Say When's The Godfather (with very good reason).
The power struggle occurs when it comes to a battle for the De Niro and Pacino positions.
(Currently fighting Stuey for an elevated Corleone status)
Thank you so much for answering our questions Pauline, I just have to say I love your sense of humour and you come across as a lovely lovely lady :)
Pauline, regarding `DOTD`. Its important to me that you realize dancer of the day is not a popularity contest. Its just a way of deciding which dancers stood out to us in routines, or who performed best on a given day. Unfortunately, Flick did seem to hand out more than your fair share of unfavourable dance placements to you, or so it seems to us. You appear to be often at the back, out of the way, stuck in the shadows or just of camera. This could be a misconception of ours, but thats how it often seems.
I hope that somehow explains how your DOTD total is lagging behind the others to some degree. Ive said often i feel a bit rotten that one of our dancers is bottom of this list and at times i wished i never started DOTD because of that fact. We all have our favourite dancers indeed you are favoured by quite a few of the guys (The Pauline Mafia i christened them a while back). But i can safely say that all the members of this site and all Legs & Co fans in general hold the six ladies in the highest esteem and on an equal platform.
It's been a bugbear with me too, touched upon on occasion when reviewing the routines.
Ryan's put the point across that DOTD is not a popularity contest (if that were the case, it would be crooked) but about who catches the eye and gives the greatest personal entertainment within each routine, be it by little moments such as a dainty turn here and there or a succession of swift spins, for example.
More often than not, Pauline's default position appears to be 'up at the back', which is a bad start in itself. This in turn doesn't exactly result in an abundance of relatively equal profile camera shots for the viewer. Thus the lady's already got her work cut out thanks to poor 'product placement'
Hi Pauline, all your answers make for fascinating reading and I'm wishing now I'd ask more than a solitary question! But great to hear you are a big fan of both "Don't Push It...." and "Silver Lady"; two knockout dances for yourself and indeed all the ladies involved.
Pauline, thank you so much for your fascinating and comprehensive answers, both to my questions and those of others. Part 3 is keenly looked forward to! And you're guess is correct as to the origin of my name. Daisy was the teary-eyed girl you pipped at the final audition who remained forever on the subs-bench.
I will sum up my thanks for Pauline when she post's her final comments. Above all her responses have been exemplary
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue
Hi Pauline’s Dimples and can I just say what an excellent forum name that is!
1) Around the time of your March 1981 departure, Legs & Co were becoming more marginalised on Top Of The Pops, relegated to background dancers as part of the 'party-atmosphere' revamp, coupled with the growth in music videos.
Could you see the writing on the wall as far as the TV gig was concerned and did this have any degree of bearing on your decision to quit the troupe?
I think that I had already made my decision by the time that the party-atmosphere and the consequences that this would have for Legs & Co had really started to take hold. As I have already commented elsewhere, there was absolutely no sense of the writing being on the wall although looking back I am not sure, in any case, that I would have wanted to endure the ‘relegation’ imposed on the remaining girls towards the latter stages. They deserved far better than that.
2) Your last TOTP dance was to Stevie Wonder's Lately. Was the fact that you were afforded no real solo moment within that particular routine, an indication that your quitting was rather sudden and swift (particularly given that it took a good month or two for Anita to make her first appearance) ?
Although making the decision took some time during which my possible departure wasn’t common knowledge, the announcement and my leaving were quite sudden. I suspect, therefore, that, for Flick, ‘Lately’ was just another routine to be choreographed without having time to be distracted by the circumstances. Watching it back today, though, there is a certain poignancy, given the career milestone that ‘Lately’ would, for me, turn out to be. At the time, though, I was merely looking forward with anticipation rather than backwards with any misgivings, as you typically do whenever you change jobs.
3) You appeared in Cliff Richard's Hey Mr Dream Maker video in 1976. Was it ever an intention to appear in videos where required, and was this curtailed as a possible venture, once you were selected to become a member of the troupe?
This really was just a one-off and I suspect came about because Cliff Richard’s production company asked for a dancer to appear in the video. It was all done through TOTP and so wasn’t a personal venture outside my appearances with Legs & Co. Someone on here may well know whether there were other such video appearances during Legs & Co’s time although, if there were, these would also have had to have been agreed with both the BBC and Legs & Co’s management. There were very strict rules as to what we were and were not allowed to get involved with independently.
4) Of the two solo routines you performed which one's your favourite?
I enjoyed doing both but for different reasons – one routine was a bit more elegant, whilst the other gave me the opportunity to fool around a bit!
5) The fabled routine on the trapeze: did you receive that one because you'd once mentioned a gymnastic prowess, or was it a case of you drawing the short straw?
