The first ever All Winners Final in the new series format was hosted by former contestant and comedian Nicky Martyn.
The judging panel for the show was comprised of three regular judges, Ted Ray, George Elrick and Clifford Davis and they were joined on the panel by guest judge and normal show host Derek Hobson.
The acts returning for the first All Winners final performed in the following order;
- Jess and the Gingerbread (country & western group) – Show 3.6
- Susan Morris (opera singer) – Show 3.3
- Les Dennis (impressionist) – Show 3.1
- Victoria Wood (comedy songwriter) – Show 3.4
- Johnnie Kennedy (comedian) – Show 3.2 (voted viewers winner)
- Malandra Newman (female singer/comedy) – Show 3.7
- Mint (five-piece group) – Show 3.2
- Tony Maiden (impressionist) – Show 3.5
The show opened with host Derek Hobson introducing series two success Sweet Sensation to the studio audience who were then presented with their Silver Disc for a quarter of a million sales of their number one hit Sad Sweet Dreamer. The disc was presented by Nicky Martyn who was then introduced as the host of the show.
Country & Western act Jess and the Gingerbread opened the show with two song in different tempos. Starting with the spotlight on Jess who sang the Kris Kristofferson hit Help Me Make It Through The Night and the performance finishing with Jess joining the Gingerbread on stage to sing Stan Jones’ Riders In The Sky.
Clifford Davis liked the act describing the group as ‘very polished’ and he concluded his comments by stating they were ‘well groomed and they sang well’ and added that Jess had the personality for stage and TV.
Opera singer Susan Morris was the second act to perform and she chose to sing Romance from Sigmund Romberg’s operetta The Desert Song.
After her performance Susan joined Nicky Martyn to listen to the comments of George Elrick, who had seen Susan win her earlier show. He had previously suggested that she sang a song from one of the shows and he was therefore very pleased with her choice of song for the Winners show. He stated that he thought ‘her vibrato is so controlled and she’s got lovely intonation’ and he concluded by saying, ‘I think Susan will go far, I think she’s wonderful.’
Act three was impressionist Les Dennis making his fourth appearance on the show having previously appeared in series one: show 10, series two: show 1 as well as his winning heat earlier in this series. He opened his act with a clever Mastermind sketch in which Magnus Magnusson put his quiz questions to a confused Frank Spencer. The next impression was of Larry Grayson which was then quickly followed by a chaotic take on Rod Hull and Emu in a sketch that ended in the destruction of a Welsh Dresser and its display of china plates.
Nicky Martyn asked Ted Ray to give his views on Les’ performance. After making a joke at Arthur Askey’s expense he said it was a ‘very, very nice act’ and he thought Les would go a long way and ended by saying ‘I think he’s marvellous.’
Act four was Birmingham University graduate and comedy singer-songwriter Victoria Wood with another one of her original compositions which she played on piano. Her song was about ‘Lorraine’ who had gone and got engaged again and had comical verses such as;
‘I know what she’s trying to tell me
I’ve heard about marital rights
It sounds like hell, so it’s just as well
It only happens on Saturday nights’
At the end of her performance host Nicky Martyn got her name wrong, calling her Joanna Wood, not just once but twice. He asked the normal show host Derek Hobson for his thoughts on her performance. He started by saying she was ‘like a female Jake Thackray’ and that her lyrics were so intelligent, but he thought that her piano playing could do with a little more ‘oomph.’
Act five was comedian Johnnie Kennedy who was originally from Liverpool but had relocated to Yorkshire. After entering the stage with a football special train door he began telling a series of football related stories and gags, which received a bit of a mixed reception, then he suddenly broke into song giving a very tuneful rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
George Elrick liked his delivery but called his routine ‘a little bit doubtful’ saying he was ‘a good performer, he should go far and I think he ought to look for a little bit better material.’
Act six was the previous weeks young winner Malandra Newman, although Nicky Martyn got another act name wrong by introducing her as Miranda, which at the end of her performance he corrected and apologised to her for his mistake.
Sitting in a large wicker chair Malandra wasn’t phased by the fluffed introduction and began her act by speaking to the audience, ‘Hello, I’d would like to sing you a song that we wrote at home, because I hope I’m still a child in your eyes.’
She then gave a very lively and extremely confident rendition of A Child In Your Eyes backed by Johnny Patrick and the New Faces orchestra. After the song it was Clifford Davis who was asked to give his view on Malandra’s performance. He said he thought she needed training and ‘she needs to go to a drama school and learn diction, I couldn’t understand half of what she was singing about.’ He concluded by saying he’d like her to go away and be trained and see he’d like to see her again in about three years time.
Malandra went on to star in TV soap Emmerdale and also had a Top 20 hit in 1990 with Just This Side Of Love, from the show.
The penultimate act of the show was the five-piece Leicester group Mint, who performed a cover of the hit by The Diamonds, Little Darlin’. It was the turn of Derek Hobson to offer comments and advice to the group following their performance.
Derek liked their change of style from their earlier show when they chose to sing a song by The Turtles, complete with wah-wah guitar, but he didn’t know if the change was a good one as it didn’t move him in any way. He ended by saying that he hoped that they ‘make a mint’ and wished them well.
17 year-old impressionist Tony Maiden was the final act of the show and in his introduction, Nicky Martyn made reference Tony’s appearance on the series Black Beauty.
He delivered a series of impressions based around a version of New Faces if it were hosted by Bruce Forsyth. His other impressions included Frank Carson, Malcolm Muggeridge, Blakey from On the Buses, Muhammad Ali, Max Bygraves and Hughie Green.
It was over to Ted Ray to give his views on the impressions. Ted was impressed with Tony’s ‘rubber face’ and said he was ‘quite brilliant’ and that ‘like the other boy [Les Dennis] he’s going to go a long way.’
As the judges gave their marks out of 100 one of the crew handed Nicky Martyn a note which said that Butlin’s had offered Les Dennis a summer season.
Malandra Newman’s chances were scuppered when Clifford Davis, living up to his ‘Mr Nasty’ image gave her just 25 points, the lowest score on the show which meant she ended up bottom of the scoreboard.
Tony Maiden was the clear winner having secured top marks from three of the four judges, with only Ted Ray not giving him first place. He finish twenty points ahead of second placed opera singer Susan Morris and his prize for winning the first All Winners Final was an appearance in the series Grand Final in July 1975.
|Ted Ray||George Elrick||Clifford Davis||Derek Hobson||Total|
|5||Jess and the Gingerbread||76||70||80||72||298|
Readers of the TV Times were also invited to cast their votes using the coupon that appeared in the magazine.
Archive: Copy discovered by Kaleidoscope