SHE’S always steaming, babe. It’s an absolute scream to be her,” roars Su Pollard enthusiastically.

The Hi-De-Hi actress and comedian is referring to her latest role as the dastardly Miss Hannigan in Annie, calling at Manchester's Lowry theatre from next week.

“The best bit about her is how little time it takes me to get ready,” she went on. “I watch the other girls battle for an hour or so with hair and make-up and all I do is stand on my horrible wig a bit to make it look more of a mess. I’m done in less than five minutes,” she added.

The musical, which is currently in the first weeks of its UK tour, comes as Su celebrates 30 years in the industry and her 60th birthday.

It was 1979 when Su starred in her first sitcom, Two Up, Two Down with Paul Nicholas, and the same year she became a house hold name in BBC holiday camp comedy, Hi-De-Hi — set for an anniversary party later this year.

Over the years she has rarely been out of work, appearing in a total of 32 pantomimes, and despite reaching a milestone 60th birthday this November she has no intentions of slowing down.

“I said to Hilda the other day . . . that’s my mum, I stopped calling her mum when I was 15. I was a hippy and decided it wasn’t cool, and it’s just stuck.

“Anyway, I said to Hilda 'While there’s blood in my veins I’ll be doing what I enjoy. I don’t want to be sat at traffic lights. I want to be on green for as long as possible, even though I don’t drive,” she laughed.

And the wild fashion sense she has become so well-known for hasn’t shown any signs of calming down either. Su was photographed recently near her home in North London wearing a mini ra-ra skirt, pink tights, lime-green legwarmers, leopard-print top and shoes, complete with a studded dog collar.

“It just gives me a thrill to be outrageous and experimental with my clothes,” she said. “I get sent all sorts of unique items from fashion students these days. I don’t have to go shopping. It’s great!”

Having just completed a tour with Claire Sweeney in the massively popular Shout, Su says she is excited to be doing another musical and can’t wait to bring the show to Manchester — because of the night life!

“We have a ball on these tours,” said Su with a smile in her voice. “I am particularly looking forward to Manchester. I love going out in the gay village. It’s a such fun. We party as hard as we work. And I’ll be seeing some of my friends up there while I’m in town.”

Speaking about playing the part, Su said: “Although Miss Hannigan is obviously a lover of the bottle, she’s had a terrible life. There were all sorts of things she was aspiring to be — probably even a Broadway star — but she’s ended up in an orphanage looking after these dreadful, snotty, terrible kids that give her the run-around.

“Her part although is quite a sad character in many ways. She is also very funny, or that’s how I’ve tried to play her anyway.”

Joining Su is fellow actor and old friend David McAlister, of Hollyoaks and EastEnders fame, playing the billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks. Pupils from Glasgow’s Starstruck stage school will be taking on the roles of the orphans.

The family musical will include a memorable score, including It’s A Hard Knock Life, Easy Street and, of course, the legendary Tomorrow.

“I just love the songs,” said Su, whose ambition is to write and perform a stand-up singing tour. “I can’t get them out of my head.”

But she does have one complaint about the show.

“No-one is dressing up as Miss Hannigan,“ she said quite seriously. “Everyone is arriving in Annie gear, but what about Miss Hannigan — that’s what I would love to see in Manchester.”

l Annie — The Lowry, Salford Quays, July 28 until August 1. Tickets on 0870 787 5780.