Talking about Hi de Hi!, a show about a British holiday camp, Jeffrey Holland feels, “so lucky I was involved in what’s now known as one of the great British sitcoms.”
Particularly memorable, Jeffrey says, is when he was regularly thrown into the pool. “It was always a bit of a bugbear, I used to hate it. I wasn’t a very good swimmer.” The show was filmed in an actual holiday camp, so in autumn and winter, after the holiday season was finished, the show would move in.
Although Jeffrey could usually wear a wetsuit under his costume, in one particular episode he couldn’t due to his costume. Dressed as a beauty queen – complete with high heels and fishnet tights – he dove into the freezing cold water and after a few minutes of failing about had to get out early: “otherwise they’d have to pull me out!”
It all turned out fine in the end but unfortunately a tabloid got hold of the story, and featured a double page spread about the day he nearly “hi de died.”
I asked Jeffrey if he ever went to a holiday camp as a guest. And yes, he has. As a child, Jeffrey and his family spent several summers holidaying at Butlin’s holiday camp – a camp similar to the fictitious holiday camp in Hi De Hi! It was a, “very British thing,” which Jeffrey says was, “Fun with a capital F.”
Jeffrey has also holidayed here in New Zealand and speaks highly of Auckland! Back in 2001, he and his wife worked on cruise ships, performing plays for passengers. The ship stopped in Auckland and they, “had a wonderful time [and] did all the tourist stuff,” including visiting the hot springs in Rotorua. Later on, he came back to Auckland and spent a, “lovely few hours in Parnell … just a lovely area.”
And a special message from Jeffrey for all our readers, “Give New Zealand my love, I hope they enjoy [the shows].”
Read Part 1, where we asked Jeffrey about his favourite scene in You Rang, M’Lord? and found out a little known fact about the show.
Or read Part 2 to find out about how the acting business has changed over his 51 year career and find out what he’s up to now.
Hi de Hi! and You Rang, M’Lord? are now showing on the JONES! channel on SKY. Watch Hi De Hi! on Wednesdays at 9.10pm and You Rang M’Lord? on Wednesdays at 9.45pm.