Well, thank you all for such an interesting and extremely challenging set of questions. The sheer numbers have way exceeded my expectations – silly me, eh, for thinking that answering would be a simple 5 minute task over a cup of coffee! Some of the questions did make me smile and I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed having to think long and hard about the answers. I have tried to spare you my often chaotic ramblings by asking Mike to sit with me to help me translate my scatter-brained thought processes into answers that, hopefully, will appear reasonably joined up and coherent and I am grateful for his assistance in this respect. If you had seen my original, very random scribblings, you too would be grateful, believe me!
I will try and respond to questions in the order of posting but at the same time including any strays that some of you may have added as an after-thought. I apologise that some of the questions may already have been answered for you on TOTP Playback but no-one could really have seen that coming and also for any repetition which I would simply put down to a few of the questions being quite similar. I plan to post the answers bit by bit rather than wait until I have filled in all the gaps and the first answers will appear below shortly. My apologies, therefore, that some will have longer to wait for their questions to be answered than others but I hope that it will make for an enjoyable read, nonetheless.
ah Thanks for dropping by Pauline and no need to apologise sure were all grateful for you looking at so many for us
On the street or even at the picture show
OK, here you go for starters.....
Hi Andee, I guessed that you would be first out of the blocks (but you did have a bit of a heads-up!).
1) Was it a difficult decision to leave Legs & Co when you did (for other commitments), was it something you had thought about for sometime or was it an on the spur moment. It must of been really hard to leave the dance troupe behind after almost 5 years. Was this a decision you made by yourself or did you discuss it with Mike. Was it the best thing to do in hindsight that Legs & Co only had another year left, or were there times you regretted it.
As you may have heard on the Playback interview, after 4½ years, I had reached the stage where I felt that it was time to move on to do something different. I had started to give this some thought towards the back end of 1980 although, as with any job change, I made no mention of it until I felt that I was ready (for fear of having the decision made for me!). Therefore, the leaving process in the end was quite quick but the decision, itself, certainly hadn’t been made on the spur of the moment. It was not an easy decision to make either because, whilst there were other things that I wanted to do in life, leaving the other girls was a real wrench. We had grown very close over the 4½ years and so I was going to be leaving behind a group of very good friends. However, other opportunities started to become very real and there was the risk of conflict with my Legs duties and a decision had to be made. There were also certain restrictions as to what we were allowed to do in tandem with being a member of Legs & Co and this, as well, was a factor. Although it was my decision, it was of course something that Mike and I discussed. When you make career decisions like this, you have to simply move on and I don’t think I have ever looked back with any regrets especially with it all sadly coming to an end for Legs & Co on TOTP little more than 6 months later. Not that I knew that that was going to happen at the time, mind.
2) When you left was there a send off party and gifts from the other girls, and were you thanked by Flick and BBC for all your hardwork, and was the door left open should you wish to return.
I had a wonderful send off with the girls but this happened after I had left rather than at the time. My actual leaving was a pretty low-key affair and I am not sure that the BBC even realised that ‘Lately’ was to be my last routine. There was never any discussion about a possible return and I doubt that this would have been something that I would either have wanted or that would have been possible.
3) I would assume there were highlights and lowlights in your dancing career, which are the most memorable for you.
A definite highlight was the thrill I felt when I started to understand what Flick’s audition was going to mean for me. I had no real appreciation of this at the time of the auditions which is probably why, coupled with a sense of responsibility, that I initially turned Flick down in favour of another job that I had already committed to.
A most definite lowlight happened some time prior to my joining Legs & Co when I missed my cue and left Lionel Blair having to ad lib on-stage on his own for what, for Lionel, must have seemed like an eternity. We were performing pantomime in Ottawa, Canada and I had the part of Genie of the Ring. Lionel (Aladdin) was to summons me on stage whereupon I would appear in a puff of smoke. On the occasion in question, there was a puff of smoke but, embarrassingly, no Genie. Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to learn that I was yacking in the dressing room and had missed my cue completely! It can’t have been easy for Lionel having to ad lib for as long as he did and I was mortified. There was an after-show party but I was too upset and embarrassed to attend. Lionel, though, made a point of coming to find me. I was left in no doubt that I wouldn’t get away with it again but he wasn’t one to hold a grudge and it was so sweet of him to notice that I wasn’t at the party and to do something about it.
4) Your solo appearance on TOTP dancing (and swinging) to Gladys Knight & The Pips 'Come Back and Finish What You Started' was there a risk of danger (as there was with Pans People on swings), how high up was the swing (Flick was known to raise the swing higher, so the camera didn't catch the safety net) and assuming these practices were not health & safety conscious at the time, you looked like you had a great time or was that misleading.
