How did you come to be in Ruby Flipper?
Lulu: There was an advert in The Stage for Flick Colby wanting dancers. I was about 16 at the time and had just left school and some girl friends of mine phoned up and said "are you going to go?" I had never been to an audition before so I thought I ought to find out what happens and how it works. We all said we'd meet up in London, go to the audition and then go for lunch or something. None of us expected anything to happen. We turned up at The Dance Centre in Covent Garden and there were thousands of girls. We went in groups of ten or twenty. Flick Colby taught us a short routine, watched us do it and if she tapped you on the shoulder she wanted you to stay. She kept tapping me on the shoulder, so I had to go back in the afternoon and then the next day, then the next week and she said, "the job's yours if you want it". It was being in the right place at the right time and the look she wanted. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into but it was fantastic.
Were you aware of Pans People at the time?
Lulu: Yes. It was something we watched as we grew up through ballet school and said, "that's easy, we can do that" because we all dreamed of being ballerinas at that stage. In fact, Cherry Gillespie who was in Pan's People was my head girl at ballet school. We weren't exactly sure what the audition was for because it didn't say in the advert.
What was your reaction when you realised it was Top of the Pops?
Lulu: Total bemusement really. I went home and told my parents and they said "What?". She was looking for a different kind of look and a variety of people, that's why there were boys in it too. I just happened to fit the bill.
You mention the boys - that came to be a bit of a bone of contention, didn't it?
Lulu: To be honest, there was more going on behind the scenes than we were aware of. We were just happily getting on with our jobs, learning our routines every week. The problem was that it was a bit ahead of its time. I agree that the all-girl format had become dated and it was the right way to go because Hot Gossip was very successful. But I think the BBC were a little reticent about having such a big change. I do think having Floyd, who was black, was quite a radical step.
How did it make him feel?
Lulu: I don't think he really realised what was going on. He was very young. I don't think any of us realised what was going on. I think if it had been on ITV we would have got away with it. You have to be quite careful with a programme that kids watch from about the age of 7 or 8.