"People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

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"People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
Its not very often id dare to disagree with the words of our esteemed choreographer Flick, but i must take issue with something she said in the TOTP [True Story] interviews from 2001. Here is her quote....

"I think people did think we were objects. But i don't think thats true, because people knew our names. We ran our own group, we did all the business side of it and nobody ever made us do anything we didn't want to".

I agree with what Flick is saying with the exception of the bit were she claims people knew our names. Okay, that may have been the case around Television Center, afterall these girls rucked up there every week so the BBC crowd would know them. As for the wider television public knowing their names, i disagree.

I can't say i was an avid every week watcher of the show when i was growing up in the 70's. I caught the show when i could. As for knowing the names of the dancers, well i reckon Babs, Cherry and latterly Sue when she joined Pans. There was no way id have been able to names the 3 brunettes (Ruth, Dee Dee & Louise) individually. As for Legs & Co, well back then id have been able to name Sue and Lulu, but would i have been able to confidently name the other four growing up as a teenager, probably not, though i would have known their faces.  

Of course the situation was made far worse by the fact that on the closing credits the names of the dancers were only given as collective first names. This once again only emphasizes the fact that the dancers were indeed looked upon as mere objects. How was the viewer supposed to connect those names to the faces ?

On some occasions the presenters did name drop the dancers before and after routines. Here are the occasions from Legs & Co's time on TOTPs.

Floid -- Lonely Boy (at start) by Jimmy Savile
Pauline --  I Want To Get Next To You (at start) by DLT
Patti -- Feel The Need In Me (at end of routine) by Noel Edmonds
Floid -- You're the One That I Want (at start) by Kid Jensen
Pauline -- Come Back And Finish What You Started (at start) by Jimmy Savile
Floid -- You Make Me Feel (at end of routine) by Paul Burnett
Patti -- Sandy (At Start) by Peter Powell
Gill -- Shake Your Body Down To The Ground (at end) by DLT
Gill--Gone Gone Gone (at start)
Rosie--Off The Wall (at start) from Simon Bates
Pauline--D.I.S.C.O (at start) from D.L.T
Rosie--Up The Hill Backwards (at the end with Mike Read)

This was of course was very helpful, as was times when they went out with their names on their costumes. `Morning Dance`,  & `Come On Dance Dance` are two examples. Of course another famous occasion for name dropping was the routine to `Funking For Jamaica` when their names came up on the screen in graphic form when they performed their solo spots in the routine. This was because they and TOTPs had been off air for 8 or 9 weeks due to strike action and i guess they wanted to `remind` the watching public who they were ! My beef is i don't think the watching public were sure in the first place.  

Here is another blindingly obvious example of how the dancers were looked upon. Phil and Lulu, part of the Ruby Flipper fall-guys troupe from 1976, undertake their duet for `The Continental`. This would be an excellent occasion to name both these dancers who have just embarked on their television career. How does Noel introduce them ? Two from Ruby Flipper ! To make matters even worse, in his outro he again refers to them as just two from Ruby Flipper. This was a perfect time to let the audience at home know the names of these two. Like i say, mere OBJECTS.

As for surnames of the dancers, well the only occasion a dancers surname was ever used on the show as when Noel Edmonds introduced Sue as a new member of Pans People. Again that just goes to show that im my opinion, they were viewed as part of the fixtures and fittings by the BBC bigwigs and not as people. The only times the wider public got to read surnames was in magazine and newspaper articles.

So how about the folk on OFTDs. Do you agree or disagree. Would you have been able to name the dancers back in the 70's whilst watching TOTPs ? You'd be a better man than me if you could. Of course now with the luxury of the internet, the whole process is a doddle.

This is a link to TOTP [True Story]. The bit im on about is after about 5.17 mins, but watch the whole clip. Its a must for all Legs fans especially.
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x56z50u?playlist=x3zvs6
RYAN
Doc
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Doc
RYAN wrote
As for surnames of the dancers, well the only occasion a dancers surname was ever used on the show as when Noel Edmonds introduced Sue as a new member of Pans People. Again that just goes to show that im my opinion, they were viewed as part of the fixtures and fittings by the BBC bigwigs and not as people. The only times the wider public got to read surnames was in magazine and newspaper articles.
Possibly not, Dee Dee and Sue were introduced by DLT before PP performed There's A Ghost In My House and he also told us that Louise was leaving (to start a family, if I remember correctly). I can't remember if he used her full name or not, but it's the main reason I could still remember her name before the TOTP repeats started.
Still living in 1979
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

