What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

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What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Legsfan
Now, something that I have thought about for a while now is what the original fans of  Pan’s People, Ruby Flipper and Legs & Co did after the ladies left Top of the Pops?
Did you have your own personal collection of video tapes full of dances that you would watch over the years or did you only have memories until UK Gold/ the internet?

How did you get your dancer fix from 1981 until the repeats/internet?
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

RYAN
Administrator
Good thread idea Legsfan. I was interested in the TOTPs dance stuff at the time they were originally broadcast, and id say i was also equally interested in the music that was around at the time as well. But i have to be brutally honest and say at 16 years of age in 1979 i was more interested in girls, trying to look cool and attempting to get into pubs more than anything else. If i missed TOTPs it was no big deal. But i do always remember really liking Sue more than any other dancer.

My interest in the subject only really rekindled itself with the advent of the internet and more particularly YouTube. In around 2008ish quite a small number of Pans, Legs & Ruby started to filter onto YT and i began to recall some of the routines from back in the day, though some were completely new to me. At that time id estimate less than 10% of what we have now was on the net.  

One thing i do know is that some of the guys did have personnel videos and kindly put them on YT and around 2009 onto the OFTDs blog. Those people, lets name names, P4PM, SF, YMG, the 2 young gals were the real heroes around that time. They were the ones who generously started the ball rolling by sharing their own stash.

As for getting a dance fix. One good way i found in the early 2000's was the Steve Wright hosted TOTPs2 shows. They often had a dance sequence on them, and like you say UK Gold was another good source.

Put it this way. Routines we are all familiar with now, were 10 years ago total mysteries to me and im sure a lot of the others on here. I remember around Xmas 2010 when the forum began a thread was created in which the question was asked to name all the routines that feature in the Racey `Some Girls` clip. Oh how we struggled on that, mainly because half were not in general circulation at that time. Now we could name them with no problems whatsoever.
RYAN
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

PattiforPM
Good question LF.  I was in the doldrums for a number of years and had no recordings from the actual time, just my precious memories of dances like Down Down and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Paperback Writer, Rock n Me, All Right Now, Tragedy and One Nation Under a Groove.  I had to wait for the Internet era like Ryan and I never saw TOTP2, UK Gold or Einsfestival Shows at the time they were broadcast.  Later on in the mid 2000s I managed to get hold of a copy of All Right Now which I bought from someone online, the first dance in my collection!    Later on I bought some recordings of TOTP2, Einsfestival and UK Gold Shows on DVDs. I also visited websites like Poptastic and Popscene to get more details of the dances I had never seen on the above Shows.  It was around this time I found YMG's fledgling website OFTDs and I'm sure some of you have shared the thrill I felt to have finally found a place where someone else appreciated the Dancers and their work.  After that I started sending the dances I could find to YMG and we all started commenting under the dances  and I found to my delight that people like SF and Ryan existed and were interested in revisiting all this 1970s/1980s material.  Some time later YMG floated the idea of a Forum I think and then it just caught fire with all sorts of shenanigans and razzing of each other.  It was all a bit crazy and irresponsible at first but was also absolutely wonderful too in its own way.  We had some catfish in the tank and  the chat got a bit out of hand but settled down eventually and the Threads were such fun in those early days when no ideas had been floated before and new Dances were appearing almost weekly.  Having said that life on here is much more stable nowadays!
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

SuPaLu
After the dancers disappeared from TOTP i was in the middle of studies and in 1986 went to University so i didn't have time to miss them.I enjoyed TV shows,dancers etc but once they ended that was it.I didn't think about taping shows or even consider the shows were so important to record them.Only when the repeats started with 1976 did i get interested again.I think many people hit a time in their lives when nostalgia becomes important.I loved seeing the TOTP shows again as much for the music as for the dancers.I found that long forgotten memories came back and it felt good.I found a now defunct site called The Box which had loads of British TV files including the TOTP repeats and UK Gold/Eins Festival.I found the Pan People site first then within a month i found OFTD and Popscene.It was great to find people interested in the same thing and i learned so much about the dances,dancers and TOTP in general.I have a vastly greater understanding and appreciation of our chosen subject than i ever did or would have had were it not for the repeats and this web site.Then i think around the time when 'Supernature' was being discussed people mentioned the Hot Gossip routine so i started seeking out their dances and found i liked them as well.I found i could appreciate all the dancers for there differences.Even though i changed my avatar from Lulu to Dominique that doesn't mean in my mind i think any less of Lulu/Legs & Co.Many of the discussion on here delved in the minutiae which i admit  i would never have thought of but non the less i found interesting(who can forget 'Rosiegate')?
Glenn
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

PansLegs
I can't call myself an original fan as I don't recall much from the actual era of Top of The Pops in question, even from the Legs & Co period so certainly not from before. The only dance related memories I really have are Hill's Angels from Benny Hill and Hot Gossip on Kenny Everett mainly due to other kids at school discussing both those shows. I wasn't that mad on HG then and certainly when viewed now they generally leave me cold.
I was always interested in the era of television that early Pan's People encompass so always looked out for TV documentaries or repeats to do with the 60s/70s. I received a book in the late 80s about classic programmes (reproduced in B&W on a page was the 1969 spiral fire escape shot) and about the same time I had some performances. My interest was sealed thereon.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Everything'sRosie
An interesting thread idea, LF. Although I was aware of Pans, Ruby, and Legs at the time, we would (the viewers) only have got to see the dances just the once (apart from repeated routines, of course). Only the rich had video recorders back in the 1970s, which might seem incredible to someone born in the 1990s, but that was the case. As a consequence, you might have thought "that was a bit good" to the odd routine, but knowing there was no way you'd ever get to see it again there was a tendency, unfairly, to dismiss it as a piece of disposable entertainment, and it would get largely forgotten. Although some routines did lodge firmly in my mind, Love Hit Me & Tragedy I remembered vividly for some reason. So when the Top of the Pops repeats started I thought it would be interesting to catch the odd show for purely nostalgic reasons, but my initial interest was to see the groups and those quirky long forgotten performances, not the dance troupes. Little did my unsuspecting self know that I was about to be hit by a tidal wave. I hadn't seen Legs for thirty odd years when they appeared on the repeats, and had probably thought little about them, though if someone had by chance mentioned them in conversation I would have known immediately who they were talking about, though I think Sue would have been the only member I could have actually named. So to sum up, at the time I was largely indifferent and didn't give two hoots when they disappeared off our screens...but when the repeats moved on from their tenure two years a go I was genuinely upset and felt an emptiness inside for a number of days, even though I could now watch any of their routines whenever I liked. Guess what I'm saying is that I'm now obsessed, and it's an obsession which is going to stay with me for life. I can't even contemplate the world without L&C now.  
Queens of My Soul
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Legsfan
I’ve found your posts very interesting and insightful.
I understand why some couldn’t watch routines after broadcast because of the cost of a VCR which in the mid 70s was around £7000 in todays money, but by the end of the decade they were still around £2000 with tapes costing around £50. I see your point ER about only the very rich having a chance to watch them again.
So the internet has been very valuable for dance routines to watch them on demand whenever you like.

I don’t think I could ever understand what it was like to move on without the dancers back then. Though it is nice to hear that even though many years had passed, you never forgot the ladies and even remember some of the routines.

I suppose the closest I can get to how it was for you was when I have watched the restricted routines once. I only have a memory of the routines, but even now I am starting to forget.


Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Old Grey Whistler
I never had the chance to watch TOTP during the era of the dancers but even if I had of done I don't think I would have been a big fan of them as I was only a child at the time.
I do sometimes think how good it would have been if the video recorder had of been invented 10 years earlier. Most of the missing Pans and RF routines would probably be available as well as many other programmes like the wiped Dr Who's from the 1960's.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Legsfan
A little off topic, but what would happen if you held up a film camera up to a TV back then? Would it be flickering like digital cameras these days or was it possible to record onto film?
I know the BBC did it to make telerecordings, but did they have a special monitor?
Were domestic film cameras cheap? was film expensive?
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

CoffeeThing
This is a really good thread. As I think I mentioned somewhere, we only had one telly (I think most were in the same boat back then?) so getting to watch TOTP was always a bit hit and miss. I rarely got to see it for big chunks of the 70s, but I vividly remember the dancers, so I clearly paid attention when the chance to watch arose!

By the latter years, I was managing to catch it most weeks, but somehow wasn't aware the end was near for the girls. I probably missed a week or two between the last Legs performance (I had become used to them being more in the background by then so wouldn't have realised their absence in the same way as when they had a regular slot of their own) and Sue's solo, which I remember as though it were yesterday. I sat transfixed, with no idea that was it forever. Then I found out and saw no more until the odd appearance on TOTP2.

I watched the BBC4 re-runs from the start but only found OFTD pretty much at exactly the time Sue's solo was repeated, so missing all the fun for a second time. Typical.

I relied on BBC4 and YouTube until I bought all the available Legs & Co dances on DVD a couple of years back. Someone has kindly since filled many gaps for which I am extremely grateful. I very much wish I had seen more episodes back in the 1970s and found this place at the start of the re-runs.
This week, I are be mostly watching Christmas movies already
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

CoffeeThing
In reply to this post by Legsfan
Legsfan wrote
A little off topic, but what would happen if you held up a film camera up to a TV back then? Would it be flickering like digital cameras these days or was it possible to record onto film?
I know the BBC did it to make telerecordings, but did they have a special monitor?
Were domestic film cameras cheap? was film expensive?
Best guess is it would probably depend on the frame rate just as with digital, I think the medium itself is less of an issue, but I may well be wrong.