This was not the only occasion when Health & Safety today would likely have closed us down! Patti careering around the set on roller-skates would have been another example even if she was somewhat more proficient on skates at the time than I was on the trapeze, Ha Ha! From recollection, the swing was at about room ceiling height sufficient for the camera shots to be taken from beneath. Certainly, there was no safety net. Coming from a more conventional ‘stage’ dancing background, there were often things that we were asked to do in Legs & Co that for me had something of a novelty factor and so you just got on with it and had fun if you could without consideration for any potential risk. If it looks like I was having a great time, then I probably was. Not sure if I would be so keen to do it again, mind!
5) Were there any songs you would of loved to dance too during your tenure with Legs
There were several numbers that we would have started to rehearse on a Monday but which then dropped in the charts on Tuesday and which I remember thinking at the time would have been fun numbers to dance to but I would find it impossible after all these years to pick out any specifically.
6) If You had stayed With legs - were there any you thought "I would of loved to have danced to that"
This question was a late addition and when I started to think about an answer, I realised that this is pretty much the same question that Bucksby has asked and which I have already answered further on, so, if you don’t mind, perhaps I could ask you to wait for that to get posted, Andee.
7) if Leg's continued on for another year or so - what would you think you would of liked to have danced to...
The options are so many and varied that it’s hard to know where to start. However, I loved the film ‘Flashdance’ when that came out in 1983, I think it was, and often wondered what it would have been like for the 6 of us to have danced to ‘What A Feeling’ sung by Irene Cara. I daresay the choreography would have been quite different to that portrayed in the film!
Hello Ryan. When I was wondering what kind of questions I would get and what the overall response might be, Mike mentioned that, if there were few other takers, you could be relied upon to come up with a few good ones!
1) Pauline, im interested in your audition for Legs & Co. But before that, im curious if you also went to any of the auditions for Pans People in the late summer of 75 or the Ruby Flipper auditions in the spring of 76 ?
Starting from a bit earlier than the dates that you mention, Ryan, Pans People would have started on TOTP at around the time that I first started work and so, although I would have been just about old enough, at that time I had had no formal dance training and so the thought would never even have crossed my mind to look for dancing opportunities (with Pans People or anyone else for that matter). Initially, I attended evening dance classes whilst working in an office in the City and then, in the early 70s and once I had some dance training under my belt, I worked for much of the time abroad, e.g. in shows in Canada and Italy and on cruise liners operating in the Mediterranean and out of Sydney, Australia – I was away for whole years at a time during this period. I would have had no awareness and, dare I say it, interest in opportunities in the UK at that time. It was only when I made a longer term return to the UK in 1975 that there was a need to find work here and I was fortunate to join the chorus in the West End musical ‘Mardi Gras’, which opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in March 1976. This, I guess, would have been around about the time that Ruby Flipper was formed and so I wasn’t at that point looking out for a job. It was only when Mardi Gras was due to come to an end later in 1976 that I needed to start looking for alternative work and when I saw the advert in The Stage for dancers for TOTP and for the group that was to become Legs & Co. So, to answer your question, no I never auditioned for either Pans People or Ruby Flipper.
2) Did you turn up for your Legs & Co audition with any great hopes, did you have a good feeling this was to be your day ?
The nature of the industry is such that one would attend numerous auditions before, necessarily, being offered a job and Flick’s audition was just one of a number that I was up for at the time. You would always go along to every audition with great hopes that this would be your day and, as I recall, I don’t think I approached the early Legs & Co auditions any differently. As was mentioned on Playback, though, by the time of the final Legs & Co audition, I had secured a job dancing on the Tommy Steele Anniversary Show and so I felt that I was already committed elsewhere. I remember thinking, therefore, that I should simply go along to the final audition for the experience and to see what might happen without ever imagining that I would end the day having to make a career-defining decision. Had I understood at the time how well known we were set to become and what we would achieve, this would, without any doubt, have completely changed my attitude towards Flick’s final audition. Whilst I would most definitely have been going all out to do everything possible to ensure that the job was mine, at the same time, I might well have been a lot more nervous!
3) Were there lots of other girls there, like 100s ?
Yes, there were quite a few hundred there for the first auditions although this number was gradually whittled down over several sessions.
4) Did you have to return for a second audition or did Flick & Ruth pick you on the day ?
