5 Oct 1974 – Series Three (3)

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Comedian Brian Beck. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The judges for heat three were Arthur Askey, Tony Hatch and George Elrick and Alan A. Freeman.

  • Brian Beck (comedian) from Rotherham
  • Mike Gancia (comedy magician) from Birmingham
  • Zenith Hot Stompers (jazz band) from Walsall
  • Susan Morris (opera singer) from Wales
  • Norman Skinner (male vocalist) from Australia
  • The Summer Bees (six-piece Tijuana group) from Bournemouth
  • Wendy Jayne and Allan Grainger (vocal duo) from Stoke-on-Trent

The winner of the show, with an impressive score of 116 points, and booking a place in the All Winner Final on 9 November 1974, was Welsh opera singer Susan Morris. Susan performed Les Filles de Cadix written by French composer Léo Delibes which scored a maximum 30 marks from Tony Hatch.

Runner-up was comedian Brian Beck who also scored well with a score of 105 points.

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Jazz Band The Zenith Hot Stompers. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The Zenith Hot Stompers scored 88 points struggling to pick up points in their Star Quality because of the style of music they performed.

The likely line-up of the Birmingham Jazz Band the Zenith Hot Stompers for this New Faces appearance was Alan Bradley (trombone), Brian Mellor (banjo and guitar), Derek Bennett (drums and washboard), Tony Pipkin (cornet), Phil Matthews (bass and tuba) and Roy Hubbard (clarinet).  This was the line-up that toured for many years, including shows in California and that won the Best Band at the 1976 European Jazz Festival.

Tony Davis joined the band in October 1981 and remained with them for 23 years, including the recording with Humphrey Lyttelton and an appearance at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee in 2003.

Jazz maestro Humphrey Lyttelton had a soft spot for the band and even recorded with them. He liked their style of play as it reminded him the band he was in when he first started on the jazz scene.

The Zenith Hot Stompers formed in 1966 and remained on the jazz scene for over 40 years, travelling all over the world. They gave their final performance at the Stafford Jazz Society on Sunday December 11th 2011.

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Birmingham comedy magician Mike Gancia was the runner-up. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Mike Gancia was a popular performer who started out in cabaret and his humorous patter and clever trickery, combining comedy and magic, impressed the judges who scored him as the runner-up on this show.

In 1978 Mike secured a summer season at the Holimarine, Burnham-on-Sea holiday park as well as many other booking and performances across the country. His act presented both comedy and magic with great proficiency, delivering gag after gag while simultaneously performing feats with rings, cards and boxes.

Mike also organised the close-up events at the The British Ring of The International Brotherhood of Magic for the next 25 years and later became their president.

Credits:

Tony Davis (Zenith Hot Stompers) for the information about the line-up and the date he joined the band.

Richard Harrison for confirming that Alan A. Freeman was ‘missing’ judge for this show and for the scoring details.

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