Original Broadcast Dates

1 Jan 1980 – 30 Jan 1988

Writing Partnership

Croft & Perry


Hi-de-Hi! is set in Maplins, a holiday camp owned by entrepreneur, Joe Maplin, in the fictional seaside town of Crimpton-on-Sea. The show is loosely based on Jimmy Perry’s experiences working as a Butlin’s Redcoat after the War.

The show begins at the beginning of the 1959 camp season, where the camp staff return to find the entertainments manager Mr Baverstock has been sacked for stealing charity money from the camp wishing well. In his place they find Jeffrey Fairbrother a Cambridge University archaeology professor, who has tired of academia and taken on the role. The bashful, softly spoken boffin is clearly ill-suited to his new posting and immediately provokes the ire of comic Ted Bovis, an old-school chancer who had his eye on the job. In contrast, Welsh senior Yellowcoat, Gladys Pugh, is extremely taken with the new arrival.

Other characters included Ted's sidekick: Spike Dixon; supercilious dance instructors Barry and Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves; alcoholic Punch and Judy man Mr Partridge, Jockey Fred Quilley, and chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw.

Most episodes involve Ted Bovis and Spike attempting to scam the well-meaning Fairbrother, who spends most of his time trying to avoid the romantic approaches of senior Yellowcoat and sports organiser, Gladys Pugh, as he is currently divorcing his wife. Most of the characters in the show were out-of-work actors and entertainers either at the tail-end of their careers or awaiting the elusive "big break". Then there is Peggy, the over-excitable chalet maid who won viewers' hearts with her desperate attempts to become a Yellowcoat.

At the start of the 6th series, Jeffrey Fairbrother has left, to be replaced by Squadron Leader Clive Dempster: the new, more rakish Camp Entertainment Manager who Gladys eventually marries. They emigrate to Australia!.


  • Former Goon Harry Secombe was originally considered for the part of Ted Bovis.
  • Hi-de-Hi was made into a musical, called Hi-de-Hi - The Holiday Musical, and was a sell out success in Blackpool, Bournemouth and London
  • At the height of its popularity, the BBC had plans to make it into a feature film, but this did not come to fruition.
  • In August 2009 Hi-de-Hi!, the stage show toured in Torquay.
  • Holiday Rock the Hi-de-Hi! rock and roll style theme tune became a chart hit in 1981, sung by Paul Shane, and featuring several members of the cast on backing vocals. It was performed on Top of the Pops.
  • Hi-de-Hi! was one of the first BBC shows to capitalise on the merchandise market, with products such as board games, albums, books, toys and t-shirts available to buy.
  • The show won a BAFTA as Best Comedy Series in 1984
  • Simon Cadell met David’s daughter Beckie while filming Hi-de-Hi in Harwich. He married her in 1986 and they had two sons; Patrick and Alec.
Cast & Crew
Episode Guide
Hi Di Hi