As I recall, the auditions took place over several weeks and we were required to return on more than just the one occasion. As I mentioned, during this period I was also attending other auditions since, until a particular job was yours, there could be no guarantees of a positive outcome with any of them.
5) Were you the first new girl to be picked or was it Rosie ? I understand Gill was the final pick.
Rosie and I were selected at the same final audition but I am not sure whether there was a first and second chosen. Certainly, there was a first and second acceptance since I initially turned Flick down (because I had already agreed to join Tommy Steele). It was only Rosie taking me to one side and talking some sense into me that persuaded me to change my mind. Gill was selected at a later audition.
6) Were any of Sue, Patti or Lulu present during the audition ?
Sue accompanied Flick at the auditions and had a say in the final selection. I understand that Flick wanted Sue there since, aside from assessing technical ability and Flick having an idea as to the make-up of the group, it was also important that whoever was chosen would be able to work with Sue, Patti and Lulu who had already been asked to be a part of the new troupe.
7) Pauline, your performance in `Lost In Music` was quite simply off the chart and possibly one of the sexiest by all the TOTPs dancers ever. Do you remember performing to that routine. (though i have to admit, those cages didn't look all that secure and easily escapable).
Wow, that’s some compliment you’re paying me there, Ryan, thank you. Yes, I do remember that routine very well and it is one that often gets commented on. However, you will have noticed which element of the routine has the least amount of dance content and maybe that’s the main reason that I was the one chosen to ‘vamp it up’, Ha Ha!
8) Heres a good one for you Pauline. Would you like to appear on `Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here`. Would you fancy coping with creepy crawlies, eating horid bugs, dodgy toilets and even worse, Ant & Dec. If not yourself, i reckon Sue should be invited on it, what do you think ?
Oh My God, absolutely not – I can’t even say that I watch the show that regularly, it’s just not my kind of programme! I can think of nothing worse than having to eat some of the awful concoctions that I have seen contestants get served up with. Creepy crawlies and dodgy toilets I dare say I would just about cope with. Do I sense, though, that you’re perhaps not a big fan of Ant & Dec? I have to say that they were absolutely charming when we met them on Saturday Night Takeaway back in 2003. As an aside, there’s a sad little story associated with that appearance. We were allowed to take a few guests each and so, aside from family, I invited a close friend and her 11 year old daughter. The daughter was so thrilled to have her picture taken with Ant and Dec and Girls Aloud (who were on the same show and whose first single had just made it into the charts) – I don’t think that being photographed with Legs & Co held any attraction for her – only to discover when she got home that there was no film in the camera. I guess it would be a bit like Angie having her picture taken with Ruth or Old Bill with Sue at the recent Pans People book signings - not to mention Old Bill's various pictures at this week's TOTP Book Launch - only for them to discover later that the pictures had been deleted ! Lovely pictures those all are, by the way.
Talking of Sue, I’m not sure how she would cope with the creepy crawlies but, have no doubt, she would whip the other contestants into shape dance-wise in no time – I, certainly, benefited immensely from her one-to-one coaching whenever Flick had given up on me, Ha Ha!
9) Pauline, i think you are going to be a busy girl answering all our questions. Once again as administrator of this forum i thank you for doing so. Heres another that im curious about. You appeared in this video for Cliff Richard's `Hey Mr Dream Maker` just before your Legs & Co debut, are you kind of disappointing you are not more prominent in this video. Its clearly you, but its a shame we don't see more of you.
I remember recording this very well but I think you will find that this was after I had joined Legs & Co rather than ‘before my debut’ as you suggest, Ryan. Or was that a trick question just to see if I am paying attention?! The TOTP Producer wanted one of the girls to appear in the video and I was lucky enough to be the one chosen. We met at Cliff’s house in Surrey and the filming took place not far away. It was a real privilege to meet the man himself. I suppose the way it’s focused does mean that there is an element of doubt as to whether it actually is me which might keep all but the eagle-eyed guessing! I don’t mind at all, though. I am just happy to have met Cliff.
Hi PattiforPM, no need for guesses as to who your favourite is, then!
1) Not sure if you recall this Pauline, but in the early routine "Do You Feel Like I Do" you run off at the end of the incomplete clip we have to do a solo (which we sadly don't see). Do you remember anything about this solo?
