You are in the Special Features section - Dee Dee Wilde

Dee Dee Wilde interview

 

 

 

Dee Dee Wilde interview May 2011

 

Dee Dee Wilde
(photo courtesy of Dee Dee Wilde website)

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Pan's People - Dee Dee second left

 

Dee Dee Wilde is known to most of us of a certain age as a member of the iconic dance group Pan's People. Dee Dee, Babs Lord, Flick Colby, Ruth Pearson, Louise Clark and Cherry Gillespie decorated and animated our TV screens weekly on Top Of The Pops with their 'topical' dance routines.

Dee Dee attended the Elmhurst Ballet School between 1956-1963, training as a classical dancer. In 1966, Dee Dee co-founded the dance group, Pan's People before moving on to choreography, which included 'The Benny Hill Show'.  In 1975, she co-founded the famous Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Charity for autistic and handicapped children. Dee Dee co-produced two West End shows, 'The Mad Show' and 'Le Cirque Imaginaire', the latter being created by Jean Baptiste Thierree and Victoria Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin. She also took centre stage in 'Das Rheingold' as 'Erda', a role especially devised for her by Richard Jones, Director of Wagner's 'The Ring Circle'. Dee Dee set a precedent, becoming the first person ever to dance the role rather than sing it.

In 1981, Dee Dee founded  'The Dance Attic', a dance and rehearsal establishment which has played host to some of the biggest names in pop and show business, including Mick Jagger, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Robbie Williams, The Spice Girls, Vanessa Mae, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Martin Sheen, Sylvie Guillem, Boyzone, Take That,  East 17, Right Said Fred, Westlife and the Sugarbabes. The facility and its services have also been used for television and theatre, including Stars in their Eyes, River Dance, Starlight Express, Cirque de Soleil, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
Dee Dee's song, which she co-wrote with Anthony Clark, 'Why Can't We Stop the Bleeding?' came second in the International Song Contest.
In between her other commitments, Dee Dee still likes to work on her first passion, writing. She is also involved in WM Productions, a video production company she co-runs with her partner, Henry Marsh of the band Sailor.

More recently, Dee Dee has been undertaking talks and presentations about her life as a dancer, being in Pan's People and encouraging people that 'It's Never Too Late To Dance!'  

This is the interview that Dee Dee kindly gave to www.retrosellers.com

 


 

 
 

Digger: Hello Dee Dee, it's Digger. How are you?

Dee Dee: Fine thank you David.

Digger: Good. I was speaking to Steve Priest from Sweet a while ago and he sends his regards. And also Bob from the Stones tribute The Railing Stains.

Dee Dee: Oh wonderful. Ah! My partner Henry is in Sailor and we are always running into all his mates from those various bands. Actually, funnily enough we're getting married this year so he's going to make an honest woman of me. We've been together almost ten years.

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Sailor - Henry with the spectacles

 

 

Digger: Why have you decided to tie the knot?

Dee Dee: Oh, I don't know. It makes it all legal and I'm so fed up with saying "Henry Marsh my partner."

Digger: Yes, it can be confusing, can't it?

Dee Dee: Also, I'm Wilde and he's Marsh and as you get older it just seems easier.

Digger: People get confused with the partner thing and wonder if it means business or personal.

Dee Dee: Henry and I have been together long enough to know that we're committed to each other and it just seems the natural thing to do. Also, we were keeping it terribly secret, because we didn't want an awful lot of people to know because we wanted a very small wedding. Then The Mail rang up and said "you're getting married." Somebody told them and rang Babs. They asked her for a quote about me getting married and she said "I don't know anything about it." (Digger laughs).

Digger: Was that true?

Dee Dee: Yes, completely true. I hadn't told any of the girls. They weren't terribly happy about that but what can you do? They probably thought "Why hasn't Dee Dee told me?" But I hadn't told anyone at that point. It's very low-key so that's why we kept it quiet.

Digger: Well I won't mention it either! (Both laugh) When did you know that you had the 'dancing bug' and did you receive any encouragement from teachers or the people around you?

Dee Dee: I wanted to be a dancer all my life. I remember when I was a little two-year-old running around the house and saying I was going to be a ballerina. So I've always had that dream. My father was a ballroom dancer, funnily enough, a long time before he entered The Royal Navy. Like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly - very much that sort of thing and he had two partners called Ruby and Cherry Stone. They used to dance at the Cafe Royale. Then he went on to be an officer in The Royal Navy and that was the end of that. In fact, he always used to say to me "Darling, you've got two left feet."