PattiforPM
Interesting this and I would say this is perhaps where Pans People and Legs & Co were different.  I think especially Babs, probably Cherry and maybe Dee Dee too were not quite household names but were pretty famous in those early to mid 1970s when they were joked about on Porridge and appeared on such venerable Shows as the Two Rons and Morecambe and Wise.  It does seem to me that Ruth and Louise were a little less well known for some reason.  Sue was the bridge and I think for my generation is undoubtedly the best known but not perhaps as "household" as the above three.  In Legs & Co I think in my group of friends and acquaintances I am definitely the only one who would have known their names.  I distinctly recall searching for Sue's name after Down Down was shown in 1975.  I looked up Patti after Rock n Me and also recall seeing a picture of her in the newspaper (the one in a leotard with the mirrors)  and that was when I really took notice of her surname too.  I agree though hardly anyone would know surnames except perhaps when Babs married Jesus.

Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Doc
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Doc
PattiforPM wrote
 I agree though hardly anyone would know surnames except perhaps when Babs married Jesus.
This Is Your Life would have helped.
Still living in 1979
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Doc
Doc wrote
Possibly not, Dee Dee and Sue were introduced by DLT before PP performed There's A Ghost In My House and he also told us that Louise was leaving (to start a family, if I remember correctly). I can't remember if he used her full name or not, but it's the main reason I could still remember her name before the TOTP repeats started.
Ive never watched the `Ghost In My House` intro so i wouldn't know if their surnames were used. Id be surprised if they were.

But how about my initial question Doc, did you know the first names of all the dancers way they first performed during the 70's. Id wager of the regular TOTPs viewers, only a tiny percentage would know.
RYAN
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
As for other Pans/Ruby dancer name dropping, Diddy David must have really liked Cherry as he named her twice on the routines to `Yesterday` and `Misty Blue`.
RYAN
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

The Rubberband Man
When Sue performed her final stunning performance to 'I'll Find My Way Home', Simon Bates did the introductions, and called her "Suzie" 😖   
Climate Crisis: This planet's getting hotter than Lulu
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
The Rubberband Man wrote
When Sue performed her final stunning performance to 'I'll Find My Way Home', Simon Bates did the introductions, and called her "Suzie" 😖
I do though understand that the name Susie was/is used by close friends & associates of hers. Im not though suggesting Simes fits either of that criteria !
RYAN
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Dancer
Very interesting post Ryan, thanks.   Good gracious yes I knew the names of Pans People  in the seventies onwards (say 1973 onwards).  Mom and Dad knew their names so they told me.  PP had extensive coverage in the Express & Star (which is the local Wolverhampton/West Midlands paper) with photographs appearing in their page 7 spread along with their names, probably because Babs came from Kinver.  I think this is how I got to know their surnames.  My Uncle who worked in the Photography Department got me one of the photos and I still have it and this appears in one of these forums so is not rare.  Their surnames may have been used in the TOTP magazine too.  They appeared in other magazines and newspapers too. I remember reading Sue's surname in the paper as she was launched and trying to pronounce it.

I have to admit though when Legs & Co came along I did not know their full names at all and they did get certain coverage in the big press but they never really went into the Express & Star.  I think the interest had faded by 1976 as Ruby Flipper never appeared either so I never knew the girls names in the group or the boys.

I always got Rosie and Gill mixed up until I started to build my DVD collection up and collectors who visited me put the names to them.  Legs & Co surnames I never knew until I started scrolling this website.  I think looking back I was not interested in their names - maybe it was an age thing but I did like the routines but I noticed when I was at my Nan's in 1979 and they were dancing to Bad Girls she said "it is about time they packed these up now isn't it.  It is all old hat this hoofing" which tended to fall on neutral ground with me as I never "bust a gut" to watch them like I did with Pans and Ruby.  Again I reckon it was age.  Obviously now it is a different story because I appreciate all of the dance routines now and all three groups.

