I'VE GOT BEGINNERS LUCK - THE JACK JONES SHOW ____________________________________________________________________________________
Original Broadcast Date: 10/02/1974 ____________________________________________________________________________________
Troupe: Pans People ____________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise & Ruth ____________________________________________________________________________________
Link: http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=194 ____________________________________________________________________________________
It’s February 10th 1974 and life in Britain is a bit grim. The miners are on strike and the 3 day week is in force. BBC and ITV are forced to close down early and the pubs are closed. Inflation is 17%, the IRA are active on the mainland, and England have failed to even qualify for the forthcoming World Cup, (though that did at least bring some joy to Scotland and Wales). PM Ted Heath has just called a general election, so what broadcasting time there is will mostly be made up of political debates hosted by Robin Day. It was left to Pans People to lighten the gloom, not just in their regular TOTP slot, but also on Sunday Nights on the Jack Jones show…
In this performance, 'Pans' collaborate with Ireland’s first Eurovision winner, Dana, to do a version of a song that was first performed by Fred Astaire way back in 1937. They look a little different here with their hair styled into curls. The choreography has a real thirties feel to it and is well done. This is a very different performance to what they would do normally on TOTP as dictated by the song, but I think it has a certain charm to it, and we get to see some good close ups of the girls, and even the bunny was quite cute. I like the fishing segment in particular, and the umbrella’s creating a four leaf clover effect works quite well. I am marking this not just on the dancing but also from an entertainment point of view, and I am going high with 9.5 out of 10.
This was a restricted video for quite a while so a big thanks to the donor who supplied it to the blog.
By the way if you want to see Fred’s version from the film ’Shall We Dance’ you can do so here. Wisely he made sure his dogs couldn’t run away. Take note Pans People!
Two minutes of fun there! Pans look so different in this, well maybe it's the hair! Yes it certainly is great that this one is now public, but one thing I must add to anyone feeling generous WE NEED MORE PANS PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN! Rating: 7.5/10
I'm sorry, but even though I like Dana, I'm not very fond of this performance. In my opinion, the girls look downright ridiculous in their costumes. The green ribbons on their heads are an absolute 'no-no". The song doesn't help much either.
Yes i can see why the Pans purists amoungst us may not be so onboard on this one. As Legsfan rightly points out, its `2 minutes` of fun and i for one quite enjoy it. By far my favourite bit is Dee Dee's look of amazement as the lovely Dana sinks her golf putt.
This one is certainly cute but is a little too "Music Hall" for me. There are some nice moments like the Cherry Boot fishing and it does well to stay on track as a 30s/40s performance but I keep hoping that one of the Pans ladies unexpectedly comes out ahead of the darn lucky Dana. And I agree with Vin that the bows are not great adornment. I think 6.5/10 is fair under the circumstances and Cherry would have been my parallel universe DotD
BTW I think if Dana had played cards like that with Persuaders-version Flick or Andi she would have got taken out
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Is it music hall or is it early Broadway that is being evoked? Not sure for even I'm not old enough to remember either but this little number works a treat. For me the outfits fit the style nicely, all the little vignettes hit the spot (my favourite being the fishing expedition), so I'm giving this an 8.
Born far too late for nostalgia for the gramophone and wireless but softened up by sporadically staying tuned to BBC Four for The Good Old Days and hot pants that would scandalize the music hall I find this quite an enjoyable little alternative, including the curls...as a one-off, mind! Light and fancy-free, from the point of pre-Bucks Fizzing Dana it develops into board-treading cute set pieces and sporting behaviour in emerald green watching her naturally enjoying the luck of the Irish. That girl's such a blessed little charmer she should run for President...wait sure and begorra on second thoughts that would be pushing it a bit far!
Activity on this thread has been so slow lately that cobwebs have started to form!
It doesn't get much better, I'm only getting a handful responses now on my thread. More, More, More and Silver Star only managed 5 and 6 replys, the two worst so far. They're much better dances than that.
I tend to get drawn to the TOTP routines, so don't often look at these away from the show routines. That said if BBC 4 wanted to repeat these shows or the John Denver ones, I'd be tuning in or at least recording them to see Pan's in action without the online fuzzy vision.
The routine has a 1920s feel to it and it's all very light hearted. Not bad at all 8/10.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society
Nice little number this and the clarity of the picture is excellent. Some nice facial expressions from the Pans girls, I especially like marker Louise at the archery target and Dee Dee on the putting green. Not a big fan of perms (except Lulu's circa 1978) and I've never forgiven Dana for beating Mary Hopkin in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest. Does anyone remember that, The Eurovision SONG Contest!? It was on every year. All rather cute, so I'll give this 8/10
Right from the off, this routine puts a smile on my face on account of the time-period setting - the sound of a sparky and alert 20's/30's orchestra with the Art Deco design overhead, under which Pan's enter the fray with casual "Hi there!" waves.
Although her tonsils are fine, I was initially disappointed when Dana broke up what I thought would be a pure instrumental but, as with Cherry, the singing passages are short and sweet.
Babs aside, the identical shocking hairstyles are initially disconcerting in the identity parade stakes, the costumes are just about acceptable (they've worn worse) and the PP ladies add an extra dimension to their stock dancing trade by showing their comical sides. Any idea as to the dud hooked by Ruthie? A tin can, perhaps?
Overall, it's a routine/performance which entertains and amuses although the crop of four-leaf clovers was a case of Dana pushing her Irish luck a bit too far!
Now here's something a little bit different, and i do really like it, a nice little part dance/part comedy hybrid. The opening minute (the dancing bit) whilst not exactly a taxing dance display is certainly upping the level of 'cuteness' i've seen before with some nice dainty choreography around Dana. Although not a long piece Dana gets off lightly on the singing part, barely 30 seconds it seems. The remaining mini sketches then use Pans playing the comedy foil against Dana who apparently has amazing beginners luck, although i'd argue hitting that massive golden bullseye with an arrow would be a piece of cake. Of course its all a bit of OTT fun particularly the overemphasis of Dana being Irish with copious amounts of green and those shamrock/clover umbrellas (nice touch though). Originally i was not keen on those perms, but I've grown to like them a bit more and i think they suit the tone of the piece.
A well thought out routine, very enjoyable, 8.5/10
I find the comedy element displayed here generally more acceptable away from the confines of Top of The Pops for some reason, within the environment of a variety type show. No doubt this kind of format allowed Flick to do a little more than would generally be the case with an enforced chart pop hit, creating here a very old style feel to go with the era of the song. This performance is certainly in stark contrast to Life is What You Make It and aspects of Girl Talk from the same series. I wonder how much of the tweeness of this routine was influenced by Dana's presence? Someone who showed early promise with some nice singles... I Will Follow You, Who Put The Lights Out... but around this time had entered that kind of middle of the road nothingness. Having said that, the other Pan's People installment in this episode was the Music Box so it has a very Sunday tea time feeling all round.
It does what it sets out to fulfil and is pleasant enough - Ruth and Cherry's look of dismay at Dana's big catch is pretty priceless. 7/10