Regular viewers of New Faces had to wait two weeks between heat ten and heat eleven of the second series because ATV’s live coverage of Poland’s 3-2 victory over Argentina in the 1974 World Cup Group Four match replaced the show the previous week.
For the second show in a row the judging panel featured Tony Hatch, Clifford Davis, Mickie Most and Arthur Askey who reviewed another seven new to TV acts;
- Johnny Carroll (comedian) from Birmingham
- Jenny Maynard (vocal / impressions)
- Terry St. Clair (vocal / guitar)
- Chris Smith (ventriloquist)
- Glentones (nineteen-piece band)
- Marie Montana (vocal / electric piano)
- Les Saxon (vocalist)
The ATV documentary, After All I’ve Been Through, which was broadcast on Monday 12 August 1974, briefly featured the winning act from heat eleven, which was Birmingham comedian Johnny Carroll. His success led to appearances on The Comedians, alongside the likes of Bernard Manning, Frank Carson and another New Faces comedian Roy Walker as well as a lucrative touring career. Just two years after his victory he was commanding around £1,000 a week for appearances, and was living a a grand house in Hampstead, North London.
In the 1970s Johnny released two LPs, Do You Want To Touch Me and Touch Me Again, but after his success on The Comedians his comedy career spiralled downwards with a devastating divorce leaving him backrupt in 1982. He briefly left show business to concentrate on the car business because that business was giving him more time with the family. He continued to make very brief appearances for promoters who were friends.
Johnny sadly died in January 2020, aged 78, at his home in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham.
Terry St. Clair, vocalist from Hinckley in Leicestershire, performed one of his own compositions a song titled So Many Empty Mornings. Mickie Most liked Terry’s voice but was not so impressed with his guitar playing which he described as ‘not very inspired’ and he was also ‘not very crazy about the song.’ Host Derek Hobson suggested he had ‘echoes of Ralph McTell’ about him. Terry scored 30 for presentation, 26 for content and 31 for star quality giving him a total of 87, which wasn’t enough to beat Johnny Carroll.
In the March following her appearance on the show Marie Montana, also known as Marie Hale, placed an advert in the Liverpool Echo newspaper for an ‘ace backing band’, featuring guitar (or keyboards), bass and drums, to tour and record with.
30-year-old singer and impressionist, Jenny Maynard, from London was trained at the Arts Educational School. She release two singles in the late 1960s before touring Australia back in mid-1970. She returned to the UK to appear on the BBC1 new talent show, Ace of Clubs, presented by Michael Aspel, and recorded at Margate Winter Gardens in late 1970.
Her act featured impressions of artists ranging from Shirley Bassey to Sandie Shaw and saw her finish runner-up, with 70 points, behind tenor Peter Firmani, who scored 89 points. On the back of the result on Ace of Clubs, Jenny was signed to appear on Dutch television, by a watching Dick van t’Sant of NCRV-TV. He was so impressed with the act that he made arrangements to book her on the spot.
For the pantomime season of 1971/2 Jenny appeared in “Cinderella” at the Sunderland Empire show which became the longest-running pantomime in the history of that theatre, when it was extended by two weeks.
In early 1972 Jenny made another TV appearance on London Weekend Television’s “Who Do You Do?” which starred Freddie Starr and Peter Goodwright.
Making use of wigs to impersonate her subjects, her act featured artists such as Cilla Black, Esther Ofarim, Dusty Springfield, Julie Andrews, Fanny Craddock. Vera Lynn, Marlene Dietrich, Eartha Kitt, Petula Clark and Mary Hopkin. In later years (1979) she introduced a Margaret Thatcher impersonation to her act.
Due to the logistics of setting up an nineteen-piece band, the Glentones had their performance pre-recorded in the studio during the afternoon rehearsals. The school band played the Glenn Miller number, American Patrol, which was one of the fourteen songs they recorded on their album, The Big Band Sound From St. Bride’s High School East Kilbride.
On the evening of the ‘live’ recording the band simply stood facing the audience and panel as if they had played moments earlier and thanks to the magic of television the TV viewers were none the wiser. The TV viewers were clearly impressed with the band’s performance as they voted for them to return to the viewer choice show which was the first show of series three.
Mark Gleeson, the then 17 year-old drummer of the band, recalls that his drums were screened off from the rest of the band by a perspex screen, which wasn’t obvious on the broadcast footage. He also recalls that he was chewing gum while he played as he had seen Slade’s drummer doing the same when he played and he thought it was cool.
Mark also remembered noticing that the scratches, dents and scrapes on all the ‘furniture’ actually looked pristine when watching on TV, proving that sometimes the camera actually does lie. He also recalled that the band stayed in the Holiday Inn hotel which was next door to the ATV studio complex.
Twelve months before his appearance on New Faces ventriloquist Chris Smith was seen performing at Amersham Common WI’s 24th birthday party in their village hall. Six months later he was on the bill at The Buckingham Club with his Educated Duck.
Credits: Special thanks to Mark Gleeson (drummer with the Glentones) for the information about their appearance on the show and the track the performed.