In conclusion though Pans People did have an extortionate amount of press coverage.  Really wished I had started collecting Record Mirror early than I did (1977) as I would imagine they would have appeared in there somewhere.  They went in Look in a few times too.  They just blew your mind and soul.  I often wonder did people buy the records solely because Pans had danced to them.  Never actually come up against anyone who did that (apart from me).  
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Doc
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Doc
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by RYAN
I can remember reading the names at the end probably about 1975 and thinking I should work out who they were and then two of them left. I definitely knew who Sue was. She was the only one who I could remember after 30 odd years, the others had faded to probably just a recollection of hairstyles. At 10 years old naming all of Pan’s People wasn’t high on my priorities.
Still living in 1979
Doc
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Doc
I always thought it was a bit unfair of the BBC to only use their first names on the end credits. But I suppose it would have taken up too much screen space and it was better than nothing. After all PP didn't get anything on the earlier TOTPs, only a credit for Flick Colby. Towards the end Zoo performers didn't get listed either.
Still living in 1979
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Malta
 Hard to say who she was referring to as "people".  Was it the fans, the BBC/TOTP crew, other dancers? It may have been in reference to their significant fan mail, at least some of which I would think was individually addressed.  Maybe she was also thinking back to the Beat Girl days where they had names or pseudonyms on their costumes.  And people seemed quite interested in the personnel changes that took place, such as Cherry.  

I take her quote as in part an emphasis on the intention to create a group, made up of recognizable individuals but primarily a group that could be marketed and scheduled as such, eliminating the problem with individual auditions. She mentioned in other interviews how the girls needed to be a in particular height range and certain qualifications and training but there were very noticeable differences in their appearances and hair color.  I think she also mentioned that long hair styles were preferable.
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

AC/PD
This post was updated on .
I see the use of their Forenames only on the end credits as being much more homely and a nicer touch than if their full titles were used.
However, putting names to the faces might have been a bit of a tall order bearing in mind the irregularity with which name checks occurred and would require a good memory and the hope that the rare occasions sunk in on broadcast - more likely if an individual viewers' particular favourite was identified. In this regard, Cherry was well catered for due to being party to such a memorable, literal unveiling one Christmas which would stick in the mind. Clunk Click would have served herself, Babs, Dee-Dee and Ruth well but once again, it's if you caught it at the time. Beneficial to the real admirers would have been if they'd written in to the BBC for signed group photos and matching the signatures with their proximity or, if they were really lucky, by meeting them in the flesh at various events such as local fete appearances.
In conclusion though, the average dance troupe admirer would have known their names from the inception of including them in the end credits on a weekly basis but not necessarily which one was which.
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Malta
Malta wrote
Hard to say who she was referring to as "people".  Was it the fans, the BBC/TOTP crew, other dancers?
Yes i take your point on this. In which context did Flick use the term `people`. It couldn't have been the wider watching television TOTPs audience who im sure would not be able to put names to the dancers. She must surely have meant the TOTPs floor staff, VT staff, production crew and cameramen, basically everybody in studio 6. On saying that, again id doubt very much when they toddled of to the canteen for example, other BBC personnel would look on them as members of Pans/Legs and most would be unsure of their individual names.

A good example of this is the 1977 Its A Knockout in which Legs & Co played a very prominent part. Time and again messers Hall & Waring would refer to them only as "a member of Legs & Co" rather then make an attempt at an individual name, when it was an easy enough task to name the dancer onscreen. On saying that, in the same show from 78, Waring did mention one or two of them by name.


Malta wrote
 She mentioned in other interviews how the girls needed to be a in particular height range
Yes i find this comment by FC a little contradictory too. The difference between two well known members of Pans People was about 4 or 5 inches in height. Thats a heck of a lot if she was looking for consistency in height.
RYAN
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by AC/PD
AC/PD wrote
I see the use of their Surnames only on the end credits as being much more homely and a nicer touch than if their full titles were used.
I think you mean first names AC/PD.

Just on that though. I wonder how many `BBC folk` say between 1968 & 1981 (Pans/Legs tenure of TOTPs) appeared more times on the BBC than say Sue or Ruth, who each must have been on around 375 to 400 shows ? Certainly vastly more times than any DJ host or musical performer on TOTPs.

