28-05-81: Presenter: Simon Bates (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(36) POLECATS – Rockabilly Guy
(11) CHAMPAIGN – How 'Bout Us (video)
(16) UB40 – Don't Let Us Pass you By
(6) TENPOLE TUDOR - Swords Of A Thousand Men ®
(25) VANGELIS – Chariots Of Fire (video)
(17) ENIGMA – Ain’t No Stopping (danced to by Legs & Co)
(23) HAZEL O’CONNOR – Will You?
(30) COAST TO COAST – Let’s Jump The Broomstick
(20) KIM CARNES - Bette Davies Eyes (video)
(1) ADAM & THE ANTS - Stand & Deliver (video)
(13) GEORGE HARRISON - All Those Years Ago (audience dancing/credits)
It's a very warm welcome to Anita Chellamah Mahadervan - Geordie by birth but with a Father from Malaya and with Sri Lankan Grand-parentage - whose debut as a member of Legs & Co. airs tonight. t At some stage in the two month period since the popular Pauline parted company by saying 'laters' in the Lately dance on 19th March 1981, auditions commencing with 1,000 dance hopefuls were held by Flick in the search for a replacement. Anita was innformed of the auditions by her good friend from dance musicals Lynette Dundas whom she's met when performing in The King and I, starring Yul Brynner at The Palladium. The friendship's a lasting one with Dundas performing backing vocals for Anita's own band to this day. Anita effectively gate-crashed the auditions, was triumphant and, needless to say, was made to feel very welcome by the the other five 'Legs' who made her aware that she's be representing the Legs & Co. brand on a daily basis and not just when performing, so maintaining a decent standard of living was important from a public perspective. Nicknamed Blanche by Flick after a character from A Streetcar Named Desire, Anita had a brief but happy time with Legs & Co., remaining with the troupe after their final TOTP curtain call and participating in their Cabaret shows over in Ireland before being lured away by the twin preoccupations of dance act Zoo and a singing role in the all-female new wave group Toto Coelo.
Amazingly, Anita actually receives an introduction! Not courtesy of a verbal announcement of any kind by Simon Bates who introduces Legs & Co. from a studio about to crash into the sun - he says he needs glasses but sunglasses would be appropriate. The new recruit's introduced through the medium of dance as Gill, Lulu, Patti, Rosemary and Sue use the intro to Enigma's disco medley to step aside and form an orderly line, right arms outstretched to announce Anita's arrival. She appears and peers coyly ahead for all of two seconds before taking to the stage with a confident flourish eliciting a quick, comforting clap from her fellow dancers and BANG - with a classy, thoughtful welcome, Legs & Co. are once again a sextet.
Conceived as a quick and easy response to Dutch outfit starsound, Enigma's session musicians and singers reached No.11 in the charts with Ain't No Stopping, which consisted of "..a whole stack of disco hits..." - Mc Fadden & Whitehead's No.5 from '79; Chic's Le Freak; In The Forest, a No.46 for Baby 'O the previous Summer; Stacey Lattisaw's Jump To The Beat (a surefire dance record option for Legs & Co. had there been no M.U. strike in 1980); Odyssey's No.2, Use It Up (And Wear It Out); The Gap Band's Oops Upside Your Head.
No Madonna-type cape calamities for Legs & Co. as they shed the golden bacofoil covers to freak out in spectacular style revealing in the process not very much but quite a lot too - six shapely, fine-figured females indeed and eminently watchable too. As well as the stage itself, Simon Bates' glasses also become steamed up for after the conclusion in which the camera remains trained upon Sue for a good few seconds of her standing stock still the host cites Legs & Co. as the reason for his glasses requirement - so he can see them in complete clarity, of course.
Press photocall to introduce Anita - TV Centre, 27th May 1981
Hello to the new boy. A big fan of Anita I see Another great review there AC
I'm looking forward to this show, and in particular seeing Anita's arrival into the best dance troupe of all time. Also looking forward to seeing her in the coming weeks in the many remaining routines as I've never seen before.
BTW, Adam & The Ants are still at No. 1 with “Stand & Deliver”. We see the video that features Adam Ant dressed as a "dandy highwayman" who is captured and escapes being hanged from the gallows with help from his accomplices (his band members). Look out for an early appearance of Amanda Donohoe – she’s the one who looses her record collection.
Cheers for the preview PD. In all the excitement of Anita's debut, the by now customary Legs & Co accompaniment performance for the show will be to Coast To Coast and `Let’s Jump The Broomstick`.
Look out for our gals in very colourful 50s style outfits. Gill & Anita are easy to spot in their yellow tops and vivid pink skirts. They are positioned all over the studio, so its a case of spot the Legs lady.
All of a sudden, TOTPs seems to have become stuck in a rut, there's a suffiet of minor hits, from the likes of Coast To Coast, the Polecats, & UB40, the former act's follow-up track, I didn't know about, & I'll only be able to recall it, in future, due to it being a Brenda Lee cover, that she recorded two decades previously.
Hazel O'Conner has her best ever track out at this time, & that was a fantastic performance, & I'm glad to watch Kim Carnes again.
Legs & Co., were, once again great, it sounded like these "medley" type tracks were making a come-back, but It think that the vocalists with Stardound were better than those of Enigma, although they were still crap, mind!
I haven't seen the show yet, but a great write up AC! I shall miss PD's previews (if there has been a handover), but it looks like his boots will be amply filled.
Looks like an interesting line up. I'm sure Legs will make Coast to Coast bearable. It's a truism to say I hope we get plenty of ladies and not so much Alex Giannini. (Did he make it into the Stairway to Heaven to thread a few months back?) Haven't Coast To Coast had their own dancers on previous appearances though? Hmmm I could easily look this things up before asking - consider it just me thinking out loud :-)
Looking forward to Anita's intro too of course. If anyone is interested Anita's band is playing the Camden Rocks festival this June in north London.
Thanks as ever AC, the special edition providing a nice and justified symettry with the Lately show. A good amount of which was either unknown to me or I needed reminding about.
Unusually for the eighties I thought the first three songs passed me by the first time around. But How 'Bout Us became distantly familiar afterwards. I've implied that Tenpole Tudor would be worthy winners of a weekly poll, however a later spellbinding performance stood out and it will be one of the easiest choices I made.
Thanks for another interesting preview AC, to another show I enjoyed, although perhaps not quite as much as last Thursdays offering. Catching the witching hour repeat is clearly the way to go!
Of course there was some complete dross (PCats, 10PT and C-C) but it was lively dross rather than the nasty dross which I cannot abide, and I may be wrong but we appeared to get rather more of Kim C than last week, which would have been a bonus other than the attendant video. This did nothing to enhance the song, to which it appeared entirely irrelevant, but presumably gave ten minutes work to a bunch of out of work actors and other assorted loafers.
The number one was as awful as it was last week, and as it will be this evening (who bought this stuff?!), while UB40 were almost as bad, but on the plus side were the entertaining misspelt beverage, the human Red Rum moments on Southport sands, and above all the chair work of Ms HO'C. Now I'm never going to be a fan of that voice, and in truth the delivery of feeling and acting needed some work, but by closing the eyes and conjuring up a vision of an altogether more lovely and excellent artiste it was the hit of the evening. Such is the power of the dance!
The crowd scenes at the end has some interesting fashions on show. I can almost hear Hurll saying 'right I'm paying for the audience next time'. Now I don't believe mustard coloured cords were ever fashionable!