I should start with a small confession. I think that someone (on OFTD maybe?) might have commented, when the ‘wiped’ clip surfaced, that (Flick’s) camera direction was a bit sloppy, capturing me running off set as it did. The fact is that I got my counts slightly wrong and ran off whilst still in full camera shot! So it was all my fault, I’m afraid. Unfortunately, I have difficulty remembering routines in too much detail - even when I watch them back - and this solo is no exception. When I asked Sue if she could remember, she rather unkindly suggested that I might have been running off for a loo break! We think that I actually left to perform on a raised dais with camera shots of the other girls overlaid, i.e. two camera shots running simultaneously, through to the end of the routine. As to the specific nature of the solo, though, I’m sorry, Patti4PM, I can’t really help any more than that. You never know, one day a more complete version may surface and then we, hopefully, will all be the wiser – I, certainly, would be interested since solo opportunities, however small, didn’t come around that often!
2) Who's idea was it to include your lovely wedding picture in "Together We are Beautiful"? Did you volunteer or was it Flick or perhaps peer pressure?
I recall that this was Flick’s idea. Certainly, I didn’t volunteer and I don’t remember knowing much about it before the routine was broadcast although I guess that Flick must have sought my agreement. This also begs the question as to where the picture was sourced from. Both Flick and Ruth (along with Sue, Patti, Lulu, Gill and Rosie) were at our wedding in 1979 and appear in a number of the official photos. I can only imagine that I may have made the odd copy for them after the event or Flick may even have specifically asked for the picture in question, I really don’t remember. As an aside, Mike has never been entirely convinced about appearing alongside Tom and Jerry……let alone Margaret and Dennis, Ha Ha!
3) Do you have any memories of your cabaret experiences with Legs & Co?
Hopefully, you will have heard the ‘Boots’ episode on Playback. However, in addition to that there were several costume ‘incidents’ although we usually managed to save ourselves before these became too embarrassing. Cabaret appearances were always a real fun part of the job but the quick costume changes did, at times, place our modesty at risk of exposure, to put it delicately!
4) Were you always in touch with the other ladies from Legs & Co or did you lose touch and re-contact at some point?
We have kept in touch on and off throughout although contact may have been slightly less following my departure initially out of regard for Anita but then simply because we were all so involved in our own careers. It was recording ‘Top Of The Pops – The True Story’ in 2001 that really brought us all back together again even if we might have occasionally met up in 2s and 3s before that. Now, we generally try to get as many of us as can make it together at least once a year for lunch (a Gentlemen’s Club but for ladies only, as Sue described it) and we always have a real laugh on such occasions. We just seem able to pick up where we last left off and it’s comical remembering all the funny things that happened either on TOTP or in Cabaret – mistakes especially.
5) How do you feel about the resurgence of interest in the Dance Troupes?
I think that the reruns of the TOTP shows on BBC4 are wonderful. It’s just such a pity that so many aren’t being retransmitted. Back in the late 70s/early 80s, domestic video recorders were still a very expensive luxury. Therefore, aside from the compilation tapes that the VT engineers kindly prepared for us (and, coincidentally, from which ‘Do You Feel Like I Do’ amongst other ‘wiped’ snippets was sourced), we had no lasting record of our time together. The reruns have made it possible, if only in part, to remedy this shortcoming and so, if and when the time comes, I will have something to show future generations, whenever they start to arrive on the scene! Hopefully, this is still some way off yet, mind!!
Coupled with the reruns, I must also make mention of the excellent work that YMG, Ryan, Andee and others do on here to sustain interest and to provide such a comprehensive compilation of Legs (and Ruby and Pans) pictures, videos and articles. It is very flattering to think that there is such interest still after all these years, so thank you all so much.
6) What do you think of Dancing on the TV nowadays?
I guess that it’s inevitable that Dancing on the TV today is going to be quite different now to what it was in our day what with all the new dance forms that keep popping up on reality shows and suchlike. However, I love all forms of dance and will try and catch as many TV dance shows as possible. I, especially, love, Strictly and make sure that I never miss a programme. I’m expecting withdrawal symptoms when the current series comes to an end!
To be continued........
Thanks so much Pauline and Mike. I really like your approach to this and so good of you to spend so much time on our questions.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
A big 'thank you ' from me too Pauline and Mike.............VERY much appreciated!
Pauline, when at school, I doubt you ever had any trouble negotiating the 'Give reasons for your answers' aspect within exam questions!
Very thorough and involving and already worthy of a re-read : interesting picture painted of life on cruise liners and the case of the missing Genie certainly tickled me.
Pauline and Mike, you've both hit the ground running, response-wise.
Already, thanks to you both.
In reply to this post by Angie
Great stuff so far Pauline, very interesting, many thanks
Thank you Pauline for replies. You have answered them in depth and comprehensibly. They have made interesting reading and i look forward to you replying to the other members questions.