Okay, newsreaders, weathermen, Blue Peter presenters, Nationwide presenters, certain Playschool presenters. Each of those were entitled to full name credits. I suppose presenting a show rather than appearing for 2 to 3 minutes in a show would give those folk more credence. But i still have a bit of a feeling that the dancers were a little short changed when it came to acceptance.
RYAN
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

AC/PD
RYAN wrote
AC/PD wrote
I see the use of their Surnames only on the end credits as being much more homely and a nicer touch than if their full titles were used.
I think you mean first names AC/PD.
You're correct. My mistake.
Doc
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Doc
I think many of us are a bit too young to remember the Pan's era clearly.
One bit of evidence I can add. A few years ago a few of us were watching a TOTP rerun after the pub and Legs came on dancing to So Lonely. One of my friends who's about 4-5 years older and has no interest in the reruns stated 'It's Pan's People and he used to like Sue'. I think you just needed to be the right sort of age to know at least one of them.
Still living in 1979
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Hanway2
   I would say that I am sure that I did know some of the names of Pan's People. I knew Babs was the tall blonde one, and I saw they Christmas edition 1972 when Cherry was unwrapped, so I knew her too. I am very sure I knew who Ruth was by name, and not simply by image. I am not so certain about Louise and Dee Dee. Though I can vaguely remember seeing the names in the credits but not knowing which was which. Then I realised who Louise was when her name disappeared and a new name, Sue,  was shown. So that was Louise, so to speak! Andi and Flick had passed me by earlier and I had forgotten who they were fairly quickly, I imagine.
As has been shown, this mid Pan's era did find the girls in newspapers and magazines fairly regularly, so some people could know them from there.
  After mid Pan's evolved to later Pan's. Ruby and Legs, I probably did not know the names of the dancers. Trying to recall with clarity about 40 years ago is not without problem, but I feel I  saw Legs as a team, not knowing who the individual members were by name.
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

Old Grey Whistler
Although I had very little knowledge of Pans People until about 5 or 6 years ago, I had heard of the names Flick, Babs, Dee Dee and Cherry. I think that is perhaps because these names were relatively unusual and stood out. Had they used the names Felicity, Barbara, Patricia and Cheryl they would have probably been somewhat less memorable to anyone who wasn't a committed fan. It would have ruined Ronnie Barker's 'Beautiful Barbara' joke as well!

Legs & Co had names that were much more in everyday use and perhaps that made them less memorable to the casual viewer. I suppose Lulu is a distinctive name but as there was a famous singer using that name already, it probably overshadowed her a bit.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: "People knew our names" . Hmm not so sure on that !

CoffeeThing
This post was updated on .
Great thread. I'm another who knew the names mainly from the titles at the end and couldn't really put them all to the faces. Having also not been a regular viewer during the 70s because we only had one television in the house, a lot of my name checks came from newspaper mentions.

I could certainly name Sue early on, and has been mentioned, her surname was printed when she joined and she looked lovely in the accompanying photo. I had one of those pre-pubescent type crushes on Cherry, who I was fairly certain was an angel who happened to be in the group though I bet it took me a while to find out her name having not seen her intro episode, and of course "Big Babs, but I don't know her name", thanks to Ronnie Barker, as I did watch Porridge every week with my grandparents as I used to stay over with them that night. I could probably name Lulu fairly early on in her tenure, and not being way older then me, Rosie, towards the end when the 21st birthday thing happened on the show.

I think the age thing mentioned is a good point, many of us were just that little bit young for that type of name recognition or were just fans of the shiw at the beginning.

Sue was always my favourite dancer, and I would probably still be tongue tied even today if I bumped into any of them, so fan recognition was definitely somewhat of a thing even from more casual observers. I'm not sure all that  many people would have known their surnames, or be able to put many names to faces in those pre-internet, less accessible fan organisation days. I am certain they would be recognised, if not by nane by many and were very well loved by a fair few.

It's great now. If even a handful of people are interested in a subject, the internet affords them a place to get together and share. Similarly, slightly off topic, less mainstream hobbies are cheaper now as specialist retailers can reach bigger audiences and those interested have a choice of where to buy, think things like home brew or garden railways, off the top of my head. Had the internet been around back then, they would have been huge stars and the young likes of us would have been running organised coach trips to TOTP to get knocked over by cameras and chuck crisps at Batesie! Cheese and onion anyone, jumpers for goalposts, mmmmmm! (Sorry, a certain show is back on UK Gold again). Suits you sir.  I'll get my coat, sorry.
This week, I are be mostly just being.
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