23 Nov 1974 – Series Three (10)

Cheshire singer Julie Laird. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The judging panel for heat ten were Clifford Davis, George Elrick, John Smith and Ted Ray.

They cast their critical eye over the following seven new acts;

  • Julie Laird (singer) from Cheshire
  • Mike Jones (vocalist) from London
  • Jimmy Howard (comedian) from Bath
  • Pete Duffy (comedian) from Manchester
  • Winter’s Tale (five-piece group)
  • Lee and Marie Grant (vocal duo) from Manchester
  • Headline News (five-piece harmony group) from Huddersfield

The winners were vocal duo Lee and Marie Grant who booked their place in the second All Winners Final on 4 January 1975.

The show risked great controversy when New Faces press officer and vocalist Mike Jones was allowed to appear on the show. There was, however, no favouritism offered to Mike, who had to apply for an audition, just like everyone else, and then wait months to be heard before eventually being invited to take up his spot on the show. Producer Les Cocks said, ‘He has as much right as anyone. I can’t influence the panel or audience. If someone’s got talent I don’t care who they work for.’

Manchester comedian Pete Duffy. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The Viewers choice was Manchester comedian Pete Duffy, who was an electrician before he turned full professional and gave up his full-time job.  His boundless energy on stage moved quickly between straight stand-up to audience participation and he could also play the ukelele.

In 1983 Pete joined two other former New Faces acts, Tony Maiden and Civvy Street, in the Comedy Capers 83 summer season show at the Savoy Theatre in Guernsey.  During one show Tony and Pete, after literally working themselves to a standstill, took their applause together and went off with their arms across each other’s shoulders.

The pair worked together again in pantomime at the end of 1983 when Tony Maiden played Widow Twankey to Pete Duffy’s Wishee Washee in Aladdin at Rickmansworth.

The group Winter’s Tale received some great comments. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The five-piece harmony group Headline News were a family affair, with husband, wife and sister-in-law all performing together.

Five-piece group Winter’s Tale got some great comments from the judges, but they failed score highly enough to make a repeat appearance.  The judges said;

  • ‘I like them’ – Clifford Davis
  • ‘Very nice harmonies’ – George Elrick
  • ‘Looked good, sounded good, very professional’- John Smith
  • ‘A lot better than many I have seen’ – Ted Ray

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