Thank you from me as well, very interesting answers.
Still living in 1979
Hi, Pauline. Your replies have made for fascinating reading. Thanks very much from me as well.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
You have to feel sorry for those fans of the dancers that posed with them for some pictures, & the photographer forgot to put a film inside their camera, argh, deary me!, but heaps of thanks to Pauline for going out of her way to answer all of our questions about her life thus far.
In reply to this post by Old Grey Whistler
It was a fantastic read and I am waiting for the next questions to be answered. It so kind of you to do this Pauline and Mike for our forum. And thank you again.
Well, Stuey, do I sense from your final question that you don’t share the same favourite as PattiforPM? Should make answering your questions fun!
1) My favourite performance of yours so far (I’m only watching them as they appear on BBC4 re-runs) is Egyptian Reggae, what has been your favourite of the ones shown so far?
I have so many favourites but if I had to choose one it would be ‘Silver Lady’ by David Soul. I just loved dancing to this and like to think that I gave it my all.
2) Have you been watching the TOTP re-runs, and how do you feel when you see them again?
Yes, we record them whenever they are on and we’re compiling a library of routines on DVD. The nicest thing about seeing them again is that, after 30+ years, I had quite forgotten about some of the numbers that we performed to and how good some of the routines were. For example, if someone were to have said “Oh, you know, the routine that you danced to Chic’s ‘Le Freak’”, I am not sure, without the benefit of the reruns, that I would actually have remembered. It’s so good now to have them on DVD since there is no telling whether we will get an opportunity to see them on TV ever again.
3) Are there people that know you now that were previously unaware of your time in L&C until the recent TOTP re-runs, and if so how do they react about it?
Over time, a good number of the members at my dance classes have got to know that I used to be in Legs & Co and the reruns have sparked renewed interest. TOTP Playback has recently also been quite a talking point. There are others, though, who still have no idea and that’s also fine – I just don’t make a big deal out of it. Aside from their own interest, those that know have been keen to tell their husbands what their instructor used to do and they always seem impressed, which is sweet. It is obviously flattering for there to be such interest but it does mean that I have to be a little bit more on the ball myself as to which routine may have been on in any given week so as not to get caught out.
4) How did the other girls react when you announced that you were leaving?
As I mentioned in my response to one of Andee’s questions, we had all grown very close and so it was very sad when I had to tell them that I was going to be leaving. Although, with hindsight, the advent and impact of the music video should have served as a warning, we were all still turning up for work each day and doing what was asked of us. When I left, therefore, I don’t recall that any of us had the slightest idea that Legs on TOTP would only be lasting for around a further 6 months.
5) You always look genuinely happy whilst performing, was this the case or were there times when it was more of a job than a passion?
Dancing was and remains to this day a passion and it is something that has always given me a huge amount of pleasure. Unfortunately, I am not very good at remembering when I go to parties now that I am no longer as young as I used to be. The mind says ‘dance all night’ but then the body gives the mind a good telling off the next morning! Whilst it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life, working with Legs & Co could, at times, be quite intense. As we mentioned on Playback, we would start to learn a routine on Monday but, if the routine had dropped when the charts were published on Tuesday, we had to start afresh with a new number. Having had no formal dance training, I did find this more of a challenge than others with a more professional dancing background and possibly made more mistakes as a consequence, much to Flick’s irritation. At such times it quickly became more of a job than a passion! Although I also loved performing in our Cabaret Acts, these could be pretty tiring too since we would appear often quite late in the evening and then have a drive, sometimes of several hours duration, back to London afterwards – we seldom stayed over. You could quite easily not be getting home until 2 or 3 in the morning or later still and it’s worth remembering that Cabarets were always ‘as well as’ rather than ‘instead of’ our appearances on TOTP.
6) What sort of things have you done in your professional life since L&C, and how does your time in the troupe compare with the things that you’ve done since?
After leaving Legs & Co, I did a bit of acting work and Trade Shows but at the same time was starting to get myself set up as a Dance and Fitness Instructor and this is something that I still do today. We all of us remember our time as Legs & Co with great affection which I think is evidenced by the fact that we still meet up all these years later. I wouldn’t do anything any differently if I were to turn the clock back to 1976 and start over and would enjoy it just as much a second time around. However, our lives move on, families get started, lifestyles change and so I don’t think it is possible to make comparisons between then and now – each was/is right for their time.
7) Are you still in regular contact with the other girls?
