Hot Gossip’s Naughty Bits

As a kid growing up, the only TV I was allowed to watch on weeknights was at 6pm on the ABC (something many Australian 30-somethings will appreciate). This usually encompassed The Goodies and Doctor Who but it also included the Kenny Everett Video Show. This 6pm ritual is partly responsible for my sense of humour, but I think it also played a hand in what I think is sexy.

And if you think that comment doesn’t make sense, you probably haven’t seen Hot Gossip.


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Hot Gossip were a British dance troupe that specialised in risque routines and revealing costumes. I’ve also only just found out that it’s where singer Sarah Brightman got her first big break. As the Kenny Everett show was originally about showcasing music, they were a vital way to introduce new singles.

By today’s standards, they’re not that fabulous, and a lot of the dancing seems pretentious. But to a wide-eyed 10 year old, Hot Gossip were seriously RUDE. There they were, wearing suspenders, corsets and really short skirts, opening their legs and showing off their panties. Watching Arlene Philips squat and pout always made me look around to make sure my parents weren’t watching. Because I knew it was RUDE. And it made me feel kinda funny.

I still can’t help thinking that suspenders and stockings are just the ultimate in sexy, even if it is cliched and stereotypical, and whatever. And whenever I hear Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side, I think of their dance routine.

It’s interesting that the guys didn’t really register on my sexy radar, perhaps because the focus was more on the women. Through the prism of today, the guys’ dancing and costumes exhibit a certain gay aesthetic, but I’m sure it didn’t register as such in the 70s.

So, should a ten year old have been exposed to such filth at 6pm on a weeknight? I don’t know. Look at how I turned out – running a porn site and writing about sex every day.

And the next question is this: what effect are today’s music videos having on ten year olds, given that they’re probably a lot more risque than Hot Gossip? Is it shaping their ideas of what is sexy? And what is today’s equivalent of a suspender belt? Perhaps sexual content in music videos is now so ubiquitous that kids are immune to it.

Now, enough philosophising, enjoy all the squatting and pouting in the above video! It’s a song called Sleazy but I don’t know the performer. I wanted to use the dance they did to Muscle Bound by Spandau Ballet but it’s not available.