Prior to Sue's replies, reading through Ryan's Mayday query, I would have supposed the presence or absence of Legs & Co. from the evening recordings would have been down to the Producer with his decision based purely upon how he envisaged the show being made at any one time.
Although he was responsible for their eventual TOTP disappearance, Michael Hurll seemed keen to have the troupe present for the evening recordings , seeing the audience reaction as being the initial steps towards his 'party atmosphere' route.
Routines which took place on sets for which the designers had obviously gone to town to design and construct (Bad Girls, Lay All Your Love On Me, After The Love Has Gone, Rumour Has It) were pathways to Legs & Co. being given a clear run to perform in the absence of anyone other than required production crew members.
Similar to the manner in which Robin Nash would suggest it was time for a 'gymslip' number (I can only recall two such occasions) , I reckon the good-standing relationship between Choreographer and Executive Producer meant the time of day Legs & Co. recorded their numbers was largely on a whim but also with materialistic factors such as set expenditure and technical facets such as dance concentration desires in mind.
This is all really interesting and it hadn't occurred to me until Ryan's excellent opening post. I shall be staring more intently on the links and audience from now on. Do we know rough audience numbers in the studio and did that change over the years? I have always thought it must have been very disconcerting appearing, and especially dancing, in front of a less than enthusiastic audience. I didn't much like the 80s party theme either.
Really enjoyed reading this and to be fair I always questioned if they were in the audience when I was a Pans People fan as on some dances you could never see the audience and I used to look at the way the presenters looked up and I was thinking it was a screen. I always wanted to apply for tickets to the show with the emphasis on meeting Pans People but stopped when I realised that some were not live (in my then opinion). We discussed it at school and thought it was a security issue.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.