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com    Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire

 

 

 

Digger: That's a shame!

Dee Dee: I was always trying to lead.

Digger: But you inherited the dancing gene?

Dee Dee: Definitely and I don't ever remember wanting to do anything else than become a dancer.

Digger: What would you have done if you hadn't been a dancer?

Dee Dee: I had this weird pre-conceived idea that if I became a WREN, which was one of the ideas I had, I'd end up on a ship full of sailors and then I found out that all the WRENs live in a 'Wrennery' on land and not at sea. But in the end I bagged my sailor anyway! 

Digger: These days, of course, you would end up on a boat and probably in the front line.

Dee Dee: Absolutely. Well that wouldn't bother me. I've always been an adventurer. My son ended up doing that but I'll talk about that later. I think I would have gone into The Royal Navy because I love the sea and all that adventure. I don't know about  being fearless, because one never knows how one would react in a given situation, but I think I would have volunteered and gone off and done things. 

Digger: Some people just go into a mental tunnel when they are in danger and just get on with it without any concern for their own safety.

Dee Dee: My father volunteered for everything and he got the DFC and a few other medals. He was mentioned in dispatches and my son did the same thing. So it runs in the genes.

Digger: At their height, Pan's People were a massive phenomenon and probably the reason many people (including me) turned on to Top Of The Pops (TOTP.) How did this attention effect you?

Dee Dee: Well, the attention didn't bother us really. It was wonderful. As dancers, our life wasn't easy and we'd been working hard for several years. Babs Lord (now Powell) and I, Flick Colby who came over to the UK from the USA and who had an enormous pedigree training with the Joffe Ballet Company, one of the most prestigious in the USA. And Ruth Pearson, who got a scholarship to the Rambert, Louise Clark who I was at Corona Stage school with and Cherry Gillespie who was a classically-trained dancer.  We were all completely trained dancers in Panís People. 

Digger: And it wasn't glamorous to start with.

Dee Dee: Not to begin with. It only becomes glamorous when you actually get your recognition and these days, not just dancers but singers like Girls Aloud, The Spice Girls and so on make a lot of money. In our day, dancers never made a fortune and so really and truly for us it was wonderful to have the recognition. The uniqueness of Pan's People was that we were a group of dancers who never changed. So, like a pop group, people knew that I was Dee Dee, Babs was Babs, Ruth was Ruth and Flick was Flick and that went on. We had the stardom of the pop world and like the groups today. But the difference was that they had a fortune but we never did. The fame and the recognition was something that we appreciated because we were all struggling, hardworking, out of work dancers and trying very hard to make it. In those days, typically, you couldn't make it because you were just the icing on the cake, just to make shows more glamorous - somebody in the background. Dancers had no individual recognition.

Digger: It's changed a lot hasn't it?

Dee Dee: Oh! I cannot tell you David. I could go on forever. In every aspect. In those days, I have to be honest, and say that if your parents were slightly well-heeled and so you could train to become a dancer and go into ballet or, like me because my parents lived in Africa, to a boarding school. Now not many people could afford that and they were very expensive in those days. Your parents had to have the income to do that and we were all very lucky in that respect. Nowadays it's completely different and everybody has a chance. It doesn't matter what background you come from or what your parents earn. There are so many classes for people to learn to dance and also the curriculum in schools has wonderful dance situations. You can see that just by watching the TV. 

Digger: It's very positive isn't it?

Dee Dee: Yes. And in the media there's so much more. In those days there was TOTP and that was about it. TV is expanding beyond belief now - there's digital and the next thing is HD. I'm not very technical though.

Digger: There'll be a dance channel soon.

Dee Dee: Yes, I've always thought that would be great to start a dancing channel. 

Digger: I wonder what you would have made of modern technologies in the sixties?

Dee Dee: God knows. It would have helped us enormously, especially in our day when we were doing the latest song from America. We would do this Outside Broadcast filming and now with modern technology it would have been so much easier. But we didn't have that. One didn't have the coverage that people in the public eye have today. It's so much more exposure today. We had our fair share but it wasn't to extent that you can't breathe or put the bins out like today...

Digger: You even got a mention on Porridge.

