You Sexy Sugar Plum (But I Like It) _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byRodger Collinsand reaching number 22 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date22/04/1976Duration of dance - 2.01 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Cherry, Mary, Ruth, Sue _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
But I Like It!
Now here's a question for all you music lovers: What was the very first record to enter the UK charts with a song title that included the word "sex"? It may be a bit of a surprise that we would have to go all the way back to 1970 when the late Mr. James Brown had a hit with a song called "Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine", peaking at a lowly No. 32. The next record was a whole five years later, but "Sexy", an instrumental by MFSB charting in July 1975, also missed the Top 30 (No. 37). The song that finally made the word socially acceptable was of course "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, which climbed to No. 2 in November 1975.
By the time Hot Chocolate were phrasing female physical features, Rodger Collins' recording career had come to a halt. The American had released a few notable singles in the 60's & 70's (one of them being a song with the intriguing title "Foxy Girls In Oakland"), but success had eluded him. Even his contact with Tom Fogerty (then prominent member of Creedence Clearwater Revival) couldn't help matters, but at least Rodger managed to record a song for the Fantasy label which also held CCR under contract. The song was "You Sexy Sugar Plum" and the year was 1973. Needless to say, the record bombed as well.
But, a couple of years later, "Sugar Plum" was suddenly discovered by the Northern Soul circuit and the song became a favourite at Wigan's Casino. This led to a rerelease by Fantasy and a placing in the UK Top 30. The overripe fruit was finally plucked and Rodger sensed the sweet taste of success.
Mr. Collins is still active today (he's even got his own website where he is selling his music), and he is an avid supporter of President Barack Obama, having recorded songs like "I'm Standing Up With Barack Obama" and "Forward With Barack Obama".
The Pan's People performance dates from the week in which "Sugar Plum" peaked at No. 22, and it is a memorable performance to say the least. With all due respect to the ladies, here we have not one but a total of four sexy sugar plums. There are so many great moments in this routine, and I have tried to capture a few of them in the screengrabs that you can view above. I wouldn't be surprised if each of the girls receives a nomination for DotD as they all seem to compete with each other for the sexiest sugar plum. In last year's poll, this dance was voted the 4th most popular Pan's People routine, just narrowly behind "When Will I See You Again", and it was also in my personal Top 5. I wonder where it will find its place in our favourites table!
Unfortunately, when BBC4 repeated this episode a few years back, they edited the 40 mins original down to 30 mins and "Sugar Plum" ended up on the cutting room floor. That's why we only have the somewhat lower quality UK Gold copy available, but it's still a great pleasure to watch (and Andee has gone to all lengths to make the YT copy the best one around!).
This dance routine, looks like it has come about, as a way of visualising a track with 'sexy' in the title, & adhering to the strictly pre-watershed rules of TOTPs, but are actively mocking them by using comedic antics on stage, because, in the real world, their dress-code doesn't really look like anything x-rated, but having said that, what are those stumpy bits placed in certain intimate places, of their bodies.
But at least the ladies successfully pull it off, but nothing like that of course, no garments were discarded during their performance.
There's also ample gurning throughout the act, & it's as of they're making rude gestures towards the BBC bosses, for not letting them do anything really sexy.
I love this. While not as iconic as "When Will I.." and not quite as sexy as "Foot Stompin" this is the Pans performance I most enjoy watching. It's full of fun and each of the four ladies gets good camera time and great moves and yes the gorgeousness and skimpiness quotients are quite high I suppose but it's the good natured fun in the routine that hits home for me. I also love the abrupt ending which is much better than those fade-outs which make you think that there might have been more to see if only we'd stayed. As for DotD all the dancers are contending again and Mary is highly expressive, Ruth warm and smooth and Cherry just plain naughty but for me this is the best Sue has ever looked and I simply cannot vote for anyone else here. The mark, an easy 10/10 for my most watched Pans Dance and four ladies totally on form.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
I’m no greengrocer but come and see what we’ve got for you here today.
Pans People knowing the end of their tenure as TOTP dance troupe is on the horizon produce (fresh of course) the goods one more time. A classic N/S track that is ripe (I’ll stop in a minute) for this type high intensity routine. Talk about pick of the crop this routine is one of the best from their 1976 vintage and stands the test of time and I for one salute this quartet for turning it on once again.
10/10, Dotd Sue (Looked fantastic and I hope she kept that outfit!)
This pleasant Dance is introduced to us by the one and only Mr David “Diddy” Hamilton [did that name arise from his early showbiz days working with Ken Dodd of the Diddymen fame ?] If any historian of the ‘70’s wants to know what the general standard of stand-up tv comedy was like back then, Mr Hamilton’s lame quips are all that are needed as evidence. All part of the BBC family viewing ethos of those times...I’ll quickly jump from my soapbox and give a glance at the dance shall I ?
First off I am in agreement with PattiforPM in that Sue looks physically stunning. The more I think, the less I can possibly say; if you chaps know what I mean.
