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 Adam
- Tom Armstrong (Oblio)
- Karl Barlow (Destiny)
- Wendy Barsley
- Roger Blakiston
- Colin Boardman
- Peter Bottomley (Scallawag)
- Ferro (Ferruccio Bresciani) from The Cosmopolitans
- 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
- Tony Davis (Zenith Hot Stompers)
- Ted Duggan (Drops of Brandy)
- Louise Fisher (friend of Victoria Wood and ATV make-up department)
- Linda Fletcher
- Mark Gleeson (drummer with the Glentones)
- Steve Green
- Hilary Harwood
- Phil Hickin (Five Knuckle Shuffle)
- Graham Hicks (Shaneda)
- George Jenkinson and his family (Huff & Puff)
- Gary Jordan
- Tina King
- Iain MacDonald (Drops of Brandy)
- Francis Mallon
- Peter Marsh (Easy Street)
- Tom Marshall (Sparrow)
- Eric McIntosh (Abbey Road)
- Leslie Melville (and Madame Charmaine – in spirit)
- John Milner
- Jamie Moore
- Ray Percival (Curley)
- Chris Perry (Kaleidoscope)
- Mike Read (Corkscrew)
- Julie Richardson (Dorne)
- Kelvin Roberts (Soft Parade)
- Malcolm Sweet (Wytchwood)
- Nick Thomas MBE (Tommer Puppets)
- Barry Underhill (Penny Black)
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.