Drawing the short straw, more likely. Either that or it was Flick’s attempt at an exit strategy for me after she had witnessed my capacity for making mistakes! Certainly, I cannot claim any gymnastic prowess.
6) Mention has been made that when the BBC4 repeats are on, if you know the dance to be aired and aren't too keen in it, you won't bother to watch. Did you regularly catch the dances when they were originally shown on Thursday evenings on BBC1 back in the day or were you out and about?
I definitely made the effort to be in to watch it each week. Given that there was no catch-up TV in those days and we couldn’t record programmes, it was a case of ‘view it or lose it’ which goes to show how much we take for-granted with today’s technology. With the reruns, whether I feel inclined to watch or not really depends on the nature of the routine we are performing. ‘Once in a Lifetime’, for example, which we reviewed on TOTP Playback, was quite arty but not exactly what I would call dance. Nothing wrong with that, just not sure I would want repeated viewings. On the other hand, the Smurf Song…………..now you’re talking!
7) Any unusual comments form any younger members within your family as a result of the repeats?
My immediate family now are somewhat laid back in their appreciation although have started to show more interest with appearances such as on the recent TOTP Playback Show and, before that, Saturday Night Takeaway, of course. I imagine that’s because it’s as they know me now rather than how I was then. I suppose it’s only understandable given that they weren’t even born until several years after Legs & Co had come to an end. Over the years (way before the reruns) they will, in any case, have seen the compilation video that each of us has, probably many times over. To paraphrase a rather apt remark made by Len Goodman on Strictly only last weekend, “We’re wind-up watches in a digital world”, and so I suppose it is unrealistic to expect our families who have grown up with the likes of MTV and VH1 to share our own interest, to the same extent anyway, in a TV music show that we appeared in 35 years ago.
8) Hottest dance was Lost In Music with the 'lucky' bars.(Mary Whitehouse must have been watching BBC2 that week) Did the others push you into being the main focus of attention for that one, on account of you being the most capable of conveying effortless sexiness?
Again that’s a wonderful compliment that you’re paying me there, Pauline’s Dimples, thank you so much. Of course it was my capability to convey effortless sexiness. What else could it possibly have been, Ha Ha! However, I think I’ve hinted at a possible alternative reason earlier.
9) Which particular dance routine still gives you the greatest artistic pleasure of all?
It would have to be ‘Green Onions’ by Booker T and the MGs. I really loved this single, the 60s look of the costumes and set and the choreography.
10) Which one was the most disappointing/frustrating from a self-critical point of view.
It may come as something of a surprise when I say ‘Funky Town’ by Lipps Inc. This was not what I would call a proper ‘dance’ routine. The set was overly fussy, the moves robotic and the toys seemed to play a more prominent role than us dancers. It didn’t help that I was pushed off to the side of the set again, either!
11) Does Mike have two left feet? Dance-wise, is he less Fred Astaire, more Freddie Starr?
In his younger days, Mike used to play rugby. Sadly, I can’t see him being the next ex-rugby player to be making an appearance on Strictly any time soon! If we are at a party, he is far more likely to be at the bar with a few mates than out on the dance floor with me. If I do ever manage to drag him to the floor, his signature dance is a slow one…….someone to hang onto and no need to break into anything more energetic than a shuffle, Ha Ha!
12) Have you ever been recognised any unlikely locations, such as the Egyptian pyramids in Cairo or the Soft-Furnishing department in Selfridges, for example?
Certainly, we would often be recognised during our Legs & Co days but not now, despite the reruns – sadly, any immediately obvious resemblance to how I was in my Legs & Co days deserted me some time back! As for unlikely locations, you know I can’t remember. Although not as exotic as the examples that you gave (well one of them, anyway!), when we bought our first house, the doorbell rang one day and when I answered it a small boy outside looked at me and simply said to his mates ‘See, it is her’. I can only presume that I was who he thought I was!
13) Skipping over the 'frizz episode', your dark, black hair would surely have been ideal for a shampoo advert ('we washed one half in ordinary shampoo...' a parting of the hair revealing one side looking shiny and immaculate, the other side caked in dandruff) Did Head & Shoulders ever come calling?
What do you mean frizz ‘episode’? Mind you, you are probably right. The day that I had the ‘frizz’ done in South Molton Street, I had arranged to meet Mike afterwards and he walked straight past me – hopefully, it was lack of recognition rather than a case of ‘best to just keep walking and pretend I haven’t seen her’! Unfortunately, I never did get a call from L’Oreal (sounds so much more feminine than the ‘blokes’ brand that you suggested!).
