3 Nov 1973 – Series One (6)

Jean De Both.
Image © The Stage Media
Company Limited

No details of the judges for this heat are available but the acts appearing on episode six were;

  • Cinnamon Brown (piano & vocal duo)
  • The Bike – Terry and Wally Mardell (comedy musical duo)
  • Al and Dorothy Roberts (variety act)
  • Jean De Both (vocalist)
  • Nick and Nichola (vocal duo)
  • Unknown Act

The show winner was Belgian vocalist Jean De Both who would be seen again in the Grand Final on 29 December 1973.

Vocal duo Nick and Nichola had already released two singles by the time they appeared on this show. They released It’s Beautiful b/w Get Along Without You in 1970 and Apple Crumble Mind b/w Do You Love Me followed in 1971. Both were released on the Decca record label. Nichola Martin had left school at sixteen and worked as a backing singer for Des O’Connor at the end of the pier in Great Yarmouth before singing on a number of advertising jingles for brands such as Ski Yoghurt, Alpen, Babycham and Wimpy. Nichola chose Nick, real name Erik, to join her in their duo when she auditioned vocalists to find a male co-singer.

Vocal duo Nick and Nichola. Image © The Stage Media
Company Limited

The duo split shortly after their appearance and Nichola formed the five piece harmony group called Love Together. They were the group that were in a bitter name argument with the group Love Together with Turnstyle who appeared on two New Faces shows in series four. Nichola’s Love Together released three singles, all written by Nichola. Round Ev’ry Corner / Blackjack (1974), The More You Say / Love Together (1975) and Don’t Do Anything (I Wouldn’t Do) / Love Together (1976).

Rags 1977, Left to Right: Jill, Steve and Nichola. Image: Reach PLC. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.

Nichola’s next group venture was the trio Rags, formed with Jill Shirley and Steve Glen. They were initially formed as a Eurovision act, but failed to get past the preliminary stages with their song Promises, Promises finishing fourth in the Song For Europe competition in 1977, which was won by Lynsey De Paul and Mike Moran with Rock Bottom. In the same competition You’re My Sweet Sensation by the New Faces series two finalists Sweet Sensation finished eighth and the single of the track was produced by Tony Hatch. Finishing in tenth place of the twelve acts was New Faces theme song vocalist Carl Wayne who performed the song A Little Give, A Little Take written by Roger Greenaway and New Faces theme composer Tony Macaulay.

Rags bounced back following their Eurovision disappointment and in November 1977 won the World Pop Song Festival in Tokyo beating world famous pop stars such as George Chakiris and Glen Campbell with their song Can’t Hide My Love. The staging for their performance featured stripping out of huge robes made of multi-coloured rags to reveal gold lamé disco outfits. After releasing three further singles and making a number of TV appearances, including Top Of The Pops and Crackerjack, the group finally split in 1980.

In 1981 Nichola with her partner Andy Hill and Graham Broad formed the group Gem and once again Nichola found herself competing to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest and once again finishing in fourth place. They performed the song Have You Ever Been In Love? written by Andy, Peter Sinfield and John Danter. The winners of the contest were a group that Nichola and Andy had put together to perform another Andy Hill and John Danter song, Making Your Mind Up. The performance of that song by the group Bucks Fizz, named after Nichola’s favourite drink, received five out a possible seven maximum scores, helped by their eye-catching skirt ripping act, similar to the reveal that Rags had used four years earlier. Bucks Fizz went on to win the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with former Rags member Jill Shirley managing the group.

Nichola Martin when she was a member of the group Paris. Image: Censored single sleeve.

Nichola went on to co-write a number of the hits for Bucks Fizz but was also their image maker, restyling the group from their primary colours of Eurovision success and planning new outfits and colour schemes as well as the musical direction of the group. Nichola’s ‘bossy’ control of the group earned her the nickname ‘the Fuhrer.’

As Bucks Fizz began to enjoy their post-Eurovision success Nichola and Andy formed the group Paris with Graham Broad and Iain Bairnson. They released a number of singles between 1981 and 1983, including the Gem song Have You Ever Been In Love?, which Leo Sayer later covered and reached the UK top ten with in April 1982.

Nichola also worked with the group Bardo, the UK’s Eurovision entry for 1982, with husband Andy producing their hit One Step Further and Nichola co-writing the B-side Lady Of The Night, which had first appeared on the album Bucks Fizz.

Nichola and Andy Hill formed a formidable partnership and later married. By 1986 Andy had written or produced all eleven of the Top 20 UK hits of Bucks Fizz. Nichola co-wrote the third Bucks Fizz number one single My Camera Never Lies as well as the top ten hit Now Those Days Are Gone.

Al and Dorothy Roberts, from Bridgend, was an act that included magic, cartoons, ventriloquism, black light, rag pictures, illusions, dancing and comedy. They were a huge cabaret success and appeared at Pontin’s Holiday Camps for twelve years running.

The Bike, with Terry and Wally Mardell. Image: Wally Mardell (Facebook)

In 1982 Wally Mardell joinly developed the quiz show Bob’s Full House and has appeared as a warm up act on many television shows including Sky Star Search, Bob’s Full House, Sale Of The Century, Going For Gold and ‘Allo ‘Allo. He also performed the warm up for shows featuring two New Faces judges appearing before Noel Edmonds on Noel’s House Party and the The Late Late Breakfast Show and with Terry Wogan on his Wogan chat show. He also did the warm up for former New Faces contestant Michael Barrymore on both Strike It Lucky and The Michael Barrymore Show.

The Mardell Brothers, Terry and Wally plus the Bike also made an appearance together on the BBC Children’s show Crackerjack. You can see their performance on the entertainment show below.

Missing Details

This show is missing the name of one other act that appeared on this programme along with the three judges who sat on the panel for the show.

If you have any details of the missing acts or judges then please leave a comment on the page of use the Contact Me page to send in any information you may have.

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