21 Dec 1974 – Series Three (14)

The seven acts looking to impress the judges.
Image: TV Times Magazine

The judges on duty for heat fourteen were Ted Ray, Martin Jackson, Mickie Most and Jack Parnell.

The seven new acts hoping to impress the panel were;

  • Tommy Sutton (impressionist) from Widnes
  • Moon Williams (male vocalist) from London
  • Ricky Lockheed (vocal / guitar) from Maidstone
  • Two A Penny (vocal / instrumental duo) from Margate
  • Marti Caine (comedian) from Sheffield
  • New Parks Ringers (five-piece handbell ringing group) from Leicester
  • 20th Century Steel Sound (nine-piece steel band) from London
Show winner Marti Caine.

The winner of the heat, and booking a place in the second All Winners show on 4 January 1975 was Sheffield mother and comedian Marti Caine.

20th Century Steel Sound were voted the viewer’s winner and would appear again on the first winners show to feature the acts that the watching TV audience voted good enough to grant them a second chance.

Lancashire comedy impressionist Tommy Sutton. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

24 year-old impressionist Tommy Sutton had in the early 1970s been a Butlin’s red coat, entertaining holiday makers at their Pwhelli holiday camp. It was there that he met fellow redcoat Nev Goodwyn and for six months they formed a comedy double act. In 1971 Tommy joined the entertainment team at Warner Holidays Sinah Warren venue on Hayling Island.

Following his New Faces appearance, in February 1978, Tommy appeared on the bill at Nottingham’s Talk Of The North venue alongside series one finalist Ricki Disoni. By 1980, having been a full time professional for eight years, Tommy was working as a van driver for a Widnes chemical firm but was still performing part-time on the cabaret and after-dinner circuits.

On 19 October 1980 Tommy fulfilled his ambition to appear on the stage at the London Palladium when he was a contestant in the Grand Final of the £10,000 Butlin’s Star Trail talent contest. Speaking about the prospect of appearing in the final, Tommy said ‘I always wanted to appear at the Palladium before I was 30. The show is just five days before my 30th birthday. I might not he funny, but my timing is good.’

In the mid-1980s Tommy toured the Falkland Islands and Belize as part of the Combined Services Entertainment tours, performing in shows written by Peter Nicholls. It was on one of his Falkland Island tours that Tommy met his wife Joanne.

In 1987 Tommy appeared as Idle Jack in the Stafford and Warrington borough council funded pantomime Dick Whittington. In the nineties Tommy worked on cruises, performing on the P&O ship SS Canberra.

In March 2021 Tommy was the guest on Steve Hewlett’s podcast Eyes & Teeth where he spoke about his long career in entertainment and shared some fantastic stories with the host, including a meeting with another New Faces contestant, Johnny ‘Goon’ Tweed. Tommy is now retired and now races pigeon’s. He said his retirement from stand-up comedy was because he’d ‘lost the will to die.’

Moon Williams. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

24 year-old Londoner, Moon Williams, had been singing professionally for six years with various bands. He toured Germany and Italy for two years before deciding to give up the business to become general manager for a firm specialising in tropical fish. Had this company not folded up, he might well still have been there, but as it was he went back to singing,

The last of the bands he joined before he became a fully solo artist was Mahatma and with them he toured and performed all the music for the controversial musical show Decameron throughout the country and in residence at the Round House.

Earlier in his career Moon was the voice on many of the Soul cover albums, featuring the numbers in Stevie Wonder or Four Tops vein. Moon was also the lead vocalist and percussionist to Ben E. King on one of his UK tours.

At the time of his appearance on New Faces Moon had released a single on DJM records, a cover of the Hall & Oates song She’s Gone.

The New Parks Ringers performing on the show.
Image: Thanks to Neil Clarke (New Parks Ringers)

The New Parks Ringers were a group of hand bell ringers from New Parks Boys School in Leicester. The group finished in third place.

The school had introduced bell ringing in October 1960 when they initially borrowed a set of bells before eventually buying their own set of twenty bells.

In addition to playing the handbells, members Martyn Hubbard, Adrian Wood, Neal Oliver, Darren Holyoak and Neil Clarke all played other musical instruments at school.

They performed their handbell ringing dressed in coats and scarves while polystyrene balls fell from above bringing a Christmas feel to the set. Young Neil Clarke managed to get show winner Marti Caine’s autograph on which she wrote ‘great working with you, see you when you are 21.’

To ensure the art of campanology continued the school had two junior teams ready to take over when the latest group of senior boys left. In 1981, to celebrate their 21st anniversary the New Parks Ringers released the record, A Christmas Medley. By then they had a completely different line-up and had made further television appearances along with several radio performances and had made regular performances at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall during the Christmas period.

The New Parks Ringers finished in third place.
Left to right: – Back row: Martyn Hubbard, Adrian Wood and Neal Oliver.

Front row: Darren Holyoak and Neil Clarke
Image: Thanks to Neil Clarke (New Parks Ringers)

Credits: Special thanks to Neil Clarke for providing the fantastic images and line-up of the New Parks Ringers.

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