Ruth Madoc: Hundreds at Hi-De-Hi! star’s Neath funeral

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Hundreds of mourners have paid their last respects at the funeral of Hi-De-Hi! star Ruth Madoc.

The actress, 79, died in December after a fall which forced her to withdraw from performing in Aladdin at the Princess Theatre in Torquay, Devon.

The service was at St David’s church in Neath.

She became a household name as Gladys Pugh in holiday camp sitcom Hi-De-Hi!, and co-star Su Pollard said: “It was a wonderful service, it reflected Ruth.”

She remembered a friend who “loved to have a good laugh”.

“We laughed all the time working together but the service also embodied her Welsh heritage which she was so proud of,” Ms Pollard said.

“The service said she loved her work and respected everyone, and she really did.

“She would have loved hearing people say fabulous things about her today.”

Image source, Getty Images

Glynneath Male Voice Choir sang Pan Fyddo’r Nos Yn Hir and Calon Lan and her family reflected on her life with readings. She was buried at Glynneath cemetery.

Ms Pollard said: “We used to meet up as soon as we had the scripts for Hi-De-Hi!

“Ruth would say to me ‘Look at page 46, you and I are doing this and that together’, but when we rehearsed we did nothing but laugh. We had the best time together.

“She was a great joy in my life. I would never had missed this today. I would have been so upset if I couldn’t be here and pay respect to my friend.”

Born in April 1943 and raised in Llansamlet, Swansea, Ms Madoc trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Her career spanned roles in theatre and musicals, including Fiddler On The Roof and Gypsy.

More recent performances included Little Britain, where she played the mother of “the only gay in the village” Daffyd Thomas, and on stage with Calendar Girls.

Comedian Rod Woodward, who worked with her a number of times, said: “She was doing an old school music hall show when I first met her.

“I remember she gave me my own personal dance lesson, which was amazing. And that was my first introduction to Ruth.

“When I was growing up Hi-de-Hi! had around 20 million people watching, we would kill for those sort of viewing figures these days.

“She was a national institution, like the programme, and you could sense the warmth of Ruth and how wonderful she was in the service today.”

Francis Purchase, from Neath, said her brother was a neighbour of Ms Madoc who would see her out shopping.

“I met my brother at a restaurant in Glynneath and she came over to say hello and she remembered that we performed in Under Milk Wood in Swansea,” Ms Purchase said.

“She never forgot that because she had an amazing memory. She never forgot anything. A very nice, kind sincere lady who you’d never forget.”

Fan Keith Milward said Ms Madoc was “amazing” in panto.

“She enhanced so many people’s lives because we all need a good laugh,” he said.

“She would always bring smiles to our faces.”


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