Behind the decks at Queen, the biggest and brashest nightclub in Paris, the DJ lifts her arms to the heavens.

White ticker tape falls on to the crowd below, who hurl themselves around to the throbbing bass, intermittently yelling their approval.

They push to get to the booth, taking photos on their phones as the hottest star of the moment lines up the next tune.

But Ruth Flowers is not your average DJ. Coming up to her 70th birthday, when many are well settled into retirement, the grandmother from Bristol has become an international sensation, in demand in clubs throughout Europe.

With spiky silver hair and scarlet lipstick, gold bomber jacket, baggy tracksuit bottoms, bling jewellery, and trademark giant black sunglasses, Flowers plays down the new-found fame of her twilight years.

"I'm not a superstar DJ," she said, before donning her diamante-encrusted headphones and starting her set. "I'm just a DJ."

Mamy Rock, as she is known on the circuit, came to the wheels of steel later than most. She fell in love with dance music after accompanying her grandson to a London nightclub.

"The bouncers didn't want to let me in at first, I was quite a lot older than the usual clientele, but once I got inside I hugely enjoyed it. I thought 'I can do this.' My husband had died, I was retired, I had the time, so why not?"

Her grandson, who she says is "smitten" with the idea of his gran as an international DJ, put her in touch with a young French producer, who helped her develop her sound and image.

"I like to mix the old and the new, so I might put electro alongside an old favourite like the Rolling Stones," she said.

Aurelien Simon, the 28-year-old producer behind the DJ, said he helps Flowers interject modern music through her set. "But Ruth always has the last word," he insisted.

Still, there is no sign of her favourite band, Queen, in tonight's playlist.

"Freddie Mercury ... what a voice," she said, playing with the huge skulls and crossbones ring on her finger. "But I like to please the crowds, I give them what they want."

There were few complaints on the dancefloor where Flowers received intense, and somewhat bizarre, adulation from the assembled sweaty Parisian youth.

"Mamy Rock! Mamy Rock!" shouted Pauline Robert, a 23-year-old student, over the relentless thud of the music.

"We adore Mamy Rock. She loves to make us dance. We all want her as our grandmother."

For Alexandra Ledys, 21, the appeal lies in her originality. "It's so cool, I've never seen a DJ that old before," he said. "Music brings together all generations."

For now, Flowers is more popular across the channel than in the UK, but hopes to bring her brand of mamy rock back home, ideally to the Ministry of Sound.

But what the French call her traditional British eccentricity is part of the charm for these Parisians.

Idir Igoudjil, a 19-year-old student at Paris's prestigious Sciences Po, complimented her mixing as a pair of barely pubescent girls ground away alongside him. "English women are fantastic," he said. "They are much less uptight than French girls."

After playing a residency at a jetset villa at the Cannes film festival, Flowers' popularity has snowballed.

"I can't believe the type of reaction I have got so far. People seem to adore me, they say they want to be like me, when they should just try and be like themselves, the dear things," she said, suddenly sounding like the

grandmother she is.

With an electro-rock EP, MamyRock, on the horizon and more offers to play famous nightclubs throughout the world, she has no desire to slow down just yet.

"I've got no intention of retiring," she said. "Well, unless I drop dead. And I'd much rather go out with a bang than linger."

Flowers worked as a singer and singing teacher in Portugal for 14 years, and returned to the UK after the death of her husband.

She has little time for those who think she should grow old gracefully.

"I think you have to accept the challenges that come your way. You can stay at home, and do nothing but go to an old people's club and to church for a cup of tea once a week. But you don't have to do that. If you want to do something then you really can," she said, before setting out to play to her fans. "I just hope I can work that machine."

Copyright: Guardian News & Media 2010