17-12-81: Presenter: Simon Bates (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(14) DURAN DURAN – My Own Way
(2) CLIFF RICHARD - Daddy's Home (live clip/audience dancing)
(36) CHAS & DAVE - Stars Over 45
(8) GODLEY & CREME - Wedding Bell
(64) BROWN SAUCE - I Wanna Be A Winner (video)
(23) ROD STEWART - Young Turks (video)
(40) THE SNOWMEN - Hokey Cokey
(26) JOHN & VANGELIS - I'll Find My Way Home (danced to by Susie)
(12) STATUS QUO - Rock 'n' Roll ®
(1) THE HUMAN LEAGUE - Don't You Want Me (video)
(29) ALTERED IMAGES - I Could Be Happy (audience dancing/credits)
On the day of Simon Bates' 35th Birthday, they could have wheeled out his favourite 'Leg' but it was not to be. No sign of Rosie hanging off of his arm. Ah well.
As it's the season to be jolly, TOTP simply has to include a novelty record to celebrate the party season so where The Barron Knights would once stand - or be cut out not as a victim of quality control but for previously good-natured, presently questionable impersonations - there dance four figures of the type found in author Raymond Briggs' 1978 book which would receive award-winning animation debuted on Channel 4 the following year. Appropriate to appear at a time when Great Britain was firmly in the grip of the worst Winter since 1963, The Snowmen lead the way in the traditional dance participation song, the 'Hokey Cokey' , known intercontinentally as 'Hokey Pokey'. Unknown or certainly unverified is the lead singer with suggestions ranging from Blockhead Ian Dury to Ugly Duckling Mike Reid. Whoever it is, they're certainly not a non-smoker.
That petite lady in the stylish little beret looks familiar...hmmm...
Rewind the tape. Didn't she crop up earlier?
There's a sight for sore eyes. It's Sue from Legs & Co. Does Michael Hurll know she's in the building and, what's more, off duty and enjoying herself? Did he not remove her BBC pass in October? Perhaps he's full of Christmas spirit by the odd glass or three, temporarily becoming imbued with a touch of humaneness.
Sue Menhenick made her Top Of The Pops on 6th June 1974 at the age of 18, dancing to The Isley Brothers' 'Summer Breeze' as a new recruit to Pan's People. Her final appearance as Legs & Co's head girl took place on 29th October 1981.
By way of thanking Sue for seven superb years of sterling service and as a noble and magnanimous gesture Flick Colby offered her with some insistence one final farewell dance performed solo. A treat not only for Sue herself but also for her all those who had been entertained by her dancing and mere presence on our screens.
One can only imagine how resolute Flick was in insisting her most popular of dancers be granted a 'testimonial' and, just to show who was in charge, Executive Producer Michael Hurll stipulated an insistence of his own in that Sue would be credited under the Zoo umbrella rather than the more logical Legs & Co. Choice was not an option so , just for once, 'Zoo Menhenick' was listed as a member of the new Zoo crew and became the only dancer to be associated with four Top Of The Pops troupes.
The selected record was a collaboration between a Greek composer of various styles and a 'Yes' man. Jon & Vangelis first crossed paths in Sue's debut year of 1974 when Vangelis was considered as a replacement for Rick Wakeman on keyboard in the prog-rock group Yes. Although it didn't come to pass, the group's lead singer Jon Anderson teamed up with Vangelis after leaving Yes in 1980 for a partnership in which Anderson was the lyricist and Vangelis the music composer. Number 6 for 'I'll Find My Way Home' and a routine which, in the main (and what a mane!) is all about warrior princess Sue's wondrous spectacle in her visual representation of the music, spirited in more ways than one, beneath the waves of the sea or melding into the burning sun, she's in her element. Featuring a set of spins which leaves one agog, Sue herself has stated "I'll Find My Way Home' as one of her very favourite dance routines not so much because of the dance moves (as with the first Annie's Song) but due to the sentiment, the emotion and the majesty of the occasion.