Dee Dee: I know. It was Babs actually.

Digger: Yes, I meant as a group.

Dee Dee: Yes.

Digger: Fletcher is in his cell and says to Godber: "Beautiful Babs. Can't remember her name though." (Both laugh.) We do excel in a few things here. Music, dance and comedy. We should celebrate it more as well, shouldn't we?

Dee Dee: Yes, I agree. Absolutely.

Digger: There should be more monuments and statues to commemorate where famous people started and we should celebrate more like the Americans do.

Dee Dee: Yes, funnily enough about ten years ago I did an article for The Mail because I used to live in Chelsea.

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Dee Dee in Chelsea

 

 

Digger: I used to live in Ormonde Gate there.

Dee Dee: Oh yes? I know it. And they did a whole thing about Dee Dee Wilde living at 60 Sidney Street. They'd changed it into a £2 million house and I had to look all around it. I didn't recognise it at all. It didn't look like my house. But yes, I suppose the wonderful thing was once we appeared on TOTP, up until the time we did we were doing TV abroad in Belgium and Holland and then we got our break and the fame. The medium of TV is the most powerful device for exposure.

Digger: Well, it was then. You were probably getting 15 or 20 million people watching?

Dee Dee: Between 17 and 21 million. 

Digger: Monster Mash and Get Down were two of my Pan's People favourite interpretations! What were yours and were there ever any hit songs that were impossible to choreograph?

Dee Dee: Yes, my favourite would have been Homely Girl by The Chilites.

Digger: I remember that one.

Dee Dee: Smarty Pants by First Choice. Rockin' Robin and anything by Stevie Wonder to be honest with you. They were wonderful tunes to dance to. I think the most difficult one we ever did was a routine Flick did for us for Shaft. On the night when we did it, I'll be honest with you, I didn't have a clue what I was doing (Laughs.) Dancers tend to do things to beats in the bar so you use the count to work out what arm you're using and what leg you're using. In this piece of music it was incredibly difficult so none of us went on feeling comfortable that night. We worked with Jethro Tull at the Rainbow and all his music was in fives and sevens and nine beats and that was terribly difficult trying to get through that too.

 

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com    Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

The Chilites and Stevie Wonder

 

 

Digger: We've got an interview with Ian on our site.

Dee Dee: Have you? Lovely Ian.

Digger: He still wants to change the world.

Dee Dee: Yes, at my ripe old age I must admit I'd like to change what's going on in England. In the sense that I think family values and the complete ethos of England has completely gone down the drain.

Digger: Do you think that any older generation feels that way?

Dee Dee: I think Tony Blairís to blame. It doesnít matter whether youíre Conservative, Labour or Liberal, our family values have gone down the drain. Because also there is such a mixture of culture which is not bad Ė I think thatís a good thing. But when youíre trying to integrate different cultures, who are probably only interested in their own culture and their own religion, then itís very difficult to get a community going. I think this also applies to us Brits who go and live abroad in Spain, France and Italy. When you come to a country, you have to embrace the ethos and ethics  of that particular country. You can still keep your identity and be Christian, Muslim or whatever but you have to encapsulate around you what youíve come into. Otherwise, whatís the point of going to a country? You need to integrate with everyone else and I think that is the biggest problem with our country. We donít integrate with each other. That is a terrible shame because our values of sitting down together and having a Sunday lunch and being a family has gone completely out of the window.

Digger: Everyoneís communicating with each other by mobile or Facebook these days.

Dee Dee: I think that is such a shame because we still are a great country and a lot of the people whoíve immigrated to live here are very proud to be part of the British Isles. I think we should reduce the immigration entries and concentrate on the people who are here and get everyone to try and merge together and become a mighty nation again. It doesnít matter whether youíre pink, black, yellow, green, brown Ė it doesnít matter and thatís not important.

Digger: Weíre all going to end up coffee colour anyway apparently.

Dee Dee: Exactly. What does it matter? Now what weíre all Brits together and we all have British passports letís be a really strong, proud Britain and unite and get together.

Digger: Sounds good to me. Compared to your big speech just then this sounds a bit trivialÖ. How hard was it to do a routine to a weekly TV deadline based on the latest chart?

