A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

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A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

RYAN
Administrator
Just a bit of a shout out to resident TOTPs dancers who for no fault of their own have their TOTPs careers cut short at a ludicrously young age. I was prompted to write this thread when looking at our daily header for today which features Lulu, dancing with Jeremy just a month before her TOTPs tenure was needlessly cut short at just 21 years of age. From a nervy start, to confidence gained in but a short month, this most delightful girl was just coming into full bloom after spending 5½ years perfecting her craft.

The same sympathy can be aimed at Rosie too, also 21, but im sure she may have been looking for a singing career a way from the show. Gill, 22, on the other hand im pretty darn certain may have stuck with Legs & Co for the duration, but a certain Mr Hurll who was looking for a new direction probably made Gill's mind up that dancing when you are not on the box isn't a great career move.

Of course the ages of 21 and 22 are nothing when you consider Mary some 5 years earlier. The axe fell on her not from the men in suits, but from Flick herself who felt she (Mary) didn't have that certain look going into the summer of 76. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but i consider this to be a rare error from the choreographer extraordinaire. With Cherry not totally onboard with Ruby Flipper (by her own admission) the quite gorgeous Mary must be considered a sad loss at the ridiculously young age of just 17 years, 11 months & 25 days. Yes the girl wasn't even 18 !!

The cases above are quite depressing aren't they. Lets go to the other scale and look at dancers (dont get me wrong, who were superb), yet stretched their TOTPs careers out almost a decade later. Babs, Dee Dee, Ruth were nudging 30 and dear Patti had exceeded that age when they had their TOTPs curtain call.

Its quite remarkable to think that some dancers that we love and cherish, began their TOTPs careers at the same age as some were later ending theirs. Anyhow, i salute the young guns, Lulu, Rosie, Gill, (Cherry, though it was her choice), and most poignantly of all young Mary. Those Zoo performances in no way make up for a television career lost. Lets just imagine she got the Flipper gig, she would have gone on to have half a decade as a regular weekly dancer. But at the expense of who i wonder ?

So what do you reckon. What a strange profession when the very pinnacle of your career ends so young and they have their best years ahead of them.
RYAN
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Everything'sRosie
Agreed. Why did it have to be such a clean break anyway? Dancers hopped from one troupe to another all the time, just look at Sue. Why couldn't Lulu and Gill (Rosie was done with dancing it seemed) have been members of the eclectic ZOO, like Anita was? For me especially it would have softened the transition. But I especially lament the oh so premature career-ending of Mary. With more exposure I have little doubt she would have become one of the most beloved dancers of all. She should have been in both Ruby and Legs and it's a terrible shame she was not! Perhaps in a parallel universe
Queens of My Soul
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

PattiForPM
I know the three "youngsters" were prematurely retired from Legs on TOTP but somehow I don't see their plight separately as they were part of my general anger about losing my favourite Troupe.  The Mary loss, on the other hand, seems inexplicable and individual.  When you watch those latter day Pans performances she seems such an integral part and even seems to be gaining ground in terms of prominence just as Cherry then Sue had done before her.  I can absolutely imagine her in RF but I do have more trouble with Legs as I can't see them as a sevensome and I just can't fathom Legs without any of our existing six
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Doc
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Doc
I suspect that Lulu was the beneficiary of Mary's departure as Patti's experience would surely have won out in a head to head for one place. In the end Mary's dancing career probably ended up being longer than several of Legs and Co's.
I wonder what would have happened if Cherry's acting career had taken off a few months earlier and she had left at the end of Pan's?
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

RYAN
Administrator
Doc wrote
I wonder what would have happened if Cherry's acting career had taken off a few months earlier and she had left at the end of Pan's?
Then surely Mary would have got the nod. It made sense to take two dancers forward from Pans.

RYAN
Doc
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Doc
I'm not so certain!
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Old Grey Whistler
In reply to this post by RYAN
The original Pans People dancers plus Cherry and Pauline were all fortunate to be able to have control over when they left. I also think that Rosie probably would have joined Guys & Dolls even if Legs & Co had continued, so she didn't suffer too much.
It is notable that both Lulu and Gill gave up dancing at quite a young age. In both cases I think they retired after they got married.
Regarding Mary, well I don't think that Flick wanted Ruby Flipper to be just Pans People with blokes but wanted a separate identity for them. This meant that no more than a couple of the troupe would transfer, Cherry and Sue being the obvious choices. Had Mary joined Cherry and Sue then it would more than likely have meant no Lulu in RF. Had Mary joined instead of Cherry then she would have probably joined Legs and Co at the expense of Gill who was the last to be recruited. Personally I think Flick got it right  and things worked out well in the end.
One thing I find interesting though is that there is a lot of sympathy for Mary but not for Lee who was in the same position. I know Lee had left before Pans had finished but probably only because she knew there wouldn't be a place for her in the new troupe. Also don't forger Phil whose TV career was cut short after just a few months. Floid at least went on to appear in Hot Gossip.
I suppose the moral of the story is that if you want a stable job, don't go into show business.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

PattiForPM
Good on you giving the excellent Phil a mention OGW.  Lee's situation may well have been different though and from what I vaguely recall she might have chosen to leave knowing that RF were on the way but not necessarily because she wasn't on the shortlist.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
I certainly think taking three members of Pans to the new outfit Ruby Flipper was a little excessive, so two was the right number. My long held belief was that Cherry wasn't really onboard with the experiment indeed its no secret she was looking to move away from TOTPs when the time was right during 1976. That just happened to be September, it could easily have been any of the previous months. My beef therefore is that Mary would have been a better long term bet. Though on the flipside no one can deny Cherry was the superior dancer and very popular.

RYAN
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Suefan
In reply to this post by RYAN
While not disagreeing with the premise of the OP I rather approach this from a somewhat different standpoint: - What a very very young age to start.  And of course, from that, one might rightly surmise that I consider sixteen, or indeed seventeen, as too young an age to start.
Suefan
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Rosie'sNumberOneFan
I think Suefan makes a very good point. I was shocked when I discovered this website and found out how old Lulu and Rosie were when they started - I loved watching them and revelled in their beauty and their movements right from the start of their tenure but I felt a tad uneasy to realise that as a man in his early forties I had been enjoying watching women that young, and on the whole I am glad that it wouldn't, or couldn't  happen nowadays.

I am also pleased that given the number of sharks and piranhas around at the time all the dancers emerged unscathed.
When Rosie flares her nostrils

I go weak!
Doc
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Doc
I think Rosie and Gill looked a couple of years older when they started, Lulu on the other hand did look very young. As I was only 11 when they started, they just looked like adult women all a lot older than me.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

AC/PD
In reply to this post by Rosie'sNumberOneFan
Having been on TOTP for half-a-decade, Michael Hurll's increasing marginalisation of Legs & Co. might well have been behind the decision of the ladies who had been there since '76 not to make the transition into Zoo - a decision made easier to arrive at through their togetherness in a one-for-all manner.  Had they not been sidelined and with Robin Nash (or not Michael Hurll) still at the helm, the greater freedom of opportunity might have allowed various of them to make the crossover with the blessing of others, without any feelings of discontent in the air.
At least, the youngest of them all - Lulu - was able to continue with the troupe for another couple of years in the freer guise of dance work with Sue, Patti and the newcomers without having to check into Wood Lane each week.
In the case of Anita (and what a case!), although a perfect fit for them, her affiliation with L&C was understandably less than that felt by the others and thus would not have caused much in the way of consternation by auditioning and continuing with Zoo. That said, I gather she performed with both troupes for a while - in W12 with one and out on the road with the other.
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

AC/PD
In reply to this post by Doc
Doc wrote
I think Rosie and Gill looked a couple of years older when they started, Lulu on the other hand did look very young. As I was only 11 when they started, they just looked like adult women all a lot older than me.
 
Agreed.
Gill's regular hairstyle contributed to giving her a more womanly appearance (blonde bombshell/Miss Beauty Contest style).
Tying it back gave her a much more youthful appearance.
Although the 'least young' of the troupe, Patti never really looked as if she had that many more rings around her trunk than the others.
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Doc
Doc wrote
I think Rosie and Gill looked a couple of years older when they started, Lulu on the other hand did look very young. As I was only 11 when they started, they just looked like adult women all a lot older than me.
Yes when i first got into this OFTDs malarkey many moons ago i remember asking my two sons to guess the age of Legs & Co on debut. They both said that Lulu looked the youngest and guessed her to be around 18 and the rest in their 20s. They were quite amazed when i revealed that one of them was 17 and two just 16.
RYAN
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

CoffeeThing
It is a real eye opener seeing the ages laid out in black and white. Like Doc, I saw them as old ladies given that, in my case, I was just turned ten. Strange really, when I was fifteen, I had a moment on a dance floor with a twenty-two year old, yet I continued to view the year younger Rosie and Lulu as older women. I suspect my awareness of the dancers'  ages and context was somewhat off.

No matter what, sixteen is indeed incredibly young to start dancing in that environment and I wonder if it would be sanctioned in the context by the politically terrified Beeb these days, and finishing at twenty-one was certainly as waste of immense talent, denying viewing pleasure to many.

My enduring memory io the girls is in an upbeat carefree 1970s environment bringing great joy to the sound of some fantastic music.
This week, I are be mostly watching Christmas movies
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

Rosie'sNumberOneFan
In reply to this post by AC/PD
AC/PD wrote
Doc wrote
I think Rosie and Gill looked a couple of years older when they started, Lulu on the other hand did look very young. As I was only 11 when they started, they just looked like adult women all a lot older than me.
 
Agreed.
Gill's regular hairstyle contributed to giving her a more womanly appearance (blonde bombshell/Miss Beauty Contest style).
Tying it back gave her a much more youthful appearance.
Although the 'least young' of the troupe, Patti never really looked as if she had that many more rings around her trunk than the others.
Agreed Agreed. I always think Gill looks like a beautiful woman whereas Lulu and Rosie look like beautiful girls.
When Rosie flares her nostrils

I go weak!
JEZ
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Re: A ludicrously young age to finish on for young Lulu.

JEZ
As doc said when I first watched totp the dancing ladies all looked like grown ups to me ,even though Lulu would have only been 5 years older than me at the time she has always been viewed by me as being an adult older than me.on the subject of the ladies ages and being so young when they finished then suefan has a very valid point ,yes pans people were a lot older when they ended their totp career but they were all roughly around 24 before they made it as household names on the show ,pans only really were became better known on totp when there performances became regular in 1970,so regular TV dance wise I'd say most of the girls had pretty much the same TV exposure years wise just as different ages .also to be fair the pans people and legs and co were very very lucky career wise ,there have always been hundreds of dancers out there and I'm sure that lots of them would have given their right hand to have had the opportunity of knowing that they were getting a regular income each week of the year without the uncertainty of not knowing when the next audition for another short TV series may come along or the next stage show ,it must have been very hard going not knowing when your next in work for those dancers.i would imagine a TV dancers job was a very uncertain one all around
JEZ