"...and Susie is gonna dance it for you"
Aside for a single repeat performance alongside Shakin' Stevens on the New Year's Eve edition, not one of the six long-standing members of Legs & Co. were ever seen on Top Of The Pops again. No sign of them on either the 1,000th edition in May 1983 or the 1988's 25th Anniversary celebration. With changes in personnel changes, the troupe reinvented themselves and continued in the entertainment business going through a couple of name changes as they became the appealingly named 'Night Moves' through 1982 before becoming the not quite so endearing 'SmaX' as the result of a TV appeal in the early stages of breakfast TV in May 1983 on TV-AM. Come 1984, Legs & Co./Night Moves/SmaX were disbanded and Sue spent a few more years dancing freelance before quitting professional dancing in 1986 having turned 30 and turning her objectives from pro. to personal with the desire to start a family.
What became of her?
Looks a terrific line up tonight, also thanks AC for your lovely words on Sue, as a youngster and new to these reruns I think i might shed a tear when I see her dance in the Pops studio for the last ever time. Great track to end her seven and half year association though. At least we still have Anita for a while yet.
Well im finding myself getting more confused over these end credits for Zoo. Take this week for example. Sue is self explanatory, but where do Wesley, Pinky & Tony come into the equation ?
I assume that they are the three dudes who appeared with Kev & Lol, if so, are we counting that as a Zoo performance. If so, why isn't the girl in the wedding dress included, or is she Pinky. If shes Pinky, then why are only two of the geezers mentioned in the credits and not all three.
This is the problem, these people are excellent dancers, but i don't know them from Adam and its difficult to make a connection.
Just looking on Colm's superb `Zoo appearance` list, i notice Pinky (or Pinki as Colm spells it) dances again in March 1983. That says it all, 2 TOTPs performances in total, 16 months apart !
So that really is it now. Okay, we see Anita again, but Sue was, and always will be, the headgirl. Nice tribute AC. I'll Find My Way Home was a particular favourite of my late mother's. So doubly sad for me.
Pinky & Tony were the 2 "Kelly Marie dancers", and were both (plus another chap) making robot moves behind Kim Wilde on the 26th November (Mike Read) edition.. I'm told they worked on the show as both warm-up men & dancers well into 1986.
Got it set to record , not looking forward to this One at all as it marks the end of an era but a nice gesture that they allowed Sue one last fling and put her into TOTP history as being listed on all 4 dance troupes.
I's been great seeing Sue's posts on here and being able to chat with her and others.
I was well chuffed after having a chat with Sue on here and also having her choose 2 songs for a feature I was doing on One of my radio shows at the time .
I'm really glad as well that tonight's edition isn't one of the Yewtree affected ones as that would have been a total disaster .
I'd like to echo many posts in saying Thank you Sue for taking the time to interact with us on here and for the years of joy both you and the rest of the girls gave us xxxx
I'm a bit later on the scene than some but thanks for the lovely montage and sue-per summary AC. It's taking me much longer to catch up with most TOTP episodes nowadays for some reason but this one I am concentrating on and I only have eyes for Sue
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Great edition for bringing back long-buried memories....Those Snowmen, did any TOTP act ever look or sound more menacing and sinister? The Chas & Dave hit was one of the first 45's I ever bought. And major memories of Brown Sauce, I remember the song debuting on Swap Shop, I cant have heard it for 34 years, but it turns out I remember most of the words! Now that IS sad!
Lovely dance from Sue too - she looked so different with all that 80s make up on, quite beautiful really.
...Those Snowmen, did any TOTP act ever look or sound more menacing and sinister?
Haha...yep, they looked nasty pieces of work all right. At least Legs were spared the indignity of having to dance with them, as surely would have happened if they'd still been on the show. They reminded me of The Snowman in Viz many years ago, who was VERY different to the Raymond Briggs creation.