The final show of series two saw the return of the winning acts from the twelve previous episodes and host Derek Hobson introduced the panel of Noele Gordon, Clifford Davis, Tony Hatch and Arthur Askey to give their expert views and marks on the performances.
- Art Nouveau (four-piece group) – show 2.1
- Jimmy Lister (comedian-impressionist) – show 2.5
- Tony Gerrard (comedian) – show 2.3
- Michelle Fisher (vocalist) – show 2.9
- Sweet Sensation (eight-piece group) – show 2.2
- Aiden J. Harvey (impressionist) – show 2.8
- The Cosmopolitans (Italian singing trio) – show 2.6
- Nicky Martyn (comedian) – show 2.4
- Jeffrey Hooper (vocal guitar) – show 2.7
- Nicola Christie (vocalist) – show 2.10
- Johnny Carroll (comedian) – show 2.11
- Susan Cope (vocal / piano) – show 2.12
Special guests on the show were the group Showaddywaddy who since their appearance in the series one final in December 1973 had achieved a number two chart hit with their first single, Hey Rock And Roll.
The group Sweet Sensation performed Sad Sweet Dreamer, the song that would later give them their first hit single when it reached number on the UK charts on 19 October 1974. They would have a further top twenty hit the following year when the follow up single Purely By Coincidence peaked at number 11 in the UK chart.
Only a few years before this final a very young and nervous Bluecoat by the name of Jon Harvey appeared in a Bluecoat Show at Pontin’s Holiday Village, Southport. His five minute act then consisted of a three minute impression of Ken Goodwin. Jon spent that season working hard on his act and earned a professional season on the Pontin circuit, since then he had worked all kinds of clubs up and down the country.
For his appearance on New Faces he performed under his new name of Aiden J. Harvey and, in what was a really tremendous and talented final, achieved a runaway victory as the outright winner of the second series.
As a result of his win he landed himself a new manager and agent, Allan Blackburn, and joined the summer season edition of New Faces at the Granville Theatre, Ramsgate. Other artists from the series two final who were selected to perform alongside Aiden in the Ramsgate show were vocalists Michelle Fisher and Nicola Christie and comedian Jimmy Lister.
Jimmy Lister’s performance was not well received in the studio. His impressions, of mainly children’s characters gained little audience reaction for two-thirds of his three minutes, with the exception of a couple of titters. As a result the judges awarded him just 234 points and he finished in last place.
Comedian Nicky Martyn finished runner-up and would be seen a number of times in the next series of New Faces when he was invited back to host the All Winners shows in the new series format. Every eight weeks the winning acts from the previous seven shows would appear in a winners final and the usual show host, Derek Hobson, would join the judges panel and Nicky would present the show.
Nicky also appeared in a Viewers Winners Final in series four, but this time as a guest act, a practice that was used to fill the show time when only six acts were featured instead of the usual seven..
Fifteen year-old singer Jeffrey Hooper performed a song called Ways of the World written for him by Susan Cope. The pair could not be separated by the judges and they finished in joint fifth place with 327 points a piece.
Judge Tony Hatch said he thought Jeffrey’s song choice was far too mature for him and he could have done much better with a song which he, personally, had written with his wife, Jackie Trent.
The comment angered Jeffrey’s manager, Tony Lewis, as he had asked Susan Cope to write a song for Jeffrey and he felt that the song she had delivered was the best song for him to sing, as did EMI who released it as his first single.
The New Faces programme had received its fair share of criticism and had never run for more than 13 weeks in a row but ratings were so good for series two that an extended third series would return later in 1974 and be on every week for more than nine months with a schedule of over 40 episodes.
The final scores for the Grand Final were;
|1||Aiden J. Harvey||396|
Sweet Sensation – Sad Sweet Dreamer (You Tube)
Archive: Copy held by the BFI – Work – 570040
Credit: Special thanks to Ray Langstone for his help with the detailed information of this show.