 

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com    

Flick Colby 

 

 

 

Dee Dee: Very easy unless the song went down. We basically had three days to do a new number. Now, bearing in mind Flick Colby had the same people to work with every week Ė itís wasnít like The Tiller Girls or The Black and White Minstrels and all those variety shows who had girls and men who came and went. We were always the same ladies working with the same choreographer. So after a while, it became like second nature and we could almost work out before Flick did a routine what those five beats or eight beats would be.  We were so in tune with each othe. So much so, in fact, that Maurice Bejart, who was head of the ballet company in Belgium and who saw us on TV, thought our precision was so brilliant that he asked us over to Belgium to be guest artists at the Royal Opera House there. One of the reasons why things occasionally went wrong is that we had three days to do TOTP and then taped it on the Wednesday and it went out on the Thursday. The problem is that the charts used to come into the office at The BBC on a Tuesday morning and if the number that we did had gone down we werenít allowed to do it the next day. So Robin Nash, or whoever the director was at the time, would float into the dance studio where we were rehearsing and say ďSorry girls, stop what youíre doing. Youíre not going to do that number, youíre going to do this one. Youíve got half a day to do a new number.Ē Thatís when things used to go wrong. Because, especially when it was a live show we would only have Tuesday afternoon to re-hash and do another number. Sometimes it did happen and we were only human David. Youíd go in and things would go wrong occasionally. If you were on a live show then maybe they spotted it and said Panís werenít very together. But in a lot of instances it was very unfair because it was often being under-rehearsed that made us go wrong.

Digger: What are your thoughts on the celebrity and reality TV culture today?

Dee Dee: When we were famous and in the public eye, in the old days, you needed to have a vocation. Something that you were very good at and thatís why you were on television. It was either because you were a singer or a dancer or you were an orator or very good at comedy.

Digger: Youíd served your apprenticeship.

Dee Dee: Yes, so you were on there for a reason and with Panís we were on there because we were good dancers and were very unique and inventive and everybody thought we were fantastic. Nowadays, reality TV means you donít have to be good at anything. You can get up and scratch your arse and somebody will film you and youíll be a star.

Digger: Didnít we get some of that in the old days with people like, for example, Janice Nicholls from Thank Your Lucky Stars or Erica Roe the streaker, for example?

Dee Dee: Oh yes, that would be one or two instances but now thereís a complete epidemic of reality shows. I must admit, and I donít want to be a hypocrite, my favourite and the one I absolutely adore is Iím A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. I just like the reality of seeing a whole lot of human beings together enclosed in a situation which can be very difficult. How they behave is very eye-opening. And I just love Ant and Dec.

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Ant and Dec

 

 

 

Digger: Yes, I do. They are both very talented and very funny. I donít know how rehearsed what they do is and who writes it but it does make the show. They are good blokes.

Dee Dee: They are so together.

Digger: Theyíre very funny.

Dee Dee: We had the chance to be on Saturday Night Out Ė they asked Panís People and the girls didnít want to do it so I never got to do the Saturday Night Out with Ant and Dec. Theyíre adorable and I think Iíd like to put them on my mantelpiece. Incredibly talented and they deserve what theyíve got. But reality TV I think, most of it, is an absolute load of rubbish. I have been watching Masterchef though...

Digger: I was thinking of doing a parody of Masterchef where the contestants end up being eighty year olds because it seems to drag on for so long.

Dee Dee: (Laughs) I quite enjoy it but as a whole there is too much reality TV and people become famous, for what? For being overweight or useless .

Digger: Or for having something horrible with their body?

Dee Dee: Yes. I think thatís prying too much into oneís life. We were asked to do Ten Years Younger at one point and I absolutely, point blank refused and didnít want to do that. Also, in the old days the stars had a certain allure if you know what I mean?

Digger: Yes I do.

Dee Dee: A mystique.

Digger: Yes, there was. A distance.

Dee Dee: What they did or didnít do in their lives was something of a closed book, but now you can almost follow them into a lavatory. One day theyíre going to have reality TV in the loo.

Digger: It wonít take long, will it?

Dee Dee: I think that is so wrong. And also I think it gives people a certain idea of superiority.

Digger: It does actually.

Dee Dee: I think Big Brother is the most ghastly programme on television and donít ask me who was on it Ė Jade was at one point I think. They make stars of people on that show. Well sorry, and maybe Iím speaking out of turn, but I think itís complete rubbish. What have they been made stars for? For being outrageous or licking somebodyís toe or something. That to me is not appearing on television. In our day it was a privilege to be on television.

