They were an elite band of women of the 1960s, '70s and '80s who fired up the imaginations of red-blooded blokes all across the UK. They were adventurous, crime-fighting, dancing, singing, funny and mysterious. They had people glued to the telly. And, today, we raise a glass or several to them as we take a close look at the top TV totty of years gone by.
Cop a load of that!
Back in 1984, what was then London Weekend Television unleashed upon the TV screens of the UK an exciting new cop show: Dempsey and Makepeace. Dempsey was played by Michael Brandon and the role of Makepeace went to blonde hotty, Glynis Barber. And a nation of men cheered! Perhaps more than a few women did, too! Fast-paced, adventurous and humorous, the show became an instant hit with viewers. Today, Glynis is still busy - both on stage and screen - and is still guaranteed to raise blood-pressures and ensure fond memories of the days when Makepeace had heads spinning.
An avenging angel
In the pre-1970s era, spy-based dramas were all the rage: The Saint, Man in a Suitcase, and Department S were just three of many. But, ruling the roost was The Avengers, starring dapper Patrick Macnee as crime-fighter John Steed. Lucky old Steed had an army of women at his side throughout the series' 1961-69 run. But, it was Emma Peel, played by Diana Rigg, who earns a place on our list. Emma could sword-fight, deliver a pulverising karate-chop, and drove a cool-looking Lotus around swinging London. Mini-skirts and black-leather were among her most remembered outfits. Mrs. Peel, we salute you!
On top form
During the late 1960s, when the BBC's Top of the Pops was still riding high, viewers were introduced to a gyrating phenomenon of hotness that ensured ratings went through the roof every Thursday night. They were a collection of dancing, twirling and teasing babes called Pan's People. For years, the team of Babs, Louise, Flick, Andi, Ruth and Dee Dee pranced around the stage, while the latest hit-song played in the background. But, come on, did it really matter what was booming out of the speakers when this band of beauties hit the screen? No, of course it didn't!
Thirty years ago, the BBC unveiled its then-latest comedy series on the country. It ran for a decade and more than 80 episodes. Set in France during the Second World War, it was, of course, 'Allo!, 'Allo! Starring Gordon Kaye as cafe-owner Rene Artois, the series poked fun at the Nazis and, thankfully, there was not a politically-correct complainer in sight. But, one person who was very much in sight was Vicki Michelle, who played the role of smoking-hot waitress, Yvette. Vicki was also a pin-up girl for The Sun and advertised lager on the telly. It couldn't get any better.
The Champions was a strange series that surfaced in 1968. After their aircraft crashes in the Himalayas, the three stars of the show have their lives saved by a mysterious group of people who give them incredible powers, including ESP and the ability to see into the future. But, you don't care about that, right? You want to know about the totty! She was Alexandra Bastedo, a then-22-year-old blonde who was a cross between Lara Croft and the Bionic Woman. The show folded after one series, but Alexandra didn't. Eastenders and Absolutely Fabulous both followed for this champion totty.
Purdey packs a punch
While The Avengers may have run out of steam in 1969, seven years later it was back in a new format and with a slightly altered name: The New Avengers. Good old John Steed was still there. But this time he had two new sidekicks: Gambit, a James Bond-type played by Gareth Hunt, and Joanna Lumley as Purdey. Yep, before she was Patsy on Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna was just about the hottest TV crime-fighter on 1970s TV. Guns and martial-arts were the tools of the trade for this posh bird - and she knew how to use them. Purr...dey
Losing your heart
Hot Gossip - a steamy group that mixed song and dance and who had none other than soprano superstar Sarah Brightman on vocals - released a song in 1978 titled "I lost my heart to a starship trooper". It stormed up the UK charts and sold more than half a million copies. Hot Gossip were suddenly big news and appeared regularly on Thames TV's Kenny Everett Video Show. Miss B was undoubtedly the stand-out member. Dressed in a tight, silver cat-suit and '70's platform heels, Sarah was immediately given a life-time pass to the UK's Totty Club.
Two is better than one
Probably better known today for her 2007-2008 role as Hilary Potts in Emmerdale, back in the 1970s Paula Wilcox was one-third of a phenomenally successful comedy series. Its name was Man About the House. The remaining two-thirds of the team were Sally Thomsett and Richard O'Sullivan - the latter always trying his absolute very best to get Paula or Sally, or both, into bed. It always ended in failure. But, there's no doubt that for the TV-watching lads of the day, Paula's character, Chrissy, and Sally's Jo were definitive totty of the two-fold variety.
3: Ant. 2: Bin. 1: Babe!
Caroline Munro was the face of Lamb's Navy Rum and the star of numerous fantasy-based films, including The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. In the mid-1980s, however, she found herself up against the most annoying character that ever graced British telly: 3-2-1's Dusty Bin. Caroline was a hostess on a show that, without her dynamic presence to entertain us, would have made that intolerable creature even more intolerable. Caroline also spent time, in 1982, gracing Top of the Pops, when she played a sexy secretary in the video for Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes. Fantasies were born all across the land.
Paradise at the airport
Her name was Lorraine Chase and she was the posh-looking bird who had a voice straight out of the East End. And that Hobson's Choice of hers was put to its most famous use in a series of TV adverts for Campari in the 1970s. When an admirer asks her: "Were you truly wafted here from Paradise?" Lorraine replies in her best "Gorblimey, guv'nor" tones: "Nah, Luton Airport." Who would have Adam and Eve'd it? As a direct result, plenty of geezers couldn't keep their minces off this Cockney lass. Knowwarramean, eh, knowwarramean?