14) Have you managed to hoard any original items of clothing or accessories from your time with Legs & Co? The trapeze, hanging from the bedroom ceiling, perhaps?
Not sure what goes on in your house – trapeze in the bedroom, indeed! Sadly, one didn’t have the foresight at the time to hang onto anything. After all, who could possibly have imagined that a relatively cheap 1978 diary used as a prop in ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ might have generated any interest 35 years later. Clothing, generally, was either designed and made with a one-time use only in mind or was shop-bought and, very occasionally, made available for purchase. I believe that the only such item that I ever bought was the outfit worn for the Donna Summer routine ‘I Feel Love’ because this would have been fashionable party-wear at the time – probably still would be today. This, though, would have been worn (out) and eventually disposed of – to a Charity Shop most likely – many years ago.
1) What is your favourite film ?
I love watching films and have so many favourites. If I had to pick one, though, it would be Face Off starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. Although totally implausible, it’s a great action movie with lots of fascinating twists and I love the inter-play between Travolta and Cage.
2) Did Flick ever tell the dancers off ?
Flick had a very tough job having to come up with ideas for a new routine each week without the opportunity to select the number herself and possibly having to start again if the first number that we had been rehearsing on a Monday had dropped in the charts when these were announced on Tuesday. She was very precise but also very demanding and, therefore, not very forgiving if you weren’t getting it or made mistakes…..and, believe me, I should know!
3) Can you remember any Legs and Co routines where you went wrong ?
Where would you like me to start?! We all made mistakes, some of us, you won’t be surprised to hear, more so than others! However, as I have said before, the lovely thing about Legs & Co was that we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. Of course you always wanted to do a good job but mistakes were bound to happen and, even if we were disappointed, we always tried to get over it quickly after the event rather than get too upset with ourselves or each other. If it was that bad, believe me, Flick was sure to let us know and so there was no point in beating ourselves up over it.
Hi Doc. Glad you enjoyed Playback. It actually turned out better than I was expecting….you should see the cutting room floor, though!
1) Hi, I have to say that I enjoyed listening to Sue and yourself on TOTP playback and one thing I'd like to ask is how did you go back to Flick to say that you've changed your mind?
As I mentioned on Playback, it was Rosie who talked me into changing my mind. When I suggested to Flick that it wasn’t going to be possible for me to accept the offer, Rosie conveniently asked if she could have a quiet word with me outside the audition room (in the ladies, I recall!), thereby interrupting proceedings. Here was a 16 year-old talking some sense into a 24 year-old! She pointed out to me that TOTP was likely to be going for a good while longer than the commitment that I had made to the Tommy Steele Anniversary Show, something that I should probably have realised for myself. Thereafter, it was a fairly easy task to return to Flick to tell her that I would be accepting. The bigger problem was having to go back to Bernard Delfont’s agent to tell him that, having previously accepted his offer, I was now having to turn him down.
2) We know you all well as dancers but little beyond that. Could you use a word or a short sentence to describe the personality of each of the ladies. It would be interesting to see if it compares with their dancing style.
I started to have a go at this one and then got stuck when I began to hear voices in my head saying ”You described me as what!” whenever I thought I had come up with something appropriate, Ha Ha! If you don’t mind, Doc, I think I’m going to have to pass on this one for the time being. I would feel far more comfortable if the other girls each described themselves in a word or short sentence than to presume to do this for them. I appreciate that this means that you may never get an answer but I will try to remember the question when we are next all together and see whether they can come up with anything, themselves. If they do, then I’ll get back to you. I can’t promise, though. If only in a small way, this Q&A will, hopefully, have helped to give you some insight into my own personality.
Hi Carl and thank you also for the warm welcome.
1) Did you still watch Top of the pops after you left and are there any songs that you would have liked to dance to that charted after you left (Birdie dance probably not one of them!) during the TOTP dancers era (up until 1983) Also were you jealous of Anita when she took your place? (did you ever meet?)
Gosh, that’s again a difficult one, Carl, but If I had to choose one number that I would have loved to have been there for then, maybe, it would have to be Ai No Corrida – great music and a sexy routine…..plus there were only 4 dancers for that one and so there might have been room to squeeze another one in! As for Anita, how could I possibly feel jealous? I will always be part of the original line-up and, as I was the one who had taken the decision to leave, what was there to be jealous of? As for Anita, herself, she was a lovely person and rightly deserved the opportunity to take over from me. Yes, we did meet although I don’t recall whether I already knew her before she joined Legs & Co or whether it was because of her joining. Coincidentally, like myself, Anita was also Anglo-Burmese and so there was definitely a trend going in the make-up of the troupe! I was also very friendly with Patricia and Tanya who were to join later still – after TOTP - and they were also lovely girls.
