22 Mar 1975 – Series Three (27)

Four-piece group Flashback. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Joining host Derek Hobson on the show this week to judge another seven acts were Ted Ray, John Smith, Martin Jackson and Alan A. Freeman.

The seven acts, all from the north of England or from Wales, looking to impress the panel were;

  • Joey Holliday (comedian) from Lancashire
  • