Vegas pensioners performing burlesque and challenging societal norms

Las Vegas is no stranger to eye popping, draw dropping scenes. And I'm not often lost for words. Tassels and sequins, feathers and frill are the architecture of this place and after 20 years as a journalist there's not much that takes me aback now.

But just a few blocks off Vegas' strip I witnessed a show which takes the town to a different level - and challenges the way we consider beauty, art and age.

To ear splitting cheers the stars of Burlesque do their thing - their clothes falling to the floor as the music plays. They're strutting their stuff and stripping off and yet these performers are not young - not one is less than 65.

They are the women who made Burlesque great and who are still purveyors of their art as they collect their pensions.

In a world where youth is cherished and age so often sends older women quietly into the shadows these women defy convention.

They did so in their youth - challenging society and defying those who saw them as little more than sex workers dancing for dimes. And now in their later years they are challenging society still.

Their individual stories are incredible. Chatting to them for On Assignment they speak of their lives - the excitement and glamour of their younger days, the thousands they earned in tips from gangsters, the adoration of fans and their love of taking their clothes off for money.

April March has been performing burlesque for more than 60 years. Credit: ITV/On Assignment

There is an absolute pride in what they did and what they do. They may not be as supple, as slim or as fit and well as they once were but they are determined to carry on performing and purveying their art to younger generations.

On Assignment will be broadcast on ITV tonight at 10.40pm.