Ruby Red Performers

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The Ruby Red Performers are an amateur burlesque dancing troupe from the English seaside town of Withernsea, near Hull.[1]


In April 2015, twelve members of the Ruby Red Performers appeared on series 9 of the primetime ITV variety show Britain's Got Talent. They attended an audition held in the Lowry Theatre in MediaCity Salford where they performed a routine dressed as 1950s cleaning women dancing to Queen's "I Want to Break Free".[2] Early on into their routine, Simon Cowell pressed his buzzer to indicate that he did not like the act, but shortly afterwards there was a tempo change in the routine and the women stripped down to large pairs of underwear, much to the delight of the audience and judges.

After their performance, Cowell admitted that he had pressed his buzzer too early and suggested that the British Royal Family might like to see the act perform.[3] The act also appealed to the female judges with Amanda Holden saying it made her proud to be a woman and Alesha Dixon declaring that the group were giving confidence to women and that what they were doing was "powerful".[4] They were given four 'yes' votes by the panel, allowing them to progress in the competition.

On 25 May 2015, The Ruby Red Performers performed live in the first semi final along with eight other acts but came in last place in the public vote, therefore not advancing to the final.[5] The group began their routine dressed as lollipop ladies before stripping down to black underwear and exploding bras.[6]

Their routine received favourable comments from the judges but they were criticised for their physical appearance on Twitter by columnist Kate Hopkins and former Strictly Come Dancing dancer James Jordan, with these comments being picked up by the national press. Jordan described the Ruby Reds as "fat old birds" whilst Hopkins, who is famous for her outspoken vitriolic comments, said their act was about women "being confident about their bodies and eating pork pies".[7] The group responded by tweeting a photograph of them all on the bus back to Withernsea eating pork pies.[8]

Other appearances[edit]

On 13 April 2015, following their debut performance on Britain's Got Talent, two members of the group gave their first television interview to Amanda Holden and Phillip Schofield on the live daytime magazine show This Morning. The group's leader, who goes by the name of Ruby, presented Holden with a pair of the nipple tassels worn by the ladies during their routine and Holden tried them out live on air.[9]

Popular culture[edit]

ITV's debut episode of its satirical puppet animation comedy show Newzoids which was aired on 15 April 2015 featured a sketch where Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, were watching Britain's Got Talent in the style of the Channel 4 series Gogglebox. As Charles hears a reference to the "stripping grannies" he announces "Bloody hell! Have a bit of self respect ladies!" before Camilla enters the room in her underwear wearing a pair of rotating nipple tassels on her bra, similar to those worn by the Ruby Red performers.[10]


  1. ^ "Hull Daily Mail: Burlesque dancing in Hull: 'It's a myth that it's sleazy striptease' says cabaret dancer Lorraine Courtney". 28 January 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. ^ "YouTube: Britain's Got Talent - The Ruby Red want to get something off their chests". 12 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  3. ^ Ojomu, Nola (12 April 2015). "Mail Online: Simon Cowell surprises on Britain's Got Talent as he presses buzzer for Calum Scott". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  4. ^ Ojomu, Nola (11 April 2015). "Mail Online: Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon praise dance group Ruby Red Performers". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  5. ^ Hegarty, Tasha (25 May 2015). "Digital Spy: Reality TV - Cor Glanaethwy and Entity Allstars are first acts through to Britain's Got Talent Final". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Hull Daily Mail: Britain's Got Talent 2015 - Ruby Red Performers miss out on final". 25 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  7. ^ Kelly, Emma (25 May 2015). "The Daily Star: Katie Hopkins and James Jordan body-shame BGT's Ruby Red Performers". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Jennifer Dees on Twitter: image of Ruby Red Performers with Pork Pies". 26 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. ^ Corner, Natalie (13 April 2015). "The Mirror: Amanda Holden dons nipple tassels and shakes her stuff - which definitely impresses Philip Schofield". Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  10. ^ Newzoids. Season 1. Episode 1. 15 April 2015. ITV1.

External links[edit]