1 Jun 1974 – Series Two (9)

Comedy vocalist Geronimo Tate.  Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Heat nine of the second series saw the first appearance of Ingrid Pitt as a panel member joining three of last week’s judges Tony Hatch, Clifford Davis and Arthur Askey to give their combined opinions on another seven new acts;

  • Bobby Finn (comedian)
  • Bruce Davis (vocal / piano) from Blackpool
  • Geronimo Tate (vocal / comedy) from Bristol
  • D. J. Pope (male vocalist) from London
  • Neil Hames (tap dancer) from Loughborough
  • Michelle Fisher (vocalist) from Poole
  • Cody Nash Outfit (five-piece group) from Southampton

Winner of this heat and booking her place in the series two Grand Final was vocalist, and former Miss England finalist, Michelle Fisher.

Back in 1971 Londoner Geronimo Tate on the entertainment roster at various Pontin’s Holiday Camps in the South West of England.  He also provided support for Top 20 recording artist Labi Siffre at the Shakespeare venue in Liverpool in August 1972. 

Geronimo Tate’s standard act began with him well dressed and delivering some very excellent vocals with his strong singing voice, which was followed with an impersonation of a musical muscleman, when he really made his muscles dance.  Basically he was a comedian with an off beat sense of fun who did not appear to take himself too seriously, giving an added edge to his comedy.

After his appearance in this heat Geronimo Tate later went on to perform alongside another New Faces act when in 1979 when he joined Roger de Courcey to provide entertainment for Warner Holiday Centres.

Southampton based group Cody Nash Outfit. left to right: Phil, Tommy, Norman & Roger (Dave Nash not pictured).
Image: Discogs.com

The Southampton Country & Western group Cody Nash Outfit formed in 1966 and recorded a couple of singles and an LP before they appeared on New Faces.  One of the biggest crowd- pulling bands of the time they attracted a fanatical following, and held the record attendance figures at the Ponderosa in Boarhunt for many months.

Fronted by Norman Mourant (rhythm guitar and vocals) who was something of a legend in the South of England, their line-up was completed with Phil Tilbury (drums and vocals), Roger Elwin (bass guitar), Tommy Bannister (steel guitar and vocals) and Dave Nash (steel guitar and vocals).

D.J. Pope finally got his chance on the show as he was originally listed to appear just two weeks earlier, but was replaced by Wellington Boothe when the show aired. The Daily Mirror (3 June 1974) reported that his self-penned song, Soldier Boy, about the futility of war made judge Ingrid Pitt break down and cry at the moving lyrics of the song that ended with a soldier being killed. It also prompted Arthur Askey to ask her why she was crying, Ingrid said ‘it was a beautiful song’, to which Arthur replied ‘it’s the same one he sang in rehearsal and you didn’t cry then.’

Loughborough Grammar School pupil Neil Hames appeared on the show after his name was put forward by an anonymous admirer who contacted ATV Birmingham and he was selected from among 2,000 other would be stars.

Speciality tap dancer Neil was aged just fourteen and had been dancing for three years under the tuition of the husband and wife team, Mr and Mrs Walter Doyle, also from Loughborough. While Neil had already won many cups and medals his mother, Mrs Neilaya Hames said: ‘Neil can’t make up his mind about the advisability of a show business career. His school work must come first, at least for the time being, as he is studying for his ‘O’ levels.’

Bobby Finn advert in The Stage, announcing his appearance on the 1 June 1974 show. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Some TV listings had Warrington based comedian Bob Page appearing on this show however an advert in The Stage puts comedian Bobby Finn, represented by a Warrington based agency, on the show so I’ve assumed the TV listing is an error and have included Bobby Finn as the seventh act on the show.

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