No tech was cheap back then and I can only imagine the cost of processing a movie film. I remember sadly giving up stills photography fairly soon after starting in 1981 because although the film itself was often given free when prints were returned from developing, it was the processing itself  that was prohibitively expensive for me as a schoolboy.
This week, I are be mostly watching Christmas movies already
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

PansLegs
In reply to this post by Legsfan
Legsfan wrote
A little off topic, but what would happen if you held up a film camera up to a TV back then? Would it be flickering like digital cameras these days or was it possible to record onto film?
Continuing off topic...
It was possible to record TV pictures onto a domestic film camera (standard or Super 8mm) and there are existing examples. But because they often ran at 18fps to save on film usage and PAL TV is 25fps, you'd end up with a rolling black frame bar. I've never seen an example with sound as magnetic sound stripe film was more expensive. Sony developed a half-inch open reel black and white system the CV2000 which came to the UK around 1966 as a 405 line recorder. Then there was a later CV2100 model that recorded 625 line pictures (still black & white) with an hour's recording per reel.
I suppose the first domestic VCR making colour recordings would be the Philips N1500 system from 1972 and that is the format that a lot of the recoveries of missing performances were recorded on. This was a European (PAL) machine only and in 1972 cost around £440 - when you consider a new Ford Cortina was only double that price at £963 it gives you can idea how expensive they were! Until the later 70s when the comparatively cheaper VHS & Betamax formats were marketed, video recorders were really for institutions like Universities and Schools, or maybe toys for the rich.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

The Rubberband Man
In reply to this post by CoffeeThing
When I was a little kid and watching the weekly TOTPs, Pans People, Ruby Flipper or Legs & Co were not the main interest for me as I tuned in wanting to see the artists. Back then TOTPS was the only dedicated pop programme on the BBC, everybody watched it, and the show would often be the topic of discussion in the playground the next day. Being honest, the girls – Pans People in those days -  didn’t feature much in these discussions.

I must have stopped watching Top Of The Pops and tv in general around mid 78, and not long after that I started working Thursday nights. By the time I left my Thursday night job Legs & Co had gone from our screens.

With the recent repeat showings of TTOTPs it was fabulous to see all the shows that I'd missed when I was younger.
I had an epiphany moment during the 05/08/1976 show when Ruby Flipper started the (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty routine. I had a complete flashback to that moment all those years ago that rekindled my interests, all of which eventually brought me here to this Forum.
All bound for Lulu Land
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Legsfan
In reply to this post by PansLegs
Thanks for the info Pans Legs. Not as simple as I thought it would be.
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Dancer
This post was updated on .
All I had in the sixties and seventies was memories of the shows.  I remember Pans dancing to Young Girl and remember one of those girls beautiful legs.  I was very young.  They did not really materialise in my mind until the mid seventies and by 1974 onwards until 1976 I had to buy every record they danced to.  Was in love with them all.  I remember noting the routines in my diary and at school we would sometimes copy the routines.  When I was about 13 they did not really interest me.  The video killed them really but I just liked to watch the dances.   My first full memory was the Genesis dance.  As the years went by I just kept the memories in my memory bank.

When I moved to London I remember seeing a picture of Cherry and her Mom in the Evening Standard at an event, Babs with her husband appeared on Hampstead Heath and Dee Dee promoting the Dance Attic in SW6.  At my evening job I used to serve Cherry and that was a lovely memory.  I remember talking to her and kissing her every New Year.  

With Sky came Old Gold and the girls in the office used to say that there were re-runs of Pans People stuff and Legs and I was interested but it did not make me go and buy Sky until well into the noughties.

Before I had Sky I was utilising the auction site when you could buy pirates and boy did I buy stuff and I have my own cupboard now.  Some of them were good, some not so as the coverage was not very good.  There was initially videos and someone was fairly local and he was a mathemetician  he prepared this huge Excel spreadsheet of their routines all of Legs & Co and some Pans and Ruby so it went on from there.  The video collection just became redundant and then the DVDs were purchased from the auction site.  Then BBC4 did the re-reuns and my first video I had of the dancers was Morning Glory and I prepared my own and then the swaps started.  I got a DVD recorder so did the same and again exhausted the auction sites for DVDs.