Perhaps I could refer you to my answer to PattiforPM’s Q4. In short, yes we are in fairly regular contact although, outside our annual lunches, this will often tend to be more on a one-to-one basis purely because it’s easier to make arrangements that way.
8) As a fellow 6th July baby, can you tell me what has been your favourite birthday so far and why?
Gosh, that’s an interesting one! The most memorable, I guess, would have been the last big ’0’. Although celebrations have been more modest in-between times, my more recent ‘0’ anniversaries have been marked by a party. Last year was the biggest and most enjoyable and it was lovely to have family and friends (including members of Legs & Co) together to enjoy it with me. I think the body is still, a year later, recovering from the self-inflicted stresses and strains!
9) Are you aware of the DOTD scoreboard on here, and if so how do you feel about it?
Although I’ve only recently heard about DOTD, I think it’s a great idea to keep people involved and to allow them to express their personal opinions on dancer performance. I only got to hear about it, though, because I understand that there was some concern that yours truly didn’t always feature that high up the Leader Board and that I may not feel too good about that! As I have said in response to an earlier question, receiving the recognition and obvious affection that we do on OFTD is, for me, enough of a compliment. I, probably, would agree with most of the DOTD nominations anyway and so there is no reason to be concerned that I am going to be put out in any way by an indifferent ranking. Sorry, I’ll have to stop there because I can feel the tears of dejection welling up, Ha Ha!
10) After this barrage of questions from ourselves, I think it's only fair to redress the balance in some small measure, so what would be your question to OFTD's members? ...and I think it's only fair that all members answer...including 'Say When'.
I’m not sure if this has been asked before but if there was an auction of Legs & Co memorabilia (costumes, props or set items) and you were allowed to bid for one item and one item only, what would it be and, more importantly, why would you choose it? No two members can select the same item and to avoid any misunderstanding, members of Legs & Co, themselves, are not included in the auction, sorry!
11) And finally, how difficult has it been to have to cope with being the most beautiful woman on the planet?
Ha Ha Ha! You flatterer, you……..and, yes, compliments like that will get you everywhere! However, maybe I could be so bold as to suggest a trip to Specsavers!
Hi Steve. Sorry, I have to ask, but since we have a Beautiful Babs and an Adorable Gillusion, was ‘Daze’ the mysterious and seldom seen 7th member of Legs & Co?
1) What do you think your biggest strengths were as a dancer and do you think Legs & Co. provided a platform where you could explore and demonstrate them to your full potential?
It’s always difficult self-analysing yourself but I have always wanted the sense of fun and enjoyment that I get from my dancing to shine through. I always knew that I might not be as technically accomplished as others in the troupe and so there had to be something else that I brought to the mix. Some of the questioners have commented on me smiling and looking happy and so it looks as though I must have been doing something right. The fact that we never did take ourselves too seriously meant that Legs & Co provided the ideal platform to express fun and enjoyment whenever the routine warranted it and it was this opportunity for self-expression that I enjoyed the most.
2) 'Then' and now, what is your favourite music and who are your favourite artists?
‘Then’, I really enjoyed groups like Earth, Wind & Fire and Sister Sledge. ‘Now’, I like all types of music from Rihanna to Michael Buble but especially anything that’s got a bit of rhythm and that it is possible to dance to. I was recently given Caro Emerald’s album ‘Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor’ and that’s got some great tracks that I would say best typify a style of music that I really enjoy today.
3) With its huge audience and place as a national institution, did you get nervous about performing on TOTPs?
And if so did you get less nervous over time?
Appearing at Television Centre and on TOTP for the first time was pretty daunting and although it became less nerve wracking over time, the adrenaline would always kick in before a routine simply because you wanted to get it right, which is no bad thing. You also knew that it was Flick’s expectation not only that you got it right but that you got it right first time since studio time was limited and other acts might have to do re-takes, if they, themselves, messed up. One other point worth making is that each week there would very likely be a band/artist appearing for the first time whereas we soon became the ‘old-hands’ who understood the process and were familiar with the surroundings. You quickly got to realise, therefore, that there were others there who would likely be far more nervous than you were!
4) Who were your favourite TOTPs presenters?
We actually had quite limited contact with the presenters since we were all of us just there doing our jobs. Those that we did come into contact with, though, were always very pleasant. I’m not sure that I would be able to pick out a favourite, though.
5) Which musicians that you met did you like most personally?
Errol Brown from Hot Chocolate and Lemmy from Motorhead (a real pussy cat!) were both really friendly. There were many others but it would be impossible to name them all.