Digger: And you knew that, of course.

Dee Dee: And you knew that and you thought ďGosh, I work for The BBC.Ē Now it doesnít matter and theyíll have people robbing banks and doing all sorts of things.

Digger: Did you ever encounter much sexism in the entertainment business on your own or as a troop and would you say things have changed much for ladies since the sixties?

Dee Dee: Yes, a lot of sexism. Especially with the universities.

Digger: Oh! It wouldnít happen these days would it?

Dee Dee: They felt that we were being totally exploited and we felt that we were exploiting everybody else. We didnít feel like that at all, Panís. We loved the fact that the hot-blooded male population used to watch us every Thursday.

Digger: Why not?

Dee Dee: Why not? We were young girls and interested in the opposite sex.

Digger: Itís no different from having people up on the big screen and idolising them.

Dee Dee: I donít know ONE girl, when we were on TOTP and the hottest thing around in the country, who wouldnít have wanted to be us.

 

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Dee Dee

 

 

 

Digger: Itís daft and a bit like the cattle market protests they did for Miss World.

Dee Dee: I was there that night when Miss Grenada became Miss World and all these feminists came rushing in and disrupted the show and they pelted the audience with bombs. Thereís a picture of me on the front of The Daily Mirror, with other people, with ink all down me. But more fool them and how stupid. But itís become a womanís world in lots of ways.

Digger: Yes, Iíve certainly seen a lot of changes in my lifetime.

Dee Dee: I saw today that another captain in the army, a young girl, has been killed.

Digger: Bomb disposal. Yes.

Dee Dee: Thatís what itís come to this equality. Women go to the front and they get killed. I think if we women really do want to be equal then we should accept that we have to do a manís job. Iíve never felt like that and I love being a woman and having womanly guiles and the fact that a man will open the door for me. I feel totally emancipated anyway Ė Iíve always been my own boss and Iíve always worked for myself and built companies and done all kinds of things since leaving Panís People so I have never felt exploited once in my life and I adored being in Panís People.

Digger: The culture seems to have gone to extremes and everybody now thinks that service is a bad thing.

Dee Dee: They say thereís no class system now but there still is. The class system is slowly being erased. Even though it has been erased in a lot of situations, I think there will always be a hierarchy or a class system because itís the same with communism. Everybody wanting to be equal but get a pack of people together then thereíll always be a leader. Somebody will stand out in the pack, the calm one who gives orders and takes over.

Digger: I canít think of any other societies where they donít have a class system of some kind. Japan, India, AmericaÖ

Dee Dee: In the army thereís still a class system between the officers and their men. But the respect they have for each other is huge. And any officer who doesnít have respect for his men isnít worth his salt. The respect they have for the soldiers and the men have for the good officers is incredible.

Digger: What do you think your biggest achievements have been and what would you still like to accomplish?

Dee Dee: Oh my goodness. My desire and dream to become a dancer and to achieve recognition for what I did. I achieved a wonderful situation by dancing the role of Erda At The Royal Opera House for the Wagnerís Ring Cycle and I was the only Erda in 150 years who actually danced the role and didnít sing it. I founded the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity, with twelve other men, and itís now the biggest rock charity in the world. It has a lunch called The Silver Clef when, every year, thereís an award for the most outstanding British artist of the last decade. And that was my creation. We raise money every year for autistic and handicapped children. So I have that under my belt as well. I got married and produced two beautiful children Ė Alex whoís 31 and Poppy whoís 26.

Digger: Have they inherited the artistic gene?

Dee Dee: My son was an officer in The Welsh Guards and did a tour in Iraq and volunteered for Afghanistan with The Grenadier Guards. He has now left and is training to be an actor Ė heís doing a yearís course to be an actor so heís following in my footsteps. My daughter works on pop events and  that type of thing, so she's slightly in the business. They still run my dance studios down in Fulham. When I got divorced everything was handed to my husband and my children. And I left everything behind, David, and came down to live in the west country. Since I came here to Wiltshire I have a dance club called Dee Deeís Dance Club and Iíve already done a DVD. What Iíd really like to do is to go around the country doing talks about dancing.

Digger: That sounds like a great idea.

