16 Nov 1974 – Series Three (9)

Cardiff vocalist, Patti Flynn. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Joining judging regulars Arthur Askey and Mickie Most on the panel for heat nine were Jack Parnell and Alan A. Freeman.

The seven new acts desperate to impress the judging panel were;

  • Billy Moocho (comedian) from Liverpool
  • Avenue (five-piece group) from Cheltenham
  • Patti Flynn (vocalist) from Cardiff
  • Bracken (boy and girl comedy duo) from Haslemere
  • Melody Sound (four-piece group) from Wigan
  • Rob Edwards (comedy vocalist) from Bristol
  • Nicky Hamilton (vocalist) from London
Winning comedian Billy Moocho. Image © Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The winner of the show, scoring, at the time, the highest score for a stand-up comedian with 107 points, was Billy Moocho.  Billy would be seen again in the second All Winners show on 4 January 1975.

The judges gave Billy some glowing comments. Comedian Arthur Askey said he had ‘fantastic material’ and called him a ‘fantastic comic.’ Jack Parnell said ‘I really loved Billy, he knocked me out.’ Alan A. Freeman said he was ‘very funny’ and Mickey Most said Billy was ‘terrific’ and called him ‘fabulous.’

Billy, real name William Robert Courtliff, began his comedy career when serving in the army with Combined Services Entertainment at Woolwich in 1946. When he came out of the forces he didn’t do much entertaining, but often would do a turn when asked to in a pub or a club.

In early 1973 Billy having previously appeared in nine clubland command performance’s appeared in his tenth show at Blackpool’s Winter Garden’s. and by March Billy was selected as one of the new batch of comedians chosen by Johnny Hamp to appear on The Comedians. If he did appear on the show, it would mean that his appearance on this New Faces show may have broken the rules due to a previous TV appearance.

He was given the name Moocho by his workmates when he was employed as a carpet and lino fitter on ships in Barrow-In-Furness. They often mistook for an Argentinian sailor which is why they called him Moocho. The workmen began scrawling it on walls and the side of 150ft. high cranes and even painted it on the side of a ship waiting to be named. When Billy took his first paid entertainment job in 1952 he decided to take the name Moocho and had stuck with it ever since.

Billy was a straight, start and finish with a song, comedy patter man telling Jewish jokes. By day he ran his upholstery and furniture manufacturing business in Everton, with the help of his wife Rita and a workforce of 17. At night he became the entertainer, but avoided a full week’s booking, if possible, because a week in cabaret would interfere with his home and business.

Speaking about his win on this show some years later Billy said ‘I was robbed there. I won, but they never gave me my new face.’

It was announced in January 2022 that sadly Billy passed away in his sleep on 2nd January 2022 at the age of 93 years-old. He left two daughters, Lynn and Jackie, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Born just 500 yards away from her idol Shirley Bassey in Tiger Bay singer Patti Flynn began her career as a resident band vocalist with Top Rank in her native Cardiff.

Her post New Faces success led her to many overseas engagements ranging from Italy and Las Palmas to South Africa, cabaret with Matt Munro and Les Dawson and a show with Val Doonican.  Patti later joined London’s West End smash hit musical “Bubbling Brown Sugar” at the Royalty Theatre, and during the run took over the lead as well as recording her first LP With Love to You.

Patti  co-produced the first Costa Del Sol Jazz Festival in 1990, presented her own radio show in Spain and produced her own one woman shows.

Comedy music act Bracken. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

In 2009 Patti, in partnership with jazz singer and educator, Humie Webbe, founded the Butetown Bay Jazz Festival. The event was first launched at the Wales Millennium Centre in May 2009 and aimed to celebrate Tiger Bay’s rich jazz heritage with music, workshops and exhibitions.

In 2013 Patti received an honorary invitation to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for her commitment to voluntary services in her community and various other charities.

Talented duo Bracken were fresh from summer cabaret at the Hildreds Hotel, Skegness when they appeared on the show. The duo were Jimmy on guitar and Liz playing piano and adding to vocals, impressions and comedy.

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