18 May 1974 – Series Two (7)

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Vocal and guitar duo, Pip & Dixie. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Heat seven of the second series saw regular judges Tony Hatch, John Smith and Clifford Davis joined by journalist and agony aunt, Marjorie Proops. They were entertained by the following seven acts who performed in the following order;

  • Pip & Dixie (vocal / guitar duo) from Warrington
  • Dorothy Copeland (vocalist)
  • Wellington Boothe (comedy vocalist)
  • Sheila Sexton (comedian) from Warrington
  • Roy Green (comedian) from Birmingham
  • Jeffrey Hooper (vocal guitar) from Llantrisant
  • The Amazing Bavarian Stompers (Bavarian showband) from Yorkshire

The heat winner, with a show record of 108 points, was the fifteen year old singing schoolboy from Llantrisant, near Cardiff, Jeffrey Hooper, who had only started singing ballads 18 months before his New Faces appearance. His win secured him a week long appearance at the London Palladium.

Before appearing on New Faces, Soprano singer Dorothy Copeland performed many shows with the West London Opera Company. She appeared in Mozart’s “II Seraglio”, “Cozi Fan Tutte” and ‘The Marriage of Figaro” as well as Verdi’s “Nabucco” and has also performed the work of Rossini and Strauss.

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Comedy performer Sheila Sexton. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Manchester comic Sheila Sexton was the first female comedian to feature on New Faces. Her act was a riot, her earthy comedy had the audience in stitches, and her “out of tune” singing was one long roar of laughter. Sheila was inundated with offers of work all over the country following her New Faces appearance and could have been a huge star. Instead she put family life first and chose to entertain in her leisure time. When she did perform she changed her act as often as possible and it was reported that she never repeated her routines and was an expert ad-libber.

Hailing from Halifax in Yorkshire The Amazing Bavarian Stompers’ performance on the show prompted panel judge Clifford Davis to comment their act had left him completely exhausted. Their robust music on electric accordion, trombone, sousaphone and drums was a hit of oompah proportions as they claimed the runners-up spot.

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Wellington Boothe, New Faces performance 18 May 1974. Image: Kaleidoscope Archive (Facebook Group)

In a change to the published TV listings for this heat, which listed the singer D.J. Pope, the comedy vocalist Wellington Boothe appeared instead. Wellington Boothe was the stagename of Mike Amatt who had previously performed with Shane Fenton (later to be Alvin Stardust) in the late 1960s, before going solo and making this appearance on New Faces. After his appearance he became a successful international solo artist which included regular contracts to perform in Sun City, South Africa.

On his return to the UK Mike Amatt wrote, presented and composed the music for his own children’s BBC TV series Mop and Smiff and he later went on to present Playschool and Forget-Me-Not-Farm.  Mike also wrote the performed the theme tune to BBC TV series Jossy’s Giants. In 2012 Mike briefly joined Herman’s Hermits and one year later reinvented Wellington Boothe and looked to secure some bookings on cruise ships as a multi-instrumentalist.

The final scores for each act were as follows, with Jeffrey Hooper finishing the clear winner with the professional panel of judges.

  PresentationContentStar QualityTotal
1Jeffrey Hooper363438108
2The Amazing Bavarian Stompers33313094
3Wellington Boothe29262782
4Sheila Sexton25262980
5Pip & Dixie27262477
6Dorothy Copeland27242374
7Roy Green29202170
The judges scored gave victory to young vocalist Jeffrey Hooper.

4 thoughts on “18 May 1974 – Series Two (7)

  1. Hi Jeff, Frank from the Amazing Bavarian Stompers here. Saw you singing with Sid Lawrence some years back. Glad you`re still working. We celebrate 50 years next year. New Faces did us a lot of good. In fact I`m in contact with Tony Hatch would you believe! The original “hatchet man. Can`t forget what Clifford Davis said out you “I`m not happy about a young boy singing about laying his head on my pillow”. I paraphrase that of course but it has always stuck with me and made me smile. All the best Jeff, keep safe

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    1. Hi Frank. Thanks for your comment. Just to clear up your quote for the record. Clifford Davis’ comment was, “I’m not happy about the choice of song, I don’t want to hear 15 year old boys singing about girls sleeping beside him on his pillow.”
      So please to hear that you are still playing nearly 50 years later and please point Tony Hatch in the direction of this website I’d love to hear what he thinks (or would I?)

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  2. Hi, I’m Jeff Hooper and I did win New Faces in 1974. I’ve just been back in contact with Wellington Boothe who was also on the show with me. Happy days! I’ve been a professional singer ever since and still enjoy every minute of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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