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Recently reformed all-female band All Saints have claimed they were pressured by producers to go to...

All Saints: 'TOTP Wanted Us To Take Tops Off'

By 16:35:00

Recently reformed all-female band All Saints have claimed they were pressured by producers to go topless on a pre-recorded episode of Top Of The Pops.

The English-Canadian foursome, who first found fame in the late 1990s, recalled how they faced sexism during their earlier career.

They said the music show's makers wanted to film them from the shoulders up to create the illusion they were performing naked.

In an interview with the BBC, band member Shaznay Lewis said: "They were filming images of us to use as a backdrop and they wanted us to take our tops off."

But fellow singer Natalie Appleton said the group "did not want that vision".

And she claimed a woman who was working with them was "in tears because she was trying to fight our corner".

Another group member Melanie Blatt added: "Because it was such a huge show, we were told 'if you don't do it, you don't get to go on the show'."

Appleton said in the end there was a "compromise" between them and the producers where they dropped their tops to their armpits so it would look like they were topless.

Her sister Nicole said: "We did it but we were stroppy about it. Again, we got labelled as being difficult."

A BBC spokesman said: "We're not able to comment on something that is alleged to have happened nearly 20 years ago, but today we seek to ensure that everyone working at the BBC does so in an environment in which they are comfortable."

The group formed in 1993 and their debut self-titled album hit number two in the UK charts.

Their second album Saints And Sinners reached the top spot but they split up a year later.

They briefly reformed in 2006 but broke up again soon after, with their third album only making number 40.

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