Dee Dee: Iím slowly beginning to do that anyway and Iím getting the audiences up on their feet. My premise has always been as I get older that even though one is older doesnít mean to say youíre finished and over the hill. Itís never too late to dance and get up on your feet. Itís got a feel-good factor. Providing you keep your mind and your body supple. Sixty is the new fifty and fifty the new forty and so on. If you have a happy disposition thereís no reason why you canít go on to your eighties or nineties. I had a lady in my class today whoís 81 who prances around.

Digger: Iíd be struggling at 53.

Dee Dee: I just love the things Iíd still like to achieve. Iíve always been incredibly fond of writing. Iíve had a lot of problems with writing my book and Iím not going to go into the details of why, but I still want to finish my book and to write. My ambition is still to write about my life as a dancer and I would one day like to publish my childrenís stories. My brother Stewart is quite a well-known new-age author and is one of the most prolific in the world. My mum used to write, so it is in the family and something that maybe when I get too old to dance I can carry on with that. Itís difficult, because I think the girls feel that it would be nice to have a book that we all do together, which is fine but itís never happened. I feel because writing is in my blood, and Iíve been writing for years, that I can write my own story.

Digger: Are they mutually exclusive, a solo book and a collaborative one?

Dee Dee: I donít know.

Digger: Panís People are still very close, arenít they?

Dee Dee: This is the problem you see David. We are very close and always have been. Yes, weíve had disputes and arguments and sometimes we havenít talked to each other for weeks. But at the end of the day you canít spend ten years with six girls and not get to know them really well. So you might get cross with so-and-so because she did this or ďDee Dee Ė what on earth Is she doing?Ē But in the end it comes back to the fact that we were in this group called Panís People and there is a strong bond there. So itís very difficult if one girl wants to do one thing and the others are not absolutely keen because they want to do it all together. Because we were a group there is a sense that we should do anything like that as a group and not as individuals. Which is understandable, and I know where theyíre coming from, but I felt that within me there is a book there about my life and what Iíve done in my dancing life and also my life in Panís Ė that was a big part. So I have 200 pages sitting on the shelf now.

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Pan's People - Dee Dee middle

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Pan's People - Dee Dee second from right

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Pan's People - Dee Dee second from left

 

 

 

Digger:  Make sure youíve got a backup!

Dee Dee: I do a lot of interviews and so does Babs, because sheís travelling around the world doing all her stints and feats and my God I take my hat off to her! When sheís climbing Kilamanjaro or climbing the Great Wall Of China, I thank my little cotton socks that Iím sitting here with a scone in my garden and my swing chair. As much as I love Babs thereís no way I would do that. I am an adventurer but Iím not keen on walking miles and miles or going to the north pole or things like that.

Digger: Would you bungee jump?

Dee Dee: I think I would but Iíve got very weak ankles. Iíve done a fire walk across hot coals.

Digger: I suppose itís different what we will and won't do.

Dee Dee: Thatís true. If somebody said to me ďWould you like to do a seventy mile trek along the Great Wall Of China or walk up Everest.Ē Iíd say no. But I love anything to do with the sea. Babs went around the world.

Digger: What did you think of the demise of TOTP?

Dee Dee: At the time I thought it was a good thing. I think it had seen its heyday and it had had it. By the time it stopped in 2006 I think it was looking tired. Now that theyíre actually bringing it back this is fun but I wish they hadnít started in 1976. I think they should have started much further back because the further back you go the more authentic and wonderful it is Ė all those old bands and a lot of the music was live. The sound was completely different  and you sang live and played live. You just got on with it.

Digger: It was raw.

Dee Dee: Yes raw. And the same with Panís, they could show some of those lovely old numbers that we used to do. All the incredible Tamla Motown and American ones.

Digger: There's a few of the really obvious ones on Youtube.

Dee Dee: Yes, there are. And any time they use a picture of Panís they always use the same one.

Digger: I suppose quite a few of the TOTPs were wiped as well?

Dee Dee: Yes, they were. We girls have an awful lot of them but we donít bandy them about. The reason we donít, David, is because there are so many pirates out there and they make a fortune out of our stuff. We and the BBC donít see a penny and I donít think thatís fair. Even if one was given a small residual Ė Iím not greedy. But why should these pirates make money out of what we did because as dancers, David, we never got paid very much? £19 a week at the beginning and £48 at the end.

Digger: My God! It wasnít a lot. The BBC were famous for being mean!

Dee Dee: The only way we made our money was through personal appearances and cabaret and so on. And Flick never really got the recognition she deserved for being the first and unique. And for her inventive choreography. Even now, thereís still nobody who did things that Flick Colby did.

Digger: Maybe it might be recognised in time.

Dee Dee: She was very strong and gutsy.

Digger: More strong women, as if there havenít been throughout time.

Dee Dee: And such a wit. And such a wry sense of humour. She lives out in upstate New York now. We sometimes go visit which is nice.

Digger: Iím glad to hear that you girls are still very much in touch.

Dee Dee: Yes, Ruthie came to stay the other day and weíre all doing this thing for the Daily Mail which is a big spread on Panís because now that TOTP has come out again thereís been an enormous resurgence about Panís.

Digger: We are promoting the TOTP retrospective CD releases from EMI on our site. 45 years I think.

Dee Dee: We met some amazing people in our time Ė The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and smaller groups who had their moment of fame like Mud, Slade and 10cc.

Digger: Theyíre all on our site.

Dee Dee: Good. Mott The Hoople, The Searchers, Dave Dee Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich Ė Dave became a really good friend of Henryís and mine. Who else?...

Digger: Sailor?

Dee Dee: Oh yes , it goes without saying, Sailor. Someone said the other day ďThey were that quirky one hit wonder band.Ē And I said ďThatís not true. They were a very different band and not like the run-of-the-mill. They had three great hits and they were bigger in Germany than The Beatles. They still play to enormous stadiums when they go out there even though theyíre all talking about piles and cocoa rather than rock and roll.Ē

Digger: I have those sorts of conversations too. Well, thanks Dee Dee for sharing your memories and thoughts with us.

Dee Dee: No. Thank you David.

 

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com

Pan's People
  

 

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution
Website Steve Norris

Buy A Very English Revolution on Amazon
Details Steve Norris is an English thriller writer for the 21st century

Steve has written a new novel, A Very English Revolution, that will change your views on the political stability of Britain forever.
Already attracting a number of rave reviews, the book is available on Amazon (as a paperback and on Kindle - at £2) where you can also see the great reviews.

It is framed around the timeline of a fictional Leeds bi-election in 2009. The vacuum of leadership in government meant minor parties were growing in strength and the book picks up in Leeds where an opportunity emerges for a new style nationalist politician who can present arguments, usually formed in male drinking clubs, in a sexy media-friendly format. The other side of the story is an old fashioned mystery whodunit from the 1980Ďs where a journalist stumbles on a cover up of child abuse in the Catholic Church. You think the story is going one way, but wonder where the bi-election fits in. The story draws the reader into a world where questions and connections keep coming, and where coincidence starts to turn into conspiracy. Before the characters realise what they know, they are at the centre of a very dangerous storm.
Remarks See the website for details

 

dressed2frill.co.uk - Top quality 50's 60's & 70's Fancy Dress, based in the UK, used in many Professional Dance and Stage shows
Website dressed2frill.co.uk
Details 70s & 60s Fancy Dress Outfits & Footwear. Stage Quality Abba style 60s and 70s Fancy Mini dresses, Outfits and Boots with Same day despatch.
  • 60's & 70's Footwear
  • Ladies 60's & 70's Dresses & Outfits
  • Men's 60s & 70s Outfits
  • Retro Accessories
  • Retro Tights and Stockings
  • Retro Kids
  • Retro Wigs

maz9999@gmail.com

07807 015393

Remarks Visit the website for details
 

 


Many thanks to Dee Dee for her help and kindness.  Dee Dee Wilde interview May 2011.

More information can be found at:

 

Dee Dee's Website

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity

Buy Dee Dee's Never Too Late To Dance! DVD

Unofficial Pan's People Website

Pan's People Online Fan Club

Sailor

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of and © copyright www.rexfeatures.com    Visit the rex shop for photographs, framed prints and canvasses.


This page layout and content  is the intellectual property of www.retrosellers.com and cannot be reproduced without express permission. 

We are not responsible for the content of external websites. If we have inadvertently used any image on this web site which is in copyright and for which we, or our retailers on our behalf, do not have permission for use, please contact us so that we can rectify the situation immediately. Images in this article are, to the best of our knowledge, either in the public domain or copyrighted where indicated. 


 

www.retrosellers.com 

Home Page | About | Contact | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy