HOLLYWOOD MEDLEY - BASIL'S CHRISTMAS CRUISE
Original Broadcast Date: 27/12/1980
Troupe: Legs & Co
Dancers: Gill, Lulu, Patti, Pauline, Rosemary & Sue
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYYfVj9L3vU ____________________________________________________________________________________
Earlier this year, Radio One celebrated their 50th birthday by setting up a pop up station called’ Radio One Vintage’. For 3 days they celebrated many of the presenters from their history, although they air brushed out one of their longest serving DJ’s, found guilty of the sort of behaviour you would normally expect to see at Westminster.
We are fast approaching another significant milestone, as next year marks 50 years since the first Basil Brush show. Basil had actually been around for a few years beforehand, appearing as a guest on other programmes, and his popularity meant that it was only a matter of time before he was given his own show. Basil’s first sidekick was Mr Rodney (Bewes) who sadly died last week.
It wasn’t known at the time but this would be the last Basil Brush show for 22 years, due to a contract dispute. The jovial fox knew his time was up when he arrived for contract negotiations, to be greeted not with a hello but a tally ho. HA HA HA BOOM BOOM!
I have to admit that Basil was a big childhood favourite of mine, especially the shows with Mr Derek (Fowlds) and I think this was probably the first Legs & Co dance that I ever saw, although I didn't know anything about them at the time.
Appearing with them are Basil’s final sidekick, Mr Billy (Boyle), and Dilys Watling.
The girls' hair styles are looking a bit different. Lulu looks like she has turned the clock back a few years. I like Sue's blonde look and Patti seems to have a different shade as well.
I’m a bit unsure about this one. It starts off okay and I think the aerial shots work quite well, although maybe they were overdone a little bit, however once Billy and Dilys get going it just becomes more of a support dance. The music isn’t really to my taste either. The costumes are appropriate for the cruise setting and we do get some good close ups.
I wasn’t planning on scoring this very high, but after a few viewings it is starting to grow on me, and since it is Basil I will stretch to 7 out of 10. At least it provided some consolation for only seeing Legs & Co once on the TOTP Christmas show that year.
I always found Basil Brush a bit on the annoying side, but there were a lot of puppet acts around then so that was par for the course. This is a decent bit of light entertainment for the kids in a Busby Berkeley homage style. The overhead symmetry bits are probably the highlight (or that Basils singing?) and they nail those (round of applause) but the rest is a bit a light, hardly a taxing outing this one but fun all the same. 6/10
A cruise probably journeyed on at the time but forgotten about, I'm impressed by the imagination given to a children's/family entertainment show for a Christmas Special. This song and dance sequence seems geared towards the more senior members of the viewing public, providing them with a nostalgic trip back to the "Golden age". Kudos to the Beeb for achieving those aerial shots of Legs & Co. going into star formation - in those sailor costumes the ladies really do look swell. With wigs on their bonces, one wonders how unrecognisable the dancers may have been to the watching millions filled to the gills with anything turkey-based.
Aside from the routine - one which precluded their presence on the pre-Christmas TOTP (don't ask Simon Bates to explain) - it's a shame Legs & Co. didn't partake in an exchange of gags with that foxy thing with a cloak across his shoulders : "I say, I say, I say Miss Pauline. What has 12 legs and is always good company?"
Just on Basil, i was never really a fan of his as a youngster. I just found him plain annoying with the Ha Ha Ha Boom Boom stuff he did. I remember him with Derek Foulds and Roy North, but apart from this clip, i wouldn't have a clue who this man and woman were.
As for the clip, well Legs & Co fans should rejoice in the fact that Legs got the gig on the odd other show. Their predecessors some 7 to 10 years before were well employed on other BBC shows so its great to see our girls away from the confines of TOTPs.
OGW you talk about hair-dos in your intro. I think we are in the realms of are they all wearing syrups or just a few of them. For my money they are all in wigs that are attached to the hat. Of course in the old days Sue would come on here and put me straight on matters like this. Consider this then a bit of a shout out to her.
I enjoy all the close-up faces, particularly enjoying Lulu's lovely smile to the fella and Pauline's wacky face next to Bassa. Anyone notice Pauline and Sue hit the star shapes with their arms during the overhead shots.
As for a rating. Well its an entertaining 3 minutes and my rating is `8.75 out of 10`.