6) Which costume or costumes that you wore in Legs & Co. did you like the best?
Any that behaved themselves and stayed in place, Ha Ha! The flimsy nature of some of the costumes that were made specifically for us meant that they were very often held in place with toupee tape. There was always the potential for some serious wardrobe malfunctions and some costumes had us feeling more apprehensive than others.
7) You've got the loveliest smile anyone could wish to see. Which of the girls - including yourself - would you say had/has the best sense of humour?
I would say that each of the 6 of us has a very good sense of humour. The nature of the job was such that we simply couldn’t take ourselves too seriously. After all, we spent so much time together including working evenings and weekends that I don’t think we would have lasted as long as we did if this hadn’t been the case. If there was anyone who was always up for a laugh, though, I would probably say it was Rosie – I hope that she forgives me for saying that! It’s probably why she was the one given a solo in our Cabaret Act dancing to Happy Feet wearing boots!
8) In which routine do you feel you gave your finest performance?
The finest, in my view, would be ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ by Michael Jackson. I just love the choreography and the way it was shot against a white background.
9) As a professional and member of the finest dance troupe that ever was and will ever be, how does it feel to have a load of blokes who in the main know nothing about dancing commenting on, rating, and reviewing your work?
I’ve mentioned it before but there is only one word that I can think of and that’s ‘flattering’. Agreed, the analysis now on OFTD may be more in-depth (routine points ratings and DOTD etc.) but otherwise wasn’t it the same when the routines were first broadcast, namely a load of blokes (predominantly) who knew little about dancing commenting on, rating and reviewing our work? You would often hear it said that ‘Dad’ would always rush into the room whenever Pans People or Legs & Co were on although I can’t help but feel that maybe the ‘Dads’ at the time would have been watching for quite a different reason and weren’t so much focused on the technicalities of the dancing, Ha Ha! Maybe today’s analysis, therefore, might actually be more “appropriate”…..or am I being naïve?!
1) Had you known the fate of Legs & Co.'s TOTPs reign, at the time that you decided to leave them, would you have stayed with the other girls for a least a few more months, 'till it was time for you all to depart the programme for pastures new?
Perhaps I could refer you to my answer to Andee’s Q1 for starters. With regards to whether I would have stayed longer, the answer is probably ‘no’. When I took the decision it was because there were other opportunities that were available there and then and these would have been lost had I not taken them up at the time. The only way I might possibly have thought differently would have been if we had known about Legs & Co’s ultimate fate before I started to consider leaving and had we been confident that the whole exit process would then be handled sensitively with due recognition for everything that the troupe had contributed to TOTP. Even then, I’m not sure it would necessarily have made a difference.
Hi Adorable Gillusion.
1) Were you a fan of Pans People and if so did you have a favourite dancer?
As I mentioned in an earlier answer, I was working abroad for a good part of the time that Pans People were appearing on TOTP and so it wasn’t regular viewing – it just wasn’t possible. Whenever there was the opportunity, though, if there was one dancer from the original line up that I would particularly watch out for it would have been Louise. I always thought that she was so beautiful and graceful and, although she was not one of the Pans People dancers that I ever met, it’s still so sad to think that she is no longer with us.
2) Which routine if any do you most regret missing out on?
That’s an interesting one and not one for which there’s an easy answer, partly due to the fact that if you weren’t in it, you tended not to watch it since there was no need to see where you might have gone wrong! However, 'Supernature' by Cerrone looks like it would have been a fun routine, given that it’s both quirky and sexy.
3) How did your family and friends react to seeing you dance on TOTP every week, did the more risque routines cause any problems for you?
My family at the time were very supportive and I like to think my parents were proud that their daughter was dancing each week on TOTP having started out only a few years earlier as an office worker with no formal dance training or experience. My sister always enjoyed being mistaken for me then and, with the reruns, still occasionally does today! I was always slightly apprehensive about my parents’ possible reaction, though, whenever I knew that an upcoming routine was a bit risqué or the costumes rather skimpy. I needn’t have worried, though, because the more risqué routines never caused any problems even if my parents (and my father especially) would occasionally raise an eye-brow whenever an outfit was particularly revealing. I’m just not sure that they thought it was quite in keeping with my Catholic upbringing!
4) Do you still have a keen interest in dancing or is that all a distant memory for you, do you watch Strictly for instance?
Very much so given that I teach Dance and Fitness classes. I’m always looking out for new ideas and so like to keep abreast of whatever is coming next. And, yes, I love Strictly and, for that matter, any dance programme and will always try to watch, if not live then on Catch Up.
