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'It's 30 years since I was Sally O'Brien but Irish men still try to chat me up'

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Vicki Michelle went on to bigger things but will always be fondly remembered for her Sally O’Brien days

Vicki Michelle went on to bigger things but will always be fondly remembered for her Sally O’Brien days

Vicki Michelle went on to bigger things but will always be fondly remembered for her Sally O’Brien days

In the 1980s she captured the hearts of Irishmen everywhere as Sally O'Brien in an iconic ad for Harp.

And today 62-year-old actress Vicki Michelle says her provocative stare still sends men wild.

"It's very strange," Vicki told the Herald. "Most people recognise me as Yvette from 'Allo 'Allo!

"But Irish men will always ask about Sally and 'the way she might look at you'. It's funny but very flattering."

Vicki recalls being completely taken back by the impact the ad had.

"I flew over and did the ad. Then two years later I got a call from my agent asking if I had any Irish blood.

"Apparently Charles Haughey had been giving out that Sally O'Brien wasn't Irish.

"But my granny was from Cork so luckily I do have a genuine Irish connection."

With her Irish credentials sorted, Vicki embarked on a tour of Ireland's best boozers at the height of her Harp fame. "I did a tour of the pubs. I had no idea that the ad had taken off and was shocked. Men were cheering 'Sally! Sally!' it was incredible.

"I remember thinking at the time 'even if I never become famous at least I have experienced fame in Ireland'."

Asked to describe Sally O'Brien's sultry stare, Vicki says it's all about understated sexiness.

"Sally is sexy but in a very Irish way. She looks at you in a way that's a bit of a come-on, but not too strong.

 

Marry

"She's sweet and shy as well as sexy. I think she's the type of girl men would like to marry."

Vicki went on to star as Yvette Carte Blanche in classic British series 'Allo 'Allo!

"I loved playing her," Vicki says. "I was so proud to be part of 'Allo 'Allo! It was a real laugh-out-loud comedy. There aren't that many of them around these days."

Since then Vicki has starred in a number of different TV shows including Emmerdale and Noel's House Party.

Most recently she produced Run For Your Wife, a comedy starring Danny Dyer, Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding and Christopher Biggins.

"It was brilliant filming with Danny and Sarah Harding," Vicky says. "Danny is the ultimate hard man so it's nice to see him doing comedy. And Sarah is one of the nicest people I have ever met."

The film was met with harsh reviews but Vicki says it's a flick for all the family.

"I think people jumped on the bandwagon and wanted to slate it."

"Critics are like that, but if you ask any one who has seen it they'll tell you it is very funny. There's no swearing and Christopher Biggins is in it – and everybody loves him."

hnews@herald.ie


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