After perusing through all the questions that you have kindly sent in, I will endeavour to reply to them all as best I can. I must admit that I was surprised that there would be so many.... but thank you anyway. Finding the best way to do this I think, is to do it in sizeable chunks...(sorry....no way I could do this in one fell swoop !) and by doing this in sections, it enables me to reply to each of you individually. It may take a couple of days or so to complete this, so your patience is required please ! So ..... watch this space, as they say .....
SueFan. 1...Thank you SueFan for your question re a choice of outfit for my duet with Fred Astaire, in ''Dancing In The Dark''... (I should have been so lucky !) As the choreography is flowing and graceful in movement, the costume should be the same. Something that is easy to move in and is also attractive to look at. Perhaps my long white dress from 'Annies Song'.... the suede dress from 'Woman in Love'.... the dress from PP and 'Summer Breeze'....or the long chiffon dress from Donna Summers..''I Feel Love''. Take your pick.
Doc. 1...Your Zoo question... No one of the other Legs ladies as far as I know, were offered to appear with Zoo. My appearance for Vangelis was done under the understanding that although it was Flicks choice to give me the solo, it was done as one of Zoo. There was no choice over that. Anita did decide to appear with Zoo until she then joined the pop group Toto Coella. Patti , Lulu and I were still committed to working as Legs and Co after TOTPs, so it wasn't conceivable to be in Zoo as well, even if we had wanted to.
2...My feelings regarding the BBC repeats, and the amazing OFTDs Youtube channel that has been created by ADB and others who have also contributed, are that I think its fantastic.
For the first time probably ever, theres a site that has been thoughtfully put together by genuine fans who have effectively set about putting the dance troupes of TOTPs on record with the many performances that most people had thought been wiped. Its an impressive collection /archive that has never been done before, not even by the BBC ! The TV repeats have also been great in re introducing those years when music, styles and fashions played such a big part of the charts and music in general. It would seem that its helped to create some new fans along the way as well which is great. The fact that it deals with the 70's has been good in the respect that it has featured not just PP, but RF and Legs and now there is more awareness of the 3 different dance groups as a whole.
Bucksby. 1....After Vangelis in 81, I did still watch TOTPs from time to time.... and with no resentment or bitterness. The show needed to change and whether it was right or wrong, we were part of that change. In the later years and with the changes that did occur, I did watch it less.... it had become a different show and we were busy working abroad a lot then anyway. Not much time for watching TV !
2...Most of the TV presenters were fun, but my favourite has to be Kid Jensen.... nice guy and just so good at the job !
Think my favourite years of TOTPs would have to be 74 to 76, my learning days with PP (good music as well !) and also 77 to early 81, when dance really started to feature with some fantastic tracks to work with.
3... Not so sure about appearing on other shows, but would have loved for Legs and Co to have had their own 'In Concert Show', in the same way that PP were afforded the opportunity.
4... And as for the 'Smurf' record Bucksby..... thanks but I think I will pass on that one ! Been there...done that !
Colm. 1... The TOTPs True Story in 20001, came about when we were approached by Jeff Simpson who was putting the programme together with a former producer, Chris Cowey. I think it was coming up to a milestone of performances for the show. Ant and Dec in 2003, I believe came from being approached by the programme because of the 'Fix Its' that were never fulfilled.
2... Interesting thought on the idea of another Legs /PP type dance group.... dance style has changed so much in its format, that I am really not sure to be honest.... perhaps not. It would also depend on what kind of weekly show the group would feature on.
3... My advice I would give to someone with an ambition to pursue a career as a professional dancer would be that talent is good and a start.. but its the strict commitment, hard slog and self belief in their abilities that are just as, if not more important. The ability to accept and learn from rejection.... to always move on positively even if you don't first succeed. Never let people put you or your confidence down.... stretch and excel yourself whenever you can give it the best shot everytime and be the best you can possibly be.... believe in yourself . I would also wish them the best of luck in the world.
PaulF. Welcome to the OFTDs site.....good to see a new name. You are mixing with a great bunch !
1... Our routines were generally taped in one take, unless Flick wanted to do something a little more involved and would use more than one VT. As for 'outakes' the cameras were never really switched off during the taping of the show, so they would frequently be catching things, mistakes or errors, and sometimes unknown to the persons on camera. This is where our VT friends could have field day creating peoples most embarrassing moments for the BBC Blooper Tapes ! As to whether any still survive ? You would have to ask one of them !
