The original series of ATV’s New Faces talent show ran between 1973 and 1978 and there was a brief revival on Central TV between 1986 and 1988.
Using the many news articles available from the British Newspaper Archives, limited available original TV footage and the extensive research of lost archives organisation Kaleidoscope I have managed to collect and document a list of some of the nearly 1,000 acts that appeared on our TV screens for our entertainment, delight and despair.
The show launched a number of successful careers and turned a few of the ‘stars’ into household names, while others disappeared as soon as their brief fifteen minutes of fame had ended.
On this site I hope to jog some memories and research a select number of acts to see where they came from, what happened after the show and where they ended up.
Thanks to these former contestants that have helped to fill in some gaps in my research and provide me with some very useful additional information;
- Eve Polycarpou (Eve Adam)
- Tom Armstrong (Oblio)
- Karl Barlow (Destiny)
- Wendy Barsley
- Roger Blakiston
- Colin Boardman
- Mike Amatt (Wellington Boothe)
- Peter Bottomley (Scallawag)
- Ferro (Ferruccio Bresciani) from The Cosmopolitans
- Annie Bright
- Michael Brookes (Michael Johns)
- Kim Brown (Yakity Yak)
- John D. Bryant
- David Caulfield (Flashmac)
- Andy Cameron
- Kevin Clark (Bokkle Green)
- Brenda Collins (Krack of Dorn)
- Pete Conway
- Glen Darlow
- Roger Darrock (formerly Roger Michael of The Sheratons)
- Tony Davis (Zenith Hot Stompers)
- Ted Duggan (Drops of Brandy)
- Charles Finney (Mother Nature’s Children)
- Louise Fisher (friend of Victoria Wood and ATV make-up department)
- Len Flack (Heritage)
- Foxwell Flax (Union Jack as Lennie Lloyd)
- Linda Fletcher
- Mark Gleeson (drummer with the Glentones)
- Steve Green
- Patzi Gooch (Peter Collins with Style) Fan Club
- Hilary Harwood
- Phil Hickin (Five Knuckle Shuffle)
- Graham Hicks (Shaneda)
- Chas Hughes (Abbey Road)
- Charlie James
- George Jenkinson and his family (Huff & Puff)
- Graham P. Jolley
- Gary Jordan
- Tina King
- Jemima Laing (daughter of Paul Stewart Laing)
- Paul Stewart Laing (Director, New Faces)
- Iain MacDonald (Drops of Brandy)
- Francis Mallon
- Peter Marsh (Easy Street)
- Tim Marshall (Kite)
- Tom Marshall (Sparrow)
- Eric McIntosh (Abbey Road)
- Leslie Melville (and Madame Charmaine – in spirit)
- John Milner
- Maggie Moone (Sandi Ann Leigh)
- Jamie Moore
- Ray Percival (Curley)
- Chris Perry (Kaleidoscope)
- Karen Plummer (Mother Nature’s Children)
- Dario Poli (Dario and Delia)
- Mike Read (Corkscrew)
- Julie Richardson (Dorne)
- Kelvin Roberts (Soft Parade)
- Andy Skelton (Kite)
- Mary Rosanne Smith (Bobbie Jo West)
- Malcolm Sweet (Wytchwood)
- Nick Thomas MBE (Tommer Puppets)
- Barry Underhill (Penny Black)
- Barry Wetherilt (Teapot Brown) and his daughter Elaine Hones
- Mike Woolley (Union Jack)
- Paul Wortley (Fresh)
With the often confusing show format of heats and grand finals and later all-winners shows and viewers favourite finals (not to mention winners and viewers winners) there are a number of acts that ‘claim’ to be a New Faces winner. I guess if you win a heat then you are a winner of sorts, but that’s like saying that a 3rd round win in the F.A.Cup makes you an F.A. Cup winner, so hopefully I can give some clarity to these claims.
Designer Mike Shaw came up with his animated titles after producer Les Cocks explained that he was practically going to take his discoveries off the streets and into the TV studio. Tony Macaulay wrote the title song around the rough drafts of the titles with were completed in just two weeks instead of the normal six.
The Monty Python like titles and the signature theme tune of You’re A Star, Superstar will no doubt ring bells with many people of a certain age.
The titles tell the tale of a sad little musician that starts off busking before being whisked away in a flash car for a makeover in the ‘star’ factory, where he is suited in velvet and equipped with a new electric guitar. He does, however, keep his own flat cap so that he keeps his original identity.
I hope you enjoy the journey through cabaret history and if you know any of the acts or have memories of seeing them on TV or in the pubs and clubs where they entertained them please leave a comment.
All images have been obtained from sources quoted and are copyright of those sources.