Hello Angie and thank you so much for the kind words.
1) Just wondering if there is a piece of music, whether it be pop, classical, jazz etc. that you would have loved to have performed to during your dance career but didn't?
I guess it’s my theatrical background coming through but I would have loved to have danced to Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’. I really like the mix of theatre and jazz in this number and would have loved someone to have choreographed a good raunchy dance routine to this….see I’m just a Show Girl at heart, really! Ha Ha!
Hi Mac and many thanks for another warm welcome.
1) Are you pleased the way everything turned out in your dancing career, is there anything you would change looking back?
Dancing has given me the most wonderful career I could have hoped for. I have been so fortunate to have been able to travel extensively at the start of my career and to then be part of one of the best known dance troupes that there has ever been. I have also met some wonderful people, especially my lovely Legs & Co friends, and I can think of few other jobs where you could have expected to have remained so close to your former colleagues all these years later. Every now and then I’ll go to see a West End musical and I do sometimes wonder whether it would have been fun to have done more in that field. However, I really cannot have any complaints with the way everything turned out.
2) Is it correct that were holding down a full time job while still learning dance in your spare time if so that shows real determination and you got your reward eventually by being chosen to join Legs and Co!
Yes, that’s right. When I left school, I took an office job in the City and it was during this period that I attended evening dance classes. This is why I have commented elsewhere that I didn’t have the same level of professional training that others may have benefited from, e.g. ballet classes from an early age or full-time dance tuition.
3) Finally having seen your recent picture via your TOTP playback interview I think you haven’t changed a bit. So now you are appearing most weeks on BBC4 I suggest you are still getting people coming up to you and asking, are you Pauline from Legs and Co only to put them off with ‘Yes I do look like her don’t I ‘
I did use that exact line during our Legs & Co days simply because you would get approached quite frequently and it was a convenient way to politely put people off! There really isn’t any need today, though. Whilst it’s flattering to be told that you haven’t changed in 35 years, I’m not so sure that any resemblance (now versus then) would be quite so obvious to a less well-informed group than exists here on OFTD!
1) My question is, with some very demanding dances, can you tell us if anyone ever got sports type injuries, how you prevented them happening, and if they happened, what you did to speed recovery? Many thanks.
I don’t recall that this was ever a serious issue for any of us. Of course, we each of us suffered the occasional aches and pains and the odd missed routine due to ankle sprains and suchlike but, really, nothing much more than that. I would imagine the fact that we were often dancing most days of the week meant that we managed to keep relatively supple and so were less prone to the kind of injuries that are more common when you suddenly do something unnatural. Whenever injuries did occur, it was most likely due to missing one’s footing or toppling off the set. If you felt yourself going, you just had to get on with it as inconspicuously as possible!
Old Grey Whistler
Hi Old Grey Whistler.
1) Did you prefer to dance to the fast tempo dances or the slower more graceful ones, or did you have no preference?
I would say a bit of both really. I loved some of the faster numbers that we danced to but also enjoyed the more graceful ones. However, I wasn’t so keen on the extremes. ‘Spinning Rock Boogie’, may have been an entertaining dance to watch from the vantage point of a comfy sofa but the reality was an intense and frantic routine by the end of which I was suffering from a dreadful headache. I, certainly, was in no hurry to repeat that one. At the other end of the scale, ‘Let ‘Em In’ by Wings was a bit of a ‘nothing’ routine really and, therefore, also not one that I would have been keen to repeat.
2) Did you train in a specialist branch of dance such as ballet or tap?
The evening classes that I attended at the Pineapple Studios after I had started work were general Modern Dance and so not specialist as such. However, at the same time, I was attending Saturday morning classes at a dance school in Shepherd’s Bush where the focus was on ballet, tap and singing. I wouldn’t say, though, that I had a specialist grounding in any particular discipline.
3) My other questions refer to Legs & Co's reunion performance on Ant & Dec's show.
What was it like reuniting with the girls again? Were you or any of the others nervous about dancing on TV again after so many years away?
Can you remember who arranged the choreography for that routine and how long you had to prepare for it?
We were thrilled to be asked to appear on Saturday Night Takeaway and to think that we would get to dance together again after more than 20 years. As far as reuniting goes, we had met up several times in the intervening years and so in that sense it wasn’t a first even though we hadn’t danced together during that period. I think we were all a little apprehensive about appearing on TV again especially as the programme was going out live. However, quite a lot of the focus had to be on helping Geraldine, the lady picked from the audience to dance with us, who must have been pretty nervous herself about dancing on TV for the first time ever. We very much had to disguise any nerves we felt, ourselves, therefore. Sue arranged the choreography and we got together for a couple of hours to rehearse one afternoon shortly before the appearance.
That’s it, folks. I hope that I’ve covered everything and that you enjoyed reading it as much as I did the trip down memory lane. It just remains for me now to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas.
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Me too re: DOTD. Of course no-one is saying who's a better dancer than whom, or who we like most.
So I wonder too why some come out so much higher than others... PD's right about Pauline often being not 'centre-stage' but also I think it's perhaps that the blonde ones and the taller ones are just more visible on the screen, and therefore catch the eye more - especially when the set is very busy with lots going on or a bit dimly lit.
Just a thought! But I can see Ryan's concerns with the DOTD but at least it does get us all watching the dances a few more times and bit more intently to come with ideas. Maybe I'll start watching them even more intently now tgough!!
Anyways, Pauline - what an amazing effort in answering all the questions. I'm going to make some proper time to go through them. And apologies (if anyone cares) for not submitting any myself. But like I explained to Say When - I just never blimming think of anything! But it looks like there was plenty enough there anyways!
Brilliant stuff Pauline. What an interesting read which really conveys what a great time you had as one of Legs & Co, and can I also wish you and your family a happy and peaceful holiday season.
Thanks very much Pauline for giving us your time. It has been extremely interesting to read your answers and has been a great early Christmas present for the forum. Feel free to visit us again whenever you like, and I hope that you and Mike and your family, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
Yes Pauline, thanks from me also. Yours replies have been a real treat for us and ive enjoyed reading them. Also can i thank Andeebee for bringing this about in the first place along with Mike.
Thanks very much for the replies Pauline (& Mike) and I enjoyed reading them! I liked Funky town as a routine because being only 5 years old that Christmas I liked looking at the toys that were popular during that time. I probably could have put the question regarding Anita a bit better. I thought of it as years ago I used to work at Butlins in Minehead and this year I went back to visit for the first time in years and seeing all the young members of staff enjoying themselves made me feel slightly envious and wishing I was younger and to do the same thing again! Anyway I hope you and your family have a great Christmas & New year!
Pauline, thank you so much taking the time and not inconsiderable effort to plough through all of our questions, here on OFTD's.
What's plain to see is the charisma and candour very much in evidence within your replies.
Certainly worth a reread or two, or three....
Would love to give you a hug of appreciation, but a metaphorical one will have to suffice.
Very best wishes to both yourself and your man, Mike.
I'd just like to add my thanks for your time and effort too Pauline and Mike and to ADB for setting this up too. I think the tone of the answers, just as it did in Sue's case, speaks to a warm quality of person which only adds to the high regard we all have for you when we watch your wonderful dancing.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Thank you so so much Pauline, it's been an absolute joy to read your insightful and eloquent answers. It's great to see that your beauty is matched by your humour and intelligence. Thanks also to Say When and ADB for their roles in making this happen.
PD I'm more than happy to share with you the role of Say When's second in command within the Pauline Mafia, we don't want any Corleone in-house fighting.
Thank you so much Pauline for your delightful and marvellous answers, they have been such a joy to read!
What can I say this has been fantastic, the response to the questions was top notch and the time you have taken out of your busy day to respond to these questions is formidable.
A few weeks ago I was nervous bout this, as I knew you were, if there will be enough interest etc, but I do hope we have made you proud, you certainly made me proud (and the rest of the folk on here).
Seriously I didn't expect the turn out and the wonderful thoughtful replies that you gave (with Mike's help) has astounded me. Didn't Mike hint it was 22 pages long
I want to thank you immensely to both yourself & Mike for taken this time out to grace these pages to give your view on those days, and this Q&A is probably more revealing than most interviews.
A big thank you to you both from me, and a thank you to Ryan for letting me run and run with the idea.
PS: can I thank mike for the wonderful photos posted on the other thread, the pics are stunning (and so are the Legs girls still)
Hopelessly Devoted to Sue
You are an absolute star. Thank you for all your efforts in answering our questions, you have given such detail with each of your replies I really appreciate the time you must have taken to do this.
I do remember you quoting that line in your previous recollections about being recognised and how you dealt with this during your time in Legs and Co while say you were waiting for the bus and this has always made me laugh and I think is a true reflection of your sparklingly personality, which shows through in your dancing.
May I also convey my thanks to Mike and Andee for their hard work in helping put this together, a very special event for the OFTD forum.
PS: Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos from your recent get together, Legs and Co look as glamorous as ever
thanks for reply hope you weren't on Flick's naughty step too often !
On the street or even at the picture show
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