But...it never hurts to have a Cherry atop any Plum pudding ! And so it is here with Cherry looking so cute, much like her fellow Bush Davies colleague Lulu, which dance school is sadly no more. What a shame, as any institution that can offer up such two beauties surely deserves to be preserved ? Oh well things move along don’t they. I could blame the instability inherent in the free-market system for ever happening collapses. Maybe it’s not the System at fault, just that in life things inevitably change. I won’t say I’m a Communist but I think the dream was over when Stalin died. And no Suefan I do not concur with your Christmas card sentimentality about - it’s what’s in a man that counts and not his class background. - RE: Nelson Mandela. HE was condemned to be in prison for 27 years because of his class warrior stance. The far-right are very Christian in that they know how to turn the other cheek..to not look back at who they have got locked up in their political prisons.
...Where was I ? Okay back onto the dance floor with Cherry, Sue, Ruth and Mary who make up our sugary plum pudding. Mary will no doubt be chosen as a Dancer of the Day by some and yet for all her physical charms she lacks a certain presence. For me this is the very reason Mary didn’t continue her TOTPs dance career with the following on dance troupes. Cherry, just like her twin sister-in -dance Lulu, loves to perform ! To get out there and get on with the show, and oh boy don’t they both just know how to twist and turn their bodies.
DotD: Sue come across as the dance engine of the Routine. Those hip movements look mighty tricky and Sue accomplishes them impeccably to my eyes.
10/10. Can I find fault with it ? Of course I can. The dresses look picked out from a jumble sale but the performance is endlessly watchable and so I must give it top marks.
Unfortunately, when BBC4 repeated this episode a few years back, they edited the 40 mins original down to 30 mins and "Sugar Plum" ended up on the cutting room floor.
Yes they quite unbelievably opted instead for a `repeat` of `Jungle Rock`. I remember my jaw dropping at their sheer incompetence. As for this routine, i agree with all the comments so far and its certainly a very watchable performance. But i feel i cant award a maximum, so from me its `9 out of 10`.
For my DOTD, then young `Mary` is my choice in this.
I can knock this performance slightly, agreeing with Ryan, this was broadcast before the furore of the Gary Glitter (or was it Jonathan King) moan about his clip cut out from the early broadcast, thus BBC4 decided to show a later longer repeat, but by then this & Silver Star got the chop.
The copy on my/our YT is sourced from a far far superior Gold showing, and not the usual washed out showings littering YT (same with Silver Star) but credit goes to Vin for replacing the sound on this for me.
Anyway, not the penultimate Pans (that belongs to more more more), but their last but one TOTP programme (of course Ruby Flipper was well advanced in stages to take over rapidly in two weeks time).
Still, a good good show from the unrelentless Pans (but showing signs of tiredness here) but still the girls sparkle, Mary shines (wonder if comes to mind, if she got a spot in Ruby??) but the winner by a mile and worth a squeeze of the sugared plums too (it sounded better in my head) goes to the radiant and Über sexy panther Sue
For some reason, and without looking at the clues thread, I had an idea this was due for a review...
I love the song, and the dance really suits the track. All four ladies look divine, and definitely give it their all. There's plenty of singing along by Mary too, and her "Me?" look at the start is priceless.
DotD: Was going to be Miss Corpe, but instead it'll be Sue in the nearest we've seen yet to an emulation of her "Down Down" outfit
Thanks guys for all the reviews and ratings. This is obviously another popular routine - not that it would surprise me - and I'm still curious to learn where it will enter on our listings. If you haven't commented yet, this is your chance for that all important 10th rating to make it eligible for the favourites list!
Pans People may have been coming towards the end of their tenure on TOTP by this stage, but they were certainly not going quietly. This is an excellent performance with all four dancers on top form and each looking fantastic.
I don't particularly like the song but that doesn't detract at all from the routine which I will give 9 out of 10.
DOTD is a tough choice as they all perform well but Mary just gets my vote.
Ouch. Those keyboards are showing their age. Did Rodger Collins win them on Sale Of The Century?
This is a routine that speaks for itself. Though not as compelling as Foot Stompin' Music, it's just bursting with fun. And what a nice contrast with the performers of today. Rather than shoving their sex appeal in our faces, the girls are reacting to the flattery of the song tongue-in-cheek. A reflection of the genuine naivety the girls readily admit to today. Hamming-it-up Mary is my DOTD, I think this is the most confident looking I've seen her. And is she chubbier in the face than she had been at Christmas?
It's hard to provide a satisfactory rating for a very likeable and blameless routine when you're indifferent about the song. This and WWICYA are chalk and cheese, and comparing their merits is also dependent on mood, but as at this moment I just prefer YSSP I'll award it fractionally more. 9.25/10
Interesting you mention the keyboards, as I do think this record sounds even older than it actually is. Anyway, this is the only Pan's People performance so far that hasn't been rated lower than 9, which goes to show that you can produce a splendid routine even with a somewhat strange sounding song.
great routine, the ladies look like they are having so much fun and the routine really goes well with the track although I am not a massive fan of the single. shame there are only 4 but for me Mary is fantastic in this is DOTD. Routine gets a 9.
A bit of strange song for me this one. Thankfully the routine is full of energy with each of the ladies getting plenty of solo time. I like the running towards the camera, and some hilarious facial expressions particularly from Mary, who looks a more confident performer than even a few months previously, and gives it her all here. The set is pretty basic but maybe that harks back to the older times, and i'm not going to mark it lower because of that. Overall pretty good, but not the best of 1976 Pans for me by some way.