The History of New Faces

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The original 1970s New Faces TV show logo

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;

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.

New Faces Titles were designed by Mike Shaw. Image: ATV Broadcast

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.

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