2...Flick in the latter days of PP, then RF and Legs, would always have a big hand in the camera direction When choreographing the routine with us, she would also be working on a camera script, for how she saw the routine to be filmed. She was allowed to be in up the gallery to oversee and help direct cameras from there.
3... We have just had a reunion of the Legs ladies a couple of months ago.... I'm afraid its a bit like a 'Gentleman's Club'.... only its ladies members only !! Sorry !
WhosthatHurl. 1... When Flick and Ruth created Ruby Flipper Management, it enabled them to use other dancers
as well as the Legs group for other projects. Sometimes the job only required a few people, (not every one all the time) so Flick would choose who she wanted to use for different things... ie The generation Game and the Lena Martell Show. Don't recall either Lulu or myself being disappointed over the Generation Game.... it was no big deal, and Flick no doubt used us for something else when once again she had to pick just a few dancers.
2... The TV shows we did for the continent were often for German TV and some Italian TV shows. The Italian one I remember doing was actually filmed here in England and I know that the set was decorated in cobwebs .( Don't know why)..... another one that we did, we danced to the track ''If You Leave Me Now...'' by Chicago. The German shows were often filmed in Berlin at 'Studio Am '... (I think !) But I'm afraid I cannot recall the names of the shows at the moment. The ones in Germany were a cross between pop shows and more light entertainment types. I do remember sometimes groups such as Boney M, and Hot Chocolate, The Sweet, and Slade, appearing as well as a famous 60's group (the name will eventually come back to me !) Perhaps VV can help with the German shows !
3. Yes, I do still have some friends in the business outside of the dancing groups.... but I am not going to 'name drop'.... that's private !!
4. Because of the time limit during taping shows, we very rarely had the opportunity to repeat a performance...even if there were awful mistakes in them. Flicks attitude was...'Well that's that...you should have got it right the first time.' You learned to get over it and move on, hoping that perhaps the mistakes wouldn't look quite so bad.... next week was already on the agenda. I suppose that the one routine that would have been nice to do again, was the Bee Gees, ''Love You Inside and Out'. It was all going so well until the end.... but then..... these things happened.
5.'Hold on Tight' and Dulce Jubilo were definitely ones for testing stamina as everything had to be performed 'flat out ' but then that's part of a dancers strength and fitness. Be Bop de Lux, ''Maid in Heaven'' was another good example, The 'Groove Line', Heatwave, and also to a lesser degree.. Sylvester and ''You Make Me Feel''. Most up tempo routines would use the energy levels to the utmost if performed 'flat out'. Our Legs cabaret number of Zepplins ''Whole Lotta Love'' was certainly hard work !
6. As I mentioned before the option to join Zoo was never really a consideration for me.... as having been in 3 select dance groups previously, I didn't really want to be in a very large group of dancers anyway as you arguably couldn't really call it a 'group' as such, as its predecessors. Also, I still believed that Legs and Co had more to do and I really enjoyed working with Patti and Lulu. I did have contact with Arlene Phillips, who had actually been my great jazz teacher as a student when I initially started with PP.... but Hot Gossip was not really for me and I believe that we both knew that, so it never arose.
Gorgeous Daze. 1....The morale amongst the group during the later period of us doing 'backing' numbers was a bit low I suppose.... but by then we sort of knew that the end was in sight. We stayed professional even though the situation was not ideal....( and occasionally found some humour in it !!)
2....The costumes you got, were the costumes you wore ! As Flick once said I believe... ''If you don't want to wear it. I can find 50 other people out there who will !'' It was a costume at the end of the day, and even if it had to be stuck on with toupee tape (sometimes the case !) we didn't make that much fuss....there was no option really. Anyway, I personally thought that Bumble Bee costume was rather fetching....especially those 'dainty' feet !
3.... Because the show worked on the basis of the songs having to be in the top 30 and going up...it did limit things a bit. Sometimes a song that was not in the top 30, but looked like it could go up the next week, would be featured. I know that there were a lot of records that never made it, especially if you had a songs that stuck in the top 3 positions for weeks on end. To be honest, to name even just a few that I liked, and that never made it.....I would have to really research the charts for that time and think long and hard about it. (Perhaps that could be another thread idea for the 'Songs that didn't quite make it !')
Old Bill. ...1. The naming of Legs and Co, as you know, was the result of a competition that was open to the public. The judges were the TOTPs producer , the production team, and Ruth and Flick. The entries where are genuinely read and sorted through. There was a shortlist I believe of a selection, and then the final decision was ultimately made by Robin Nash (the producer), his team and again Ruth and Flick. We were not really consulted over it, but when Elaine Coombes suggestion was picked, I believe we all thought that it was clever and had a certain ring to it !