5) Did you ever encounter any racism during your time with L&Co?
Do you mean generally or towards myself specifically? Either way, no, I never experienced racism in any shape or form whilst with Legs & Co.
6) Sum up in one sentence your time with L&Co
It was the most wonderful ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ that I am so privileged to have experienced.
1) As you've already been bombarded with a barrage of questions I'll just ask which was your favourite dance routine?
Gosh, I would have to go back and watch them all again to be sure of my answer to that one. Without giving it too much thought, though, I guess I might choose ‘Don’t Push It’. This routine was, in effect, a compilation of solos and so it provided each of us with the opportunity to show-case our abilities – even if the behaviour of the hems made the dresses probably the most distracting costume that we ever had to perform in, Ha Ha! I also think that both the music and the routine still look/sound good today and so it remains very watchable. It’s just a pity that Patti didn’t feature in this particular routine as it would have been right up her street!
Hi Glenn. That’s a really nice picture of Rosie and, having seen her again only this Wednesday evening, I can assure you that she still looks even lovelier in person.
1) Pauline,i believe you're a fitness instructor - do you use any of the Legs & Co routines to keep your students fit?
I wouldn’t say that I use routines as such but the TOTP reruns are making me realise where I got some of the movements that I use in my classes from. They were evidently parked away in the back of my mind and it is only the reruns that are now jogging my memory as to where they originated from.
2) After the appearances in Tenko would you have liked to have continued in an acting career?
Aside from my ’blink and you’ll miss it’ appearances in Tenko, I also appeared in the Dick Emery show playing the part of his Indian daughter – unusual casting for someone of Burmese origins but a job’s a job! In tandem, I had several other photo and trade show engagements at around about the same time, although Dance and Fitness Instruction eventually took over to such an extent that there wasn’t really time to focus on anything else. Perhaps a few more acting parts might have been nice, though.
Hello Colm and thank you for the welcome.
1) You were the first member of Legs and Co chosen to perform a solo routine for Rose Royce's "I Wanna Get Next to You". How did this come about, what was it like taking to the stage without the rest of the troupe, and how did it feel overall to be given a solo routine?
When I first saw your question, Colm, I was sure that you had to be wrong in stating that I had been the first. However, I looked back over the routine listing and do you know what, you’re right, which just goes to show how poor my memory is! I can’t remember how this came about although there were two other routines that week featuring four of the other girls in pairs, so it was either Flick’s idea to split us up for the one week or the producers had given her three numbers to prepare routines for and this was the easiest option, I really don’t remember. It was certainly nerve-wracking to be thrown into the solo deep-end without the other girls in support. However, once the number started, having to concentrate on the routine itself soon counteracted any nerves.
2) One thing that really come across in many Legs and Co routines is the real sense of fun you conveyed, thinking about dances like "Chanson d'Amour", "Egyptian Reggae" and, dare I say it, "The Smurf Song". Was this something that you were encouraged to do by Flick, or was it something which you chose to do yourself and was incorporated into the routine?
As I mentioned in my answer to an earlier question, I always did want to bring a sense of fun to everything I did. I would like to think that that was what Flick saw in me when I auditioned. Once she had the ‘character-types’ that she wanted in the troupe, she very much then left it to us to be ourselves, provided, of course, that we got the moves right! Oh, and since you were the one that raised it, if you’re painted blue and are wearing clowns feet, you’ve got one of two options…..sulk or make the best of it and have fun and we all decided on the latter!
To be continued...........
This is just riveting reading IMHO and that talk of Patti in Don't Push It now has me firmly in your corner Pauline!
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Absolutely. To have two ex-dancers contributing to this site is simply fantastic. I cant thank them enough, so here is three more. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou.
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Pauline Peters
EDIT: There is now a seperate post for your answers so as to avoid clogging this thread.
Just like the Black Friday sales I'll get in early so I can have the pick of everything. It's a tough question and there is certainly a lot of choices. However I came to quite a quick decision. My choice would be one of the outfits from the first 'Silver Lady' dance. The reason is that I think this is a fantastically good dance and is probably my favorite of all you did.
Still living in 1979
Should we make our answers to Pauline's question another Thread?
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
In reply to this post by PattiforPM
P4PM...Welcome to the Pauline Mafia!
In reply to this post by PattiforPM
Good idea P4PM, I've just created a new post.
Still living in 1979
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Count me in PD as long as there are no power struggles with the other Don(na)s
...and thanks Doc I'm following you over
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