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I met Vicki Michelle at the Collectormania event held at Milton Keynes in May 2007. She signed the front page of my first edition of the War Diaries of Rene Artois for me, after which I had this photo taken with her.
Vicki Michelle was born Vicki Nathan in 1950, at Chigwell in Essex. Vicki and her younger sister Ann, were both raised by a German au pair, Elke Schletz, who later became famous as the actress Elke Sommer.
In 1980, Guinness, famous for the quality of its advertising, made the famous Irish commercial for Harp Lager featuring Sally O’Brien “and the way she might look at you”. It was all about a perspiring Irish emigrant frying an egg on a stone in the Australian outback and dreaming of Sally back home. Despite its success, the ad caused controversy in Ireland when it was revealed that Irish Sally was played by alittle
With parents who were actors, Vicki and Ann both performed on stage at a very early age. Vicki was particularly keen to bec
Vicki signing my 'Allo 'Allo book
become a ballet dancer! After leaving West Hatch High School in Chigwell and qualifying as a secretary, Vicki's father suggested she might like to go to stage school, like her sister, Ann. Vicki jumped at the chance, and so the two sisters both trained at the Aida Foster drama school in Golders Green.
Vicki Michelle aged 20
Before she had been there a year, Vicki was getting small roles in the established TV series Softly Softly (1970-73). Later, there were roles in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads (1974) and Minder (1980). She also showed that she had a gift for comedy with appearances in The Two Ronnies (1976) and Les Dawson's Dawson Watch (1979).
Whatever Happened to the
James Bolam & Vicki Michelle in
Vicki Michelle as the robot maid in
Come Back,Mrs Noah
Vicki had a small role as a robot-cum-French maid in the disa
disastrous sci-fi comedy by David Croft & Jeremy Lloyd Come Back, Mrs Noah (1978), but it was this part that would eventually lead to her winning the role of French maid Yvette in Croft & Lloyd's wartime comedy series 'Allo 'Allo.
Vicki's credit in 'Allo 'Allo
Vicki with Carmen Silvera in 'Allo 'Allo
Sue Hodge & Vicki Michelle in 'Allo 'Allo
Vicki & Gorden Kaye in 'Allo 'Allo
This amazingly popular serie
series ran to 85 episodes, and Vicki, along with co-stars Gorden Kaye and Carmen Silvera, appeared in all of them over a ten year period from
1982 until 1992. Vicki played the character Yvette Carte-Blanche, a waitress at Rene's café. She is in love with René (Gorden Kaye), and also 'entertains' the German officers upstairs with wet celery and an egg whisk! Sh
She often throws her arms around Rene and uses her sexy cry of 'Ooooh Rrrenn-ayyy! The part gained her worldwide recognition as the series became a smash hit and was broadcast in many countries besides Great Britain.
Vicki Michelle & Gorden Kaye in 'Allo 'Allo
Vicki Michelle & Richard Marner in 'Allo 'Allo
The show's stage version ran from 1986 until 1992, and took her on international tours to New Zealand and Australia, playing to packed theatres. It also had two seasons at three West End theatres. In 2008, a new production opened in Stevenage, before going on a national tour in 2009. Vicki reprised her role as Yvette Carte-Blanche, with Rene played by Jeffre
Vicki & Jeffrey Holland in the 2008
stage version of 'Allo 'Allo
Vicki's film career has mainly consisted of minor roles in unsuccessful films. She did, however, star with her sister Ann in her first film Virgin Witch (1972), a horror movie whi
Vicki as Betty in
which ran into difficulty with the film censors because of its content and its full-frontal nudity. Both sisters have since disowned the film, with Vicki's website not even making reference to it!
Ann Michelle (left) & Vicki Michelle in Virgin Witch
Other film credits include Alfie Darling (1975) with Michael Caine, George and Mildred (1980) and Sweet William (1980).
Vicki's theatre career has been most extensive since her first role opposite Dudley Moore in Play It Again Sam at the Globe Theatre, London, in 1969. Many of her roles have been in comedies like Jacqueline, in
Robert Duncan & Vicki Michelle in
Don't Dress for Dinner
Vicki & Ken Morley in Business Affairs
in Don't Dress for Dinner which toured the UK in 1992, '93, '94 and 2002. She has appeared in two Alan Ayckbourn plays
Round and Round the Garden and Table Manners in 2000 and, in the same year, Business Affairs in which she played Yorkshire lass Hilda Bigley.
In the drama The Tart and the Vicar's Wife at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln in 2002, Vicki starred as Glenda Parry. This is a 'split role' of both tart and vicar's wife, with Vicki required to dance, sing and complete seven make-up and costume changes during the performance.
Mark Elstob & Vicki Michelle in
The Tart and the Vicar's Wife
Vicki Michelle in Annie
Vicki Michelle in Salad Days
Vicki is a regular pantomime performer playing both 'nasty' characters like the wicked Red Queen in Snow White (various theatres in 1999 & 2000), and the wicked stepmother in Cinde
Vicki Michelle in Aladdin
stepmother in Cinderella (Llandudno 2004), along with 'nice' characters like the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty (Stockport 2006). Vicki has been in a pantomime every year since 1991.
Vicki as the fairy in Mother Goose
Vicki Michelle & Patrick Mower in
Jack and the Beanstalk
In 1998, Vicki played in her first musical production, as the evil Bathsheba in Beauty and the Beast. The result was a highly successful summer season in Ilfracombe. Her next musi
musical was Annie, in which she played the incorrigible Mi
Miss Hannigan,gaining rave reviews for her performance at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln. In Salad Days, which went on a national tour in 2005 & 2006, Vicki played the contrasting dual roles of upper-class Lady Raeburn, and the sultry, seductive dancer Asphynxia. Most recently she starred as Mona Stangley in The Best Whorehouse in Texas at the New Theatre, Hull in 2009.
Vicki Michelle & Chris Nelson in Annie
TV guest appearances over the years have included Noel's House Party (1995); The Weakest Link (2002); Celebrity Masterchef (2008) and Loose Women (2009).
a little known English actress, Vicki Michelle, who was about to become world famous as a saucy French waitress in the TV comedy series ’Allo, ’Allo.
As Sally O'Brien in the Harp lager advert
Vicki faces the judges in Celebrity Masterchef
This work was recognised in the Queen's 2010 Birthday Honours w
Vicki has been married to film-maker Graham Fowler for more than 35 years. They have one daughter, Louise, who unsurprisingly is following her mother into the acting profession.
Vicki Michelle and daughter Louise in Resentment
when Vicki was awarded the MBE for her services to charity.
Syndrome and their carers.
Vicki has signed my 'Allo 'Allo War Diaries book
Vicki is closely involved with a number of charities including Haven Housess
House Hospice in Woodford, The Dream Factory and Hopes and Dreams (two charities granting wishes to terminally ill children) and several theatrical charities. It was to the Dream Factory charity that Vicki donated the £766 raised at the auction of her donated items in the BBC's Cash in the Celebrity Attic (2009). In 2007 she worked on a strategy DVD to help teenagers with Asperger Sy