1 March 1975 – Series Three (24)

Ellis & Young, Vocal Harmony Guitar Duo. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

In the last show before the third All Winners Final the panel of Arthur Askey, Mickie Most, Martin Jackson and John Smith decided which act would join those already confirmed for the show the following week.

The seven acts looking to impress the judges were;

  • Glass Alley (five-piece group) from Bolton
  • Ralph Denby (comedian / vocalist) from Stockport
  • Susie Styler (vocalist) from Birmingham
  • Billy Dean (guitar / vocalist) from Leeds
  • Ground Pepper (four-piece group) from Warwickshire
  • Ellis and Young (vocal harmony / guitar duo) from Banbury
  • Al Dean (comedian) from Liverpool

Comedian and vocalist Ralph Denby had previously appeared on rival talent show Opportunity Knocks, making him one of the increasing number of acts to appear on both shows.

Liverpool comedian Al Dean was voted the heat winner. With thanks to Trinity Mirror. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved.

The winner of the heat was 34-year-old Liverpool comedian Al Dean.  In the 1960s Al had spent several years in a Red and a Blue coat, working at both Butlin’s and Pontin’s before moving to Jersey as a cabaret artist.

The thin, ginger haired, comedian, who was born Alan Robinson, was known in comedy circles as The Matchstick after one of his jokes where he removed his shirt and pulled a red bathing costume over his head to impersonate a match.

By winning this heat Al Dean booked himself the final slot on the third All Winners Final the following week.

Four-piece group Ground Pepper sang a song called Draculamania which was inspired by the popular movies from the Hammer House of Horror.  Commenting on their performance, judge Arthur Askey helpfully said, “Ground Pepper, not a group to be sneezed at.”

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