20 Apr 1974 – Series Two (3)

Heat Winner, Tony Gerrard. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Heat three of the second series saw a panel consisting of Tony Hatch, Jack Warner, John Smith and Barbara Kelly review another seven act hopeful of stardom, they were;

  • MacArthur Park (five-piece group) from Bristol
  • Linda Saxone (personality vocalist) from Norfolk
  • Tony Gerrard (comedian) from London
  • Davy Jones (comedian / impressionist)
  • The Melvin Brothers (vocal harmony duo)
  • Federation (pop group) from Bristol
  • Terry St. Clair (vocal/guitar) – participation doubtful, see heat 11

The heat winner, beating the pop group Federation by just one point, was comedian Tony Gerrard, who billed himself as Britain’s best ‘sit down’ comedian, as he had been confined to a wheelchair since the age of four after contracting polio. He was also a talented Rock ‘n’ Jazz saxophone player. The group Federation had previously made an appearance on rival show Opportunity Knocks.

In 1977 Tony released a six track LP, My Latest LP, on the SRT label. In 1983 a section of his act featured in The Skin Horse, the award-winning and ground-breaking TV documentary dealing sensitively with the topic of sex and intimacy within the disabled community. Tony sadly passed away in May 2012 at the age of 68.

Bristol group MacArthur Park on New Faces.
Left to Right: ‘Ozzie’, Dave, Bev, Phil and seated front centre is Roy.
Image: Thanks to Philip Martin (MacArthur Park)

Five-piece Bristol based group MacArthur Park formed at the end of the 1960s with Roy Taylor (drums), Martin Ricketts (guitar), Dave Fisher (bass) with their vocalist David Rees deciding on their name. Rich Lanham eventually replaced Dave Fisher on bass and in 1971 the group recorded their first single Lotti, Lotti on the Philips record label.

Their second single It Could Be Tonight ‎was power played on Radio Luxembourg and was Tony Blackburn’s record of the week on Radio 1, but despite the fantastic promotion and publicity the track still failed to chart.

The groups third single, Sh-Diddle-Dum-Dum-Diddle-Dee-Doo-Ha, released on the Decca label, sadly disappeared without trace. In 1972 Rich and David left the group, prompting Roy and Martin to recruited Alec Butland (lead vocals), Bev Guard (guitar), Phil Martin (guitar). In 1973 when Martin finally decided to leave, Rich re-joined the group who secured a summer season in Guernsey and the audition for New Faces.

MacArthur Park audition line-up: Alec, Roy, Phil, Rich and Bev. Image: Bev Guard (Facebook)

After their successful season in Guernsey the group returned to the UK and secured their place on this show following a February 1974 audition at the Top Rank Suite, Bristol. Their line-up at the audition was Rich Lanham (bass), Alec Butland (lead vocals), Bev Guard (guitar), Phil Martin (guitar) and Roy Taylor (drums).

In the short two months after the audition the group line-up changed with Rich and Alec departing for personal reasons and Andre ‘Ozzie’ Boulter (bass) and Dave Thomas (lead vocals) joining Bev, Phil and Roy with all five providing vocals for their New Faces performance. Rich explained that the songwriter had wanted him to add harmonies to the song, however, it really didn’t suit harmonies and Rich confessed he really didn’t want to do the show, especially with a song he hated.

They performed the song Stone Age Dream, written by a Scot by the name of Tommy who was the cousin of Bristol City footballer Gerry Gow. The group had met Tommy during the summer season in Guernsey in 1973.

In 2021 Roy Taylor, Rich Lanham, Philip Martin and Bev Guard reunited for the first time since the mid-70s, as the Guernsey Boys of 73, to record the track, West Coast Sunset, with their old friend Ken Lintern.

Linda Saxone 1964. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The National press had forecast that Norfolk’s Linda Saxone was destined for a brilliant career back 1964 when she released her debut single Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing on the Pye Records label. The single failed to chart.

In 1965 Linda moved to the Polydor label and released to further singles, Only Last Night and I’ve Got To Say No again both without chart success. In 1972 Linda was one of the resident entertainers on the Gaiety circuit in Blackpool, where she made her name as a wide-ranging songstress.

The Melvin Brothers, Gary and John, were members of the Allan Warburton showband which was at the beginning of 1973 and played a wide variety of numbers through pop, standards, Country and Western and Latin American to old time and party dances. The brothers left the showband at the start of 1975 to concentrate on cabaret work.

Terry St. Clair’s participation in this heat is extremely doubtful as he is known to have appeared on show 11 of this series, a recording of which is available on You Tube confirming his appearance on the show won by Johnny Carroll. It is likely to be that he was scheduled for this show and replaced by an unknown act and his appearance was postponed until the later show.

Missing Details

Assuming that Terry St. Clair didn’t appear on this show and instead performed on show 11, then there is a missing act from this show. If you have any details of the missing act for this show then please leave a comment on the page of use the Contact Me page to send in any information you may have.

Thanks: Philip Martin, Bev Guard and Rich Lanham (MacArthur Park) for their help with the details and images of the group.

3 thoughts on “20 Apr 1974 – Series Two (3)

  1. […] Since the death of Elvis Presley in 1977, Keith had been performing his own tribute show and the year after his New Faces appearance Keith was on the entertainment roster at the Seashore Holiday Village, Great Yarmouth along with a number of other discoveries from earlier New Faces shows. Other acts to feature were Lew Lewis, Graham P. Jolley, Allan Mills and The Nobodies. In 1980 Keith released a new LP, No Time At All, but under his own name of Danny Owen and later that year he released the single Kiss An Angel Good Morning having signed a recording deal with the independent Hammer Records. In the December of the same year Danny performed two shows at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, Surrey on December 7 as a support act for comedian Tony Gerrard (winner show 2.3). […]


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