05-11-81: Presenter: Peter Powell (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(45) MODERN ROMANCE - Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey (audience/Zoo)
(3) THE POLICE - Every Little Thing she Does Is Magic (video/audience & Zoo inserts)
(47) THE DUKES – Mystery Girl
(26) RUSH - Tom Sawyer (live clip)
(44) THE JETS - Yes Tonight Josephine
(30) ELO - Twilight (performed to by Zoo)
(21) JULIO IGLESIAS - Begin The Beguine (video)
(50) ABC – Tears Are Not Enough
(1) DAVE STEWART & BARBARA GASKIN - It's My Party ®
(5) THE FOUR TOPS - When She was My Girl (video/Zoo dancing/audience dancing/credits)
"And as always, we're changing things around just a little bit"
The Top Of The Pops studio has been given a very clean sweep, clearing the way for a raid. It's Invasion of the Cheerleaders! Gymnasts here, fire-eaters there, attention-seekers everywhere. Population Control ought to be enlisted to ascertain which side of full capacity the studio has now become thanks to the fabricated
good-timers engaging with Joe and Josephine Public in a battle for floor space - terra firma most definitely at a premium. Michael Hurll showing his heart of gold by permitting the ticket application ballot to remain in place (feeble cheer).
Into the dance troupe to replace the gradually phased out Legs & Co. comes a veritable menagerie of street and club dancers. Less a troupe more a dance 'agency', although seemingly consisting of a cast of dozens more, Zoo was a collective pool of 20 interchangeable dancers from which Flick Colby could select a variable amount of bodies both male and female as she so desired, dependent upon her vision for each weeks selected record. The product even allowed for one-off guest appearance with Flick somehow managing to make her idea of a tribute/farewell dance spot for Super Sue before the end of the year an appealing one for Michael Hurll to approve.
Short term 'Leg' Anita Chellemah has been captured by the Zoo and is in from the very start, her distinctive features burning through the TV screen as a reassuring link with those who danced before. A busy girl, Anita would combine being occasionally set free from her cage with cabaret work as part of the dearly departed Legs & Co. joining them on a trip to Ireland. Come progression through 1982, the ferocious looker would develop excessive carnivorous tendencies, culminating in a taste for her own kind as part of Toto Coelo.
For Zoo's primary performance to E.L.O.'s Twilight track (with no Cafe in sight) , a song reaching no higher than No.30 and taken from the Time LP, the new arrivals are Wesley, Tony, Sharon, Radford, Julie and Christine.
Integration between Zoo and the cheerleaders is so smooth that most of the time it's difficult to identify where one group ends and the other set begins. There's certainly atmosphere but the thought persists that Michael Hurll's standing just out of vision, dressed in ringleaders garb, peering out from the top hat falling over his eyes, cracking the whip.
Yes this evenings show wasn't great was it. Its going to be difficult to get motivated without Legs & Co being on the show, but the main routine by Zoo was okay i guess. Better than having no dance troupe (or dance team as Petey called them) on the show, so i look forward to watching more main routines, even if there appears to be over a dozen taking part. The actual song by ELO i thought was very weak and wasn't an ideal track for Flick to unleash her new menagerie on.
No substitute for Legs & Co, but lets try to be positive.
Thanks again for another one of your interesting and informative previews AC, the show must go on even after the demise of our favourite dancers. I didn't realise that after the final Legs & Co appearance last week that Zoo made their appearance the following week, almost waiting in the wings so to speak. I thought that a few weeks had passed before they were assembled and unveiled. This makes MH's behaviour even worse, knowing he already had a replacement. Did Legs & Co realise it was to be their last show? I always thought they were told they were no longer needed after what we now know was to be their final appearance. If they did know they were certainly the ultimate professionals right until the end, smiling until the end of their final performance knowing it was the last!
Nice to see the debut of ABC (even though the song is not really great), but otherwise it was a rather poor show. I must admit that the party atmosphere is already ticking me off.
Zoo just left me cold. Zero emotions. If that was one of their better routines, I'm not really interested in seeing the others. Sorry.
If I only had one love yours would be the one I'd choose
Correct VV, the Zoo ensemble was something Arlene would've put together - Pretty substandard. Also the "We're changing things around just a little" statement at the beginning was pretty contemptuous of Legs & their fabulous 5 years of service. I've began to wonder if they were given those awful 'medley' routines (with the Birdie Song thrown in) on purpose in an attempt to phase them out as quietly as possible. The only saving grace of this edition was the emergence of ABC & the first single from one of the best albums of the '80s; The Lexicon Of Love, the sequel of which was released on the very day of this TOTP repeat.
Well that brought back the 'stunned what have they done' feeling from when I first saw this episode. The Zoo backing performances were actually better than the main dance, there was just too much going on in that for it to be any good. I remember actually considering never watching the show again after this, until I realised that no one would care and I still wanted to see what was in the charts. Anything positive? The dark haired short girl in the gold dress was pretty.
Julio Inglesias was a bit creepy. Latin lotharios have become much parodied in the intervening years so it comes as quite a shock to see it played for real here. Did women really find such slime balls irresistible, or was it just some ploy to make their husbands/boyfriends jealous? Seems unbelievable now.
Thanks for providing a stimulating guide at this difficult time AC. Johnny Morris couldn't have done better!
Well, one word you couldn't use to describe Zoo is boring. Twilight was a very ambitious statement of a debut. And very busy. Too busy. They're never going to approach Legs in my estimation but on the other hand they are more my thing than overly twee and repetitive early Pan's. And I much prefer 81-83 in terms of music and fashion...though I'd prefer it sometimes if the guys costumes were less - shall we say? - iffy. I think the main problem with them will be the same as it was first time round: it will be hard to warm to them with the large and ever-fluid cast.
Well, one word you couldn't use to describe Zoo is boring. Twilight was a very ambitious statement of a debut. And very busy. Too busy. They're never going to approach Legs in my estimation but on the other hand they are more my thing than overly twee and repetitive early Pan's.
I wonder if Flick wanted to use all the dancers for the first routine. Unfortunately as you say it was far too busy and didn't really work. The 2nd weeks offering, which we won't see, only used 2 dancers and this was a far better routine. (one of them Julie Brown was seen breaking Mike Read's back a few months earlier before the Legs Up The Hill Backwards routine)