Yup I'd go along with the irritating fox crowd and this music does nothing for me at all but I do like the costumes and the opportunity for Legs to enter another era. I think this one deserves a place in the moderately entertaining file and will score it 6.5/10 I don't think any one dancer really shines but if pushed for DotD (which I won't be I guess!) I'd choose Pauline. I always thought Dilys Watling was quite hot in those days and dare I say that I now think it was perhaps because she had a slight resemblance to one of our dancers
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Yes its the Busby B overhead homage moments which are the best moments together with those cutesy outfits. As for the pair of BB's and DW the least said the better! Not a fav I'm afraid so its only a 4.5.
Thanks for the replies so far. Yes I noticed the star shapes got knocked by Pauline and Sue but wasn't sure if that was deliberate or accidental.
As for the wigs, well Sue was clearly wearing one and also Gill and Rosie but I wasn't so sure about the other three, although I don't suppose it would have made sense for only half of them to be wearing them.
Well, here's another one I had absolutely no idea about. Always a treat to see a new (for me) Legs routine. Especially a day after seeing Downtown Julie Brown doing a backing dance to, er, Mike Read on Crackerjack (CRACKERJACK!). So there is still stuff out there to re-discover. That's heartening.
And so we get a Legs Hollywood number, complete with Busby Berkley style geometric shapes courtesy of an overhead camera. I liked this a lot, even though Mr Brush insisted in pushing his vulpine snout into it halfway through. He's far too loud for me, give me Sooty and Sweep any day. Yes, it's all a bit cliched, but that was the point. The outfits were cute, the wigs were not that flattering, but that was the style back then so authenticity wins over. Some nice facial expressions too, especially Pauline.
The Joan Collins look-a-like was Dilys Watling I see. There again, I thought the man was Roy Castle. wrong again.
Overall a pleasant way to spend three minutes. If these were some anonymous dancers I'd probably go with about a 6/10 but as its Sue and the girls the marks are automatically raised to 8/10
When you ever here about anything Basil Brush. It would take me back to the Autumn season on television in the seventies. Watching him, before the start of the great program that followed it on the Saturday night. It is interesting who produced Basil Brush. And that one of our favourite man and friend to our ladies Robin Nash.
Just think what they could do if they had the effects we have today. You could have multi of the ladies in vision. To make more like the Hollywood scene of Busby Berkeley routines. Still a good routine to that type of song. Amazing our Sue looks so in that Blond wig and Patti in a red wig.
Like an old friend whom one grows to accept the foibles in, even though Basil regularly irritated I quite liked him, though not keenly enough to have gone out sabbing the BBC for his sake at this the point of his original finale. Still, I don't approve of the poor old chap finding himself a Trojan horse for just another seasonal variety show. Generally boring, through the dusty telescope of time it seems that dressing up in a nautical fashion wasn't untypical of the genre for some unfathomable reason - but a fetching sight in port are HMS Legs!
I'll hazard a guess our favourite crew had wandered down the circular corridor in search of a boom boom for their mast. Boom Boom. Sadly it's not a deviation I'd have chosen, it suffers in stylistic comparison with the medleys that were sailing their way fruitfully for the coming year. It's not my era, I've never said hooray for Hollywood musical spectaculars, and the rudimentary Berkleyesques do little for me. And I'm another of the thinking that the required hairstyles, together with the titfers, do not bring out the girls' true beauty.
Hooray for personality! - The best thing about it is the close-up faces, the pick of which is Pauline goofing it up in lieu of Mr Wotsisname. In fact ditto Ryan, I didn't remember this latterly 'Mr' of Basil's at all and like ER initially thought it was the multi-talented Mr Castle. Similarly Dilys Watling, neither name nor face rang a bell.
Business as usual is preferred, but valued as scarce extracurricular activity and not without its charm with the nostalgia-inducing Mr Brush and as something different for all the family at Christmas. 7/10
I find that I definitely missed this cruise as I was on another form of transport returning home from a highly satisfying encounter at The Hawthorns with Man Utd. Used to beat them for fun in those days. Perhaps I wasn't the only one who for a sporting reason didn't catch it. It sailed at 17:05.
Well we have now reached 10 ratings so the routine has been entered on to the remodelled scoreboard, however I would still like more reviews please.
So far, Mikey has made the most controversial comment by insinuating that Basil was a puppet. Actually he was a real fox - as opposed to Ruel Fox who played football for Norwich City. HA HA HA BOOM BOOM!!
Taken a while to respond to this query ...apologies for that !
After having been asked to confirm or not the hair styles ....
We were ALL wearing wigs .... Flick had decided to go for the Busby Berkeley theme for this routine, so clothes and hair were all very 1920/1930’s look .....
(Thank goodness the make up Department didn’t put Patti and Pauline in blonde wigs ..... not their colour ! 😂😂)