29 Dec 1973 – Series One Grand Final

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Recorded on 24 Dec 1973

The Grand Final of Series One of New Faces was recorded on Christmas Eve at the ATV Studios on Broad Street, Birmingham. The show was a specially extended edition of the previous show format, running for 70 minutes in total. It was also confirmed that New Faces would return in April 1974 for a second series of star finding fun.

There was no act critique from the judges for the final, they just scored the acts based on their final performance to decide the winner. The judging panel for the grand final were Bill Ward, Tony Hatch and Clifford Davis and of course the show was hosted by Derek Hobson. Birmingham based comic, Alton Douglas, provided the warm-up act before the final started.

Show Footage: Show Opening Credits

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Host of the show, Derek Hobson

The final featured the thirteen acts that had won their respective weekly heats in the shows that had preceded the final. The winner of the show would have a further opportunity to improve their chances of stardom by appearing on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, just one day after the show airs on TV, where they would share the stage with Sacha Distel, Mireille Mathieu, Ronnie Hayward and Jim Dale.

The line-up for the Grand Final was music heavy with seven solo acts and five groups and just one comedian. In the order they performed, they were;

George Huxley’s Dixieland Jazz Band (six-piece jazz band) – Heat 13 winner

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Birmingham based, George Huxley’s Dixieland Jazz Band were Act 1. They sang Nobody’s Sweetheart Now

Tony Hatch said, “They make nice, happy, toe-tapping music..there is always room for a group like this and they are obviously very popular, and they are very professional and very rhythmic.”

Charlie James (female vocalist) – Heat 11 winner

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Charlie James was act two and she sang Sweet Gingerbread Man

Tony Hatch’s comments were, “Very versatile singer and I think her voice could very easily adapt to the country music style.”

A few years after this show Charlie was working in the North East and Lonnie Donegan approached her then manager to say he wanted to introduce her to United States as a country singer, however Charlie was only told about this conversation about thirty years later.

Show Footage: Charlie James – Sweet Gingerbread Man

Dri Jinja (folk trio) – Heat 5 winner

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Dri Jinja were act three, they sang Topanga Canyon

Clifford Davis commented that “They have a very rare thing, which is quality, they look nice, they’re young, they’re exciting, I think they’ll go a long way”

Tom Waite (vocalist) – Heat 7 winner

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Tom Waite was act four and he sang
Where Do I Begin? (Theme From “Love Story”)

“A terribly exciting singer, I think for a girl he must have a great sex appeal. I found him very exciting. I’m sure he’ll go far” said Clifford Davis.

Show Footage: Tom Waite – Where Do I Begin?

Yakity Yak (four-piece group) – Heat 4 winner

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Yakity Yak were act five their performance started with an instrumental version of Something followed by impressions of Bruce Forsyth, Max Wall, Norman Wisdom, Elvis Presley singing All Shook Up and an attempt at sword swallowing before finishing with a custard pie in guitarist Kim’s face.

Bill Ward commented, “I didn’t know what to expect, they built and they built very, very, very well. Good act.”

Elaine Simmons (vocalist) – Heat 1 winner

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Elaine Simmons was act six and she sang (Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All

“She chose a very difficult song to sing and she sang it very, very well with a great deal of confidence and I think she’ll go very far” said Bill Ward.

Anthony Waters (actor/vocalist) – Heat 3 winner

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Anthony Waters was act seven and he performed a scene from My Fair Lady which featured the song I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face

“I found him fairly convincing in his role as Professor Higgins and I think if he gets some stage experience, I don’t know how much he’s had already, there’s a shortage of actor singers, he could do well” commented Tony Hatch.

Ricki Disoni (vocalist) – Heat 12 winner

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Ricki Disoni was act eight and he sang Try A Little Kindness

“He’s very good, he’s very professional, I just wish he’d adopt a new position for delivering his songs, maybe the right foot in front of the left for a change” suggested Tony Hatch.

Show Footage: Ricki Disoni – Try A Little Kindness

Trotto (folk trio) – Heat 10 winner

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Trotto were act nine and they sang Drink It Down a traditional American drinking song

“It’s very different, I don’t know whether the ethnic groups take Trotto very seriously, but I would think that’s the area in which they’d work, very underground. A long way” said Tony Hatch, who was clearly not a fan of this act.

Showaddywaddy (eight-piece group) – Heat 8 winner

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Showaddywaddy were act ten and they sang a medley of Rock ‘n’ Roll hits featuring Let There Be Drums, Shazam, Three Stars, Rave On and Bonie Moronie

“Well they’re quite fantastic, I think they’re terribly modern, I think they are going to do tremendously, I’m very excited. I think they are wonderful” was the praise from Clifford Davis.

Jean De Both (vocalist) – Heat 6 winner

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Jean De Both was act eleven and he sang Unchained Melody

“Jean De Both is a bit out of the Sacha Distel stable, I enjoyed him, he’s very smooth, he’s very professional and I just hope he does as well as he ought to do” commented Clifford Davis.

Jackie Carlton (comedian) – Heat 9 winner

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Jackie Carlton was act twelve and his act comprised of a a collection of gags that majored around the topics of Mary Whitehouse, his Mother and Dukinfield, Manchester

“What a gay day, I liked him very much. He’s a lovely comic and he’s been around for a long time and I don’t know why the hell he hasn’t appeared on bigger shows than this one” was the comment from Bill Ward.

John D. Bryant (guitar/vocalist) – Heat 2 winner

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John D. Bryant was act thirteen and he sang one of his compositions, called Peace Will Be Mine

“Folk singers are poets of course and sincerity is their stock in trade, they sing like I do, which isn’t very well, but you have to listen to them because they hold your attention and John D certainly held mine” was the honest view of Bill Ward.

The winner of the spot on Sunday Night at the London Palladium was Tom Waite, who beat runners-up Showaddywaddy by just seven points and Jackie Carlton was a close third. With the second and third placed acts very close behind the winner they too got London Palladium bookings as a result.

Show Footage: Final Score Announcement and Closing Credits

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Derek Hobson announces the results of the judges scores

The full result and votes from the judges were;

  Tony HatchBill WardClifford DavisTotal
1Tom Waite809285257
3Jackie Carlton658484233
4Jean De Both716165217
5John D Bryant767465215
6Charlie James766275213
7Ricki Disoni785275205
8Yakity Yak527675203
9Anthony Waters645170185
10George Huxley’s Dixieland Jazz Band615865184
11Dri Jinja634865176
12Elaine Simmons585360171

Showaddywaddy have always maintained that the result was rigged. Answering a question about the result they stated, “We knew that Tom Waite was going to win as he was already on the schedule for the winners slot on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Our manager actually told us that we were going to come second. We obviously weren’t particularly happy about it, but it was a good introduction to the workings of our weird & wonderful industry!”

Credit: Huge thanks to Kim from Yakity Yak for all the information on this show. Thanks also to Charlie James for the information about her missed opportunity as a country singer.

NOTE: The images and details on this page contain copyrighted works that were not specifically authorised to be used by the copyright holder(s), but are used in good faith and are used under the concept of “fair use” to help illustrate the information provided. The copyright of the broadcast images remain the property of ATV.

Archive: Copy held by the BFI – Work – 572373

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