The new dance troupe were formed as a hasty replacement for Ruby Flipper, a multi-racial and mixed-sex septet (later sextet and quintet) who took over dancing duties on Top of the Pops from the popular and long-running female dance group Pan's People in May 1976. The troupe were put together, and managed by, choreographer and founding member of Pan's People, Flick Colby, and fellow Pan's People dancer Ruth Pearson.
Sue (who replaced Louise Clarke as a member of Pan's People in 1974), Patti and Lulu had been members of Ruby Flipper, and it was decided that they should remain as part of the new line-up. Three further dancers were chosen to complete the sextet: Gill had been a finalist in the Miss UK 1976 contest, Rosie was a student at the Italia Conti stage school, and Pauline, the first black female dancer to appear as a member of a dance troupe on Top of the Pops, had appeared on stage in various West End productions.
Although Pan's People are more fondly remembered by past TOTP viewers, the original Legs & Co. line-up stayed together longer than any of the various Pan's People line-ups. During their time on the show, only one personnel change occurred within the troupe; when Pauline Peters left the group in March 1981, she was eventually replaced by singer and dancer Anita Mahadervan, the first Asian dancer to appear on Top of the Pops.
During their tenure as the Top of the Pops dance troupe, Legs & Co. performed routines to songs of various musical styles. They interpreted songs by punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash who never appeared in the TOTP studio (although the Sex Pistols did eventually make a studio appearance when they reunited for the "Filthy Lucre" tour in 1996), and were often seen in routine to the disco tracks of the time. Controversially (at the time), Legs and Co. took on a punk look for a performance of "Pretty Vacant" by The Sex Pistols.
As well as their regular appearances on Top of the Pops, Legs & Co. appeared on other television programmes of the time, including Tiswas and Blue Peter. On the latter series, the troupe danced to Mike Oldfield's arrangement of the programme's theme tune.
Former member of Ruby Flipper, Floyd Pearson made three guest appearances on Legs & Co. routines: Andrew Gold's "Lonely Boy" on 14 April 1977, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's "You're the One That I Want" on 25 May 1978 and Sylvester's "(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real" on 21 September 1978.
On 13 August 1981, an Anglo-Italian male dancer called Alex (who later became a TOTP "cheerleader" and one of the show's warm-up artists) danced with Gill to the "How Deep Is Your Love" section of Startrax's "Startrax Club Disco".
The troupe's last credited performance was on 15 October 1981, dancing to "The Birdie Song" by the Tweets, and the last edition to feature Legs & Co. was transmitted on 29 October 1981. In this edition, the girls danced to Haircut 100's "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)", but merely relegated to dancing behind the band and among the studio audience.
On 5 November 1981, a week after Legs & Co.'s final on-screen appearance, Zoo, the final featured dance troupe to appear on Top of the Pops, made their debut.
As a footnote to her career dancing on TOTP, on 17 December 1981, Sue made a final appearance on TOTP, with a solo routine to Jon & Vangelis's "I'll Find My Way Home". This marked Sue Menhenick's final appearance as a dancer on Top of the Pops after over seven years, making her the second-longest serving dancer on the programme. Sue was credited as a member of Zoo in the end credits for the programme, making her unique in being credited for appearing as a member of four different dance troupes in her time on TOTP.
The original Legs & Co. line-up were reunited in late 2000 to take part in a documentary on the history of Top of the Pops. In the programme, all of the six original members discussed their memories of their time on the show. The documentary was first transmitted on New Year's Day 2001, repeated in December 2001, and a revised repeat was shown on 30th July 2006, the same day the final regular edition of Top of the Pops was broadcast.
Five of the original members (without Patti Hammond) also appeared on an edition of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in January 2003 to surprise a member of the studio audience who had written to Jim'll Fix It as a child wishing to dance with Legs & Co., but whose request was ignored. The girls, along with the surprised member of the audience, later danced a short routine to Sister Sledge's "We Are Family", the first time members of Legs & Co. had danced on a British television series for 22 years.