Just rewatching some of this episode on YouTube - and undoubtedly an episode we all have grounds to dislike, certainly not for the music but for the blatant disregard for Legs and Co on this episode. The total number of close-ups we get of the girls: none.
Firstly is the indignity of yet another backing dance behind yet another medley hit - This Year's Blonde and their "Blondie-on-45" mush. Given the much-loved and exciting routines Flick and the girls executed to Deborah Harry and the guys down the years, this is a crushing disappointment to see five of the six stuck in grey dresses and unflattering blonde wigs.
You wouldn't even realise Legs and Co were there unless you looked out for them - there's only one single camera shot where the entire line-up are together, and even then, the overpowering searchlights blind them from view and the antics of the audience merely add more distance.
As mentioned before, our troupe can be spotted during the end credits - but only in a shot filmed from behind. Again, the audience is positioned behind and in front them, making the girls lost in a melée...
Only discernible here are Sue closest to camera, either Anita or Patti to her right - and that's it. There are brief flashes of long, straight blonde hair on the dancer beside Anita - but whether it's Gill or Rosie, we are given no more clues.
Hardly worth getting a credit for their work at the end of the day - but there it is. Ironically, the announcer mentions that coming up next on UK Gold is "Desperately Seeking Susan". And Patricia. And Louise. And Gillian. And Rosemary. And Anita.
(I have tried to get the best quality captures I could from the YouTube video - but I doubt even on the master tape the handful of shots our girls appear in would be any better)
What makes the despair at the minimal focus on Legs and Co on this episode is that this programme has just *two* studio performances that week - the rest are promo videos and repeats:
This Year's Blonde "Platinum Pop" (47)
The Human League "Open Your Heart" (6) (video)
Barry Manilow "Let's Hang On" (16) (video)
The Four Tops "When She Was My Girl" (29) (video)
Elvis Costello and The Attractions "A Good Year For The Roses" (9) (video)
Gillan "Nightmare" (37) (video)
The Police "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" (27) (video)
The Jam "Absolute Beginners" (7)
Shakin' Stevens "It's Rainin" (10) (rpt from 08/10/81)
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin "It's My Party" (1) (rpt from 24/09/81)
Rod Stewart "Tonight I'm Yours (Don't Hurt Me)" (28) (audience dancing/credits)
Any of the above could have so easily be made into a dance routine which would be warmly appreciated by home viewer and studio spectator alike.
I feel almost angry at the menial relegation of the resident troupe - it gives me an impression that Michael Hurll and the production team had such scant respect and consideration for eight women who devoted over five years of their lives to making Top of the Pops happen almost every week, it makes the more visible appearances in three tracks the following week almost reduced to mere tokens, and I wouldn't blame Flick and the dancers for feeling short-changed throughout October 1981.
What are your views on this episode? And does anyone know who the line-up on this episode was?
Well,at this time everyone was coming out with their own videos,so was no need for dancers except in this role.Just as well Legs & Co bowed out in 1981.They had 4/5 years at the very top,and are still loved today.Which is more than could be said of many acts they danced for.They should be proud of what they achieved,and i'm sure they are.It might be sad about the way it ended,but we have so much to celebrate about Legs & Co.
Legs should have bowed out on this show and Hurll should have given Flick one last opportunity to produce a dance like the good old days. The final dance should have been the aptly titled `Everything She Does Is Magic`.
Yes Col this episode should have been presented by Dave Lee Travesty. Somehow "This Year's Blonde" represents the absolute worst example of the way the Dancers were treated to me and an utter waste of their talents. What a contrast to the great idea Sue expressed about letting them go out on a high with a special routine. Bad TV
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Thanks Col for furnishing the link and also thanks to bucksby for previously sending it in. I might have been tempted to add, naughty YMG, for not putting it up but having now seen it I think he can be excused. To have treated the girls in such a cavalier fashion that week, after all the great work they had done for the show, was a very poor do indeed. Ok, their official last routine had been the previous week, but nonetheless this strikes me as rank discourtesy.
Now usually, as I'm sure you'd all agree, I'm an easy going sort of a chap. I can take a few roughs with a smooth as old Anatole would say, but this takes the biscuit.
However, after a few uppercuts for Messrs Hurll and Appel lets end on an upbeat note. This sort of thing must have been money for old rope for the girls so at least they were not producing a tip top routine only for it to be overlooked (or am I wrong Sue) and from the behaviour of the audience behind JS, several of whom appear the worse for drink it looks like they were soon well out of it. Now where did Mrs SF put those boxing gloves.
i wonder when any of the totp dancers did an extra performance eg backing dance, as well as their own spot routine ,if they were given any extra pay in their wage that week ,or it was just expected of them to do this every now and again for the same pay