with great sorrow that we must announce the passing of our beloved and devoted client Ruth Madoc.

“Ruth passed away in the hospital on the afternoon of Friday, December 9 after undergoing surgery for a fall she suffered earlier in the week, which forced her to withdraw from a pantomime in Torquay.

“From film work such as Fiddler On The Roof and Under Milk Wood with Richard Burton to her iconic TV performance as Gladys Pugh in Hi De Hi! and more recently in Little Britain and on stage with Calendar Girls (the play and the musical), plus recent acclaim in short films Skinny Fat and Cardiff, she was truly a national treasure and eager to return to the road in 2023 with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

A true legend of the British entertainment industry, she was a one-of-a-kind talent adored by many. She is gone much too quickly. Our hearts are devastated!

Her daughter Lowri, her son Rhys, and the rest of her family are in our thoughts.

Sir Tony Robinson, who had performed with her in 2009, was one of the first celebrities to pay her tribute.

Robinson posted on Twitter, “So sad to hear the passing of my dear friend Ruth Madoc. She was also intelligent, polite, and a committed trade unionist, and she wore her heart on the left side of her chest. She will be greatly missed.”

Set in the fictional holiday camp Maplins in the late 1950s, the show aired for nine seasons and 58 episodes from 1980 to 1988.

Her character, Gladys, was the head Yellowcoat, renowned for her camp tannoy announcements that began with three signature notes played on a miniature xylophone, was followed by “Hello, campers,” and concluded with “Hi-de-Hi!”

Simon Cadell portrayed her unrequited love for camp entertainment boss Jeffrey Fairbrother. She subsequently played the part in a touring production of the show.

The broadcaster Gyles Brandreth described her as “a very nice lady” and a “wonderfully talented actor” on Twitter, adding, “I was fortunate enough to meet her through my best friend from high school, Simon Cadell.

“In Hi-De-Hi, they were impossible to resist. Rest in peace, Ruth Madoc, and thank you for the memories. Farewell, campers!”

Former Family Fortunes host Les Dennis posted on Twitter, “So very saddened to learn that the beautiful Ruth Madoc has died away. She was such a beautiful and talented woman. Regards to her family.”

Madoc was scheduled to portray the empress in the pantomime Aladdin at the Princess Theatre in Torquay opposite EastEnders actor Ricky Norwood and X Factor singer Jay Edwards, but she was forced to withdraw from the role a week before opening night owing to a fall.

The theatre tweeted on Thursday, “Due to a recent accident, Ruth Madoc is unable to perform in this year’s Aladdin pantomime at the Princess Theatre in Torquay.”

“We are devastated to learn of Ruth’s demise,” they wrote in news to the news of her death. Everyone at the theatre and ATG sends their warmest regards to Ruth’s family.

She had appeared in over 30 pantomimes, performing parts such as the lead lad in Edinburgh’s Dick Whittington, the evil fairy in Rhyl’s Sleeping Beauty, and the fairy godmother in Mansfield’s Cinderella.

She starred in a variety of roles in theatre and musicals throughout the world, such as Phantom of the Opera, Gypsy, and Annie.

In 2018, she participated in the women’s version of The Real Full Monty alongside celebrities such as Coleen Nolan, Victoria Derbyshire, and Michelle Heaton to raise breast cancer awareness.

A year later, she fractured her hip while practicing for her role in Calendar Girls, but her rapid recovery astounded doctors.

Madoc, who was born in Norwich in April 1943, was raised at Llansamlet, near Swansea, primarily by her grandparents.

She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and landed her breakthrough role as Fruma Sarah in the 1971 film adaptation of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

In addition to Hi-de-Hi!, she played Mrs. Dai Bread Two in the 1972 comedy picture Under Milk Wood and the mother of Daffyd Thomas, portrayed by Matt Lucas, in the second season of Little Britain.

In 1984, she was given the huge red book when she was featured in an episode of This Is Your Life.

In 2006, she received an honorary degree from Swansea University, and she was also a fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

She was formerly married to Welsh actor Philip Madoc, with whom she had two children. After 20 years of marriage, they divorced in 1981. John Jackson, her second husband, passed away last year.

In January 2023, she was scheduled to join Belinda Lang, Paul Nicholas, and Tessa Peake-Jones in the UK tour of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a play about a group of British pensioners in India.

Madoc’s descendants are her daughter Lowri and her son Rhys.

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