And then I found this site which to me was gold and the icing on the cake.  All the memories encapsulated in one site.  I used to get the site barred at work because it was not ideal to view at lunchtimes and then at every beginning comes an end and the boredom factor set right in.  Twelve months ago I boxed all the DVDs and videos up and now no longer watch them.  Something kick started it and I get the distinct feeling I had overexposure to so much in such a short time whereas before the site I used to see one or two new routines per six months and I could live with that.  The pinnacle came on the meetings.  It was fantastic to meet Pauline from Legs & Co and ask her questions.  I just wanted to encapsulate that day forever and wanted her to stay for a long long time and then the Mount Everest for me was the next meeting.  After the event had finished it felt like I had taken a drug.  Forty years of waiting and the achieveable had been achieved.  I remember going back on the train with the beautiful Katie and just talking about the dances and people were looking dumbfounded.  Normally I can read minds but that evening I was just carefree and on a high.   Yes I will always remember the routines and when I hear the music they danced to on the radio I still picture them dancing; the last one being Down Down by Status Quo on Vanessa Feltz's show last week  and I was singing that all day.  The dancers and routines are rooted forever in the mind and soul.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Hanway2
  I had been watching Top Of The Pops since the late 60s. My earliest identifiable memories come from late 1969, but I was probably watching the show before then. At this time most likely on a irregular basis, but from 1971 more likely to have seen the programme almost every week.
  From that point Pan's People were a integral part of the viewing experience on watching the show, but not the primary one, which was to see the artists performing as one of the few opportunities to do so for us Pop fans at the time. I remember enjoying the dances, although at this remove find it difficult to single out more than a few remembered routines. But mostly I found the girls had a personality and beauty of their own, Ruth being my favourite followed closely by Louise then Cherry. I can remember being disappointed when learning that Pan's were no more, not accepting Ruby Flipper very well and being pleased with Legs and Co- which I always found a difficult name to like- but always missing Pan's People.
  But it was a weekly disposable experience. You saw it, enjoyed it- or not- and next week would be another. In those far off days I had no knowledge of recording any thing to watch over again. So the dance routines, like life, were a completely ephemeral experience. When the dance troupes and their routines finished, life moved on with only the pleasure of the memory remained. And to be quite honest, that was not very often. Having no tapes or videos of dances I did not see any routines for say 30 years. It is only with discovering them on the internet, and YouTube in particular, that I have been able to renew my acquaintance with the girls and their work. And being able to connect with this website and the ability to watch so many routines whenever I want, has not only rekindled my interest in the dancers, but put my enthusiasm of them onto a higher plateau than ever before. I had not bothered much with the TOTPs re runs on BBC3 or 4, and so it was with YouTube that my reawakening was sprung.
  Once the dancers of Pan's, Ruby and Legs were a dusty memory in my mind not seeing them for such a long period. And now they are living flesh and blood again to me. I aim to keep it that way for a very very long time.
Doc
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Doc
The end of Legs and Co came as a bit of a shock to me. I don’t remember seeing anything in the papers about the end, the first thing I knew was when Peter Powell introduced Zoo for the first time. I still remember my reaction, it was something like ‘what on earth was that rubbish!’. Sue’s appearance in December made me think she had rejoined the show and maybe Zoo may not that bad after all if she was there. I remember checking for some months to see if she was there when they appeared, which obviously was in vain. By then I’d started to accept that it was Zoo or nothing and with the help of one or two good routines (Why and Waiting For A Train come to mind) I finally moved on from L&C. When it was announced in 1983 that there would no longer be a dance troupe on the show I really wasn’t bothered as by then the writing had been on the wall for quite sometime.
I mostly missed out on the UK Gold repeats as they were shown whilst the pub was still open, occasionally I would get home in time to see the end of one. I’m pretty certain the ones I caught were after 1981 anyway, so they never really caught my attention and it never dawned on me to record them for later.
I never expected to ever see the dancers again and it was a real surprise when watching TOTP2 one day Sue came on dancing to In Dulce Jubilo. I even remembered her name, such was her influence on me in my younger years. The only other TOTP2 I can remember was the Instant Replay one which confused and disappointed me because Sue wasn’t there.
So after living on meagre scraps for 30 years I noticed that BBC 4 were repeating old TOTPs. I missed the first few months and the first dancer I saw was Floid dressed as a woman. Very confusing as I’d completely forgotten him! After a few shows I realised that we must be getting very near the start of Legs and Co, so i started searching the internet for more info and the rest is history.
Good to see Lloyd back!
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Re: What did you do after the TOTP dancers?

Legsfan
Thanks all that contributed to this thread. It has really surprised me as I always thought that every Legs/Pans fan from back then would have tried their best to save everything so that they could watch the routines forever, though I see now that it wasn't quite possible. The BBC repeats have been a real credit to every dancer fan and now we can watch nearly all of the routines that exist whenever we want and they will never go away. The closest I have gotten to the original experience is at events like Kal that show some of the rare routines that I have only seen once and even though it hasn't been that long since I watched them, my memory isn't that good, but looking at a few screengrabs usually brings back some of it.

I have really enjoyed reading this thread.

Thanks!
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.