It’s not so long since Vicki Michelle last appeared on the stage of the Kings Theatre – she was here in May starring alongside her daughter Louise in The Naked Truth.
But now she’s swapped a female-bonding comedy based around pole dancing for the world of panto, as she plays the fairy godmother in Jack And The Beanstalk.
‘The Naked Truth was great, we did 10 weeks, and we’re all still talking!’ Vicki tells The Guide. ‘And the audience here was fantastic.
‘There’s nothing like being on stage in a theatre like this, it is just stunning, it’s beautiful. Sadly there are not many left.
‘When you get a theatre like this, the audience become part of the show. Some theatres you don’t feel that connection, but we did here.’
As a panto veteran Vicki says playing the fairy makes a nice change for her: ‘I’ve played fairy a few times, but I’m usually the baddie – I’m usually evil, like the wicked queen in Snow White and Cinderella, and then sometimes I get asked to do this, which is lovely because it makes a change from people booing me.’
So is she jealous of her co-star Anne Hegerty, who plays the villainous Blackweed?
‘No,’ says Vicki with a smile. ‘I think she’ll be fabulous. We get a scene where we go up against each other with a good slanging match.’
Vicki remains best-known for her role as Yvette, one of the waitresses in the BBC’s long-running hit sitcom Allo, Allo!
But as she reveals, it was some of the other big comedy names she worked with before landing that plum role which helped give her a good grounding in the art of making people laugh.
‘Before Allo, Allo! brought me to the public eye I was already well known within the BBC as I’d done a series with The Two Ronnies, and Ken Dodd – I had an amazing love scene with him on Skeggy beach. Dick Emery, Kenny Everett, Little and Large, Les Dawson – I worked with him quite a lot, he was amazing and I learned so much from all of them.
‘You’re gleaning all the time because you’re growing up with them and watching what they do. People tell me that my timing is good, and I think that’s just because I learned it from all these greats.’
After 10 years of Allo, Allo! on TV, Yvette joined the stage version of the show, which toured as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. And she remains friends with many of her old co-stars.
‘I did Pointless with Richard Gibson – Herr Flick – recently and we won. I see Arthur Bostrom, Sue Hodge, Guy Siner, I did panto a couple of years ago with Kim Hartman, so we all meet up and have a drink every once in a while.
‘We were together for 10 years so we’re like a family.’
Since Allo, Allo! Vicki has done a lot of theatre and film work. She has an upcoming cameo in Rise of The Footsoldiers 3 and played a psychiatrist in Brit gangster film No Reasons.
But she’s come a long way from the little girl who wanted to be a ballerina.
‘I did ballet from when I was three. and then I did amateur pantos and things like that. I wanted to be a dancer and I went to stage school but I fell into the theatrical side – thank God – if I’d stayed with the dancing I would have had a much shorter career!’