Beautiful Babs. 1...Ruths mother was a great hairdresser, and once my hair was cut in PP days, she continued to do it until the beginning of Ruby Flipper days. She retired from the salon that she was working at the time. I started going to Sassoons in 78.
3...No, I never met Andi... as Cherry replaced her, it was before my time.
4...My Favourite PP routine ? I am always hopeless at this ! I cant pick just one....'' Summer Breeze ''(obviously as it was my first !) ''Don't Let the Sun Come Down'', ''Down Down'', ''One of These Nights'' and ''Theme from Mahogany''. (See I told you I was hopeless at this !)
5... The frisbeed records question I will answer when I do P4PM's answers as I think he has asked a similar one, if that's alright with you.....
Jez. 1...I vaguely remember Flicks interpretation to the song ''Theres a Ghost in my House'' by R Dean Taylor, as being more of a dance routine than that of the quirky rendition of Legs and ''Peek a Boo !'' The costumes were briefish (nothing new there) and sort of white cobwebby bits attached !
2... No one was more surprised than me to actually get the job of Louises replacement and to end up as a one of Pans People. It was only through being in a jazz class taught by Arlene Phillips, as a dance student at Arts Educational, and with the fact that Flick and Babs were sitting in and watching the class, that the opportunity came about. How lucky and fortunate I was !
Stuey. 1...The 'get togethers' are not very frequent, although we do keep in contact with one another most of the time. The ladies all live in different parts of the country so its not always easy to suddenly set up. Some live closer than others. But when we do get together, its always a good laugh !
2... I think that they are aware of the certain sites and are also amazed and flattered at the interest that is being shown now...all these years later.
3...We don't really get offers to reform (!) or perform these days.... though as you know there are sometimes radio features and interviews that have been done as well as the occasional 'comments' for TV documentaries.
4... Will have to ask about DOTD competition.... but when we do get together, there is plenty of funny banter if we are discussing past routines !
5... Best Legs routine ? Oh dear....here I go again ! I find it impossible to pick just one ! ''Lost in Music'', ''Supernature'', ''Ai no Corrida'' , ''No More Tears'', ''Man with a Child in his Eyes'', ''Lets go Round Again'', a lot of the Jackson tracks...there are loads more Stuey ! Too many to mention....
It's the same with selecting and trying to pick out individual favourite routines, from PP days, RF or Legs era, its as much about the song as it is the routine that appeals to me.
Wow - that's what I call a sizeable chunk Sue. Some fascinating answers there. Thanks in particular for answering my questions, that's about what I expected regarding team morale near the end. Sounds like Flick was quite a 'no nonsense' kind of girl! And I have to agree, you even managed to look fetching as a bumble bee.
yes thank you once again sue for answering my questions ,i feel a little guilty now ,i pheraps should have give one of the other members a chance of asking a few more questions instead of me ,because im sure you will agree that ive asked you more than enough questions over this last couple of years,but thanks anyway ,my next mission now is to try and find the routine ,Theres a ghost in my house ,wouldent that be a great find ,fantastic song ,and im sure the dance would have been fantastic ,cobwebs included
PaperBoyPlod. 1. There are always pressures when performing routines either as solos or group numbers. Sometimes it can be more nerve racking if the focus is just on you....you have to be more aware of giving a confident performance. However the same is true of the group routines... you are part of a team and you owe it to the others to not let them down. Mistakes are mistakes, and when you make them you feel awful.... the only thing with the group numbers is that you hope that the camera wasn't on you at the time ! Whenever they occurred, Flick always noticed !
LNV. 1... Again, trying to pick a personal performance that I am most proud of, is not easy LNV. I suppose the first version of ''Annie's Song'' would be one, as would the Vangelis ''I'll find my Way Home''.... although it wasn't because the routine was difficult, but more of the privilege of being given a final solo from Flick. There were often little solos within group numbers that I was pleased with.... Bee Gees..''Spirits Having Flown''.... Taste of Honey '' Boogie Oogie Oogie''... ( I managed to not break my ankle wearing ridiculously high strapless mules whilst doing pirouette turns !) By and large, and with only a few exceptions, I was happy with the outcome of most of the routines. Sorry I cant be more specific.
2... No, we never refused to do any dance number, and there was no room for reluctance either.... it was our job, and at the end of the day, we just got on with it..... even if you had suffer and be painted blue to do it !
3... As to male celebrities that I would have liked to perform with... dancers... Mikhail Barishnikov, Rudolph Nureyev, Fred Astaire, Danced and tap danced with Gene Kelly, and Michael Jackson in his peak dancing hey days... (would have loved to sneaked in somewhere in his ''Bad'' video !!) Other artists would be David Bowie, Brian Ferry, Paul Rogers, Pink Floyd and Tina Turner.... great music and performers to name a few.
PattiForPm. 1... Unlike PP, legs and Co did not have the same responsibilities with jobs within the group, of travel, publicity, fan mail, contracts and costumes. The Ruby Flipper management (basically Ruth) took care of all that. The only thing we were responsible for, was answering to our individual fan mail.
2...After the end of TOTPs, Legs and Co continued to work until approximately end of 83/ 84. I personally stopped performing professionally by 86.
3... The frisbeed songs certainly flew across the room....sadly I cannot recall many of them.... RF days, ''Youre my Puppet'' by James and Bobby Purify which Gavin and I were going to do as a duet. It got frisbeed sadly.... shame it was a really good number as well ! Will try and remember some others for you P4PM !
Costume wise, it was sometimes a case of change the outfit because the new routine wouldn't look right in the original outfit.... other times we had to stick with what we had. (Can you imagine if we had ended up having to use the ''Living on an Island' historical clothing for a Frees ''Alright Now'', or the Smurf or Camel outfit for a Michael Jackson number ??)
D.Day 1... Re your Pans People In Concert music questions... I will have to research that one for you, although I do think that you are correct With the Jan Ackerman one....just need to identify the track ... (and all the others !)
Paulines Dimples 1... Once the routine was taped, no, we never got to see it played back...we had to wait until it was broadcast the next day, when everyone else (public) saw it. As I've mentioned before Flick was always quick to tell us straight after we had taped the routine, whether or not is was good, bad or average as a performance.... so we sort of had a rough idea what to expect ! Mostly we watched it on our own, but occasionally if we had a gig to do on the Thursday, we would find a TV to watch discreetly somewhere together.......
2... No.... as far as I know, no one from any of the groups have been asked to participate in shows like ''Strictly'' either as a competitor or judge. Personally I am not a fan of the reality programmes like' BB' or 'I'm a Celebrity...Get me Out....' not my idea of gripping entertainment in my humble opinion...sorry.
3... It was likely that we would be recognised if we were in a group together...it was more obvious. That's not to say that we were not recognised as individuals. And yes, I have, (and I'm sure that the others have) used the line sometimes of...''Yes, its so weird, people often do say that I look like her !'' Most of the time, fans were always very nice, often quite shy when they actually spoke to us.... (anyone would think we were scary or something !) I only ever had one bad experience, when one individual started to stalk and follow me home after rehearsals and shows..... now that was scary, but the BBC helped to deal with it, especially when he turned up in the studio.
4...Not so much now, but occasionally, people will suddenly remember where they may have seen me.
5 ...Have never been recognised at the Eiffel Tower...(never actually been ) but I was recognised at an 'Ideal Home Exhibition' once...... does that count ?? !
6... The Kenny Everett show moved to Thames as it got a little more 'naughty' ( but still in the 'best possible taste !) and Hot Gossip were ideally suited as his resident dance group. Even if he had stayed at the BBC, I don't think that we would have been considered as the choice of dance troupe for his show.... there was also the big commitment that we always had with TOTPS. I do believe that at the end of the day, the right dance group appeared with the right show.
LookMacinanger. 1... When I think about it even now, Mac, I would never have believed to have performed on a show for the length of time that I was fortunate to. Most dancers are lucky, even now, to find a job that runs for a few weeks let alone years. The job I had was extremely rare to get, as well as to work with the one choreographer for such a long time.
2... I enjoyed my time of TOTPs, it was a wonderful opportunity to do a job in a profession that I love....and I have said it before....but how many people can say that at the end of the day ? The attention was flattering certainly, but that was not what it was ultimately about.
3... Looking at the routines now, and you have to take into consideration that music and entertainment were so radically different then.... overall, I think the repeats stand up quite well, and for what they were at that time. I do find it interesting reading all your views and critical observations on them.... some very valid points are made.
Thank you Sue for answering all those questions, especially for giving such personal insights. Wish I knew anything about the German TV programmes you were involved in, but no luck so far. Will keep trying though.
I would also like to thank Sue for her prompt and interesting response to my queries.
VV is no doubt camped outside a television archive, demanding (for the good of Mankind) to see all tapes that may contain a little bit of Legs.
As for 'Love You Inside Out'; I think as it's such a wonderful routine, we can forgive a little error or two.