Something you might not know about me…


Jilly's newspaper articleWhen I was sixteen-years-old I was offered a (then) very lucrative Las Vegas contract to join the Bluebell girls. They were a chorus line who had over 400 girls dancing around the world.

In the end I turned down the contract, the reason being I wanted to stay at school and finish my O Levels!

My story in the papers

Firstly, the local papers got hold of the story, then the nationals and it all blew out of proportion. No one at that age (in those days) had ever been offered such a contract and it was certainly something that you didn’t turn down!

But my dancing career didn’t finish there…

After finishing my O Levels (I got all ten!) I wanted to work in the West End. At the time, to work as an artist in the West End the rules were you had to have 40 weeks paid professional work on your equity card, that way you qualified for full equity status.

So I auditioned for a long summer season in Blackpool, where some friends of ours lived. I was lucky enough to get the job, which involved doing two shows every day from May through to October. I was still very young so being able to stay with friends of the family was brilliant.

Performing in the West End

Then I got a regular slot on Top of the Pops, and lots of other television work followed. Next, I went straight into the West End as one of the original cast members of 42nd Street, which was a big musical that came over from America and scooped all the top awards.

We were part of the Royal Variety show and did lots of television appearances too. So thank goodness I made the right decision and stayed on at school!

Did anyone see 42nd Street when it was on?

J x


  1. Nicola Rippon December 11, 2008 at 8:53 am -  Reply

    Yes, I saw that run! My parents took me to London for the weekend and we were very lucky to get tickets on the day (they had been returned) and had a box all to ourselves! The show was fantastic, foot-tapping, and just wonderful! I wonder which one you were?

  2. LINDA PLANT February 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm -  Reply

    See it ?
    Despite living in the home counties I travelled up to London to see that show 5 times. It really is the best of all musicals. In fact that particular David Merrick version was doing a nationwide tour about 6 years ago and came to our local theatre, and naturally was a complete sell out.
    I wonder Jilly, is it a prerequisite of a female qvc presenter to be a dancer ? I note that at least half a dozen of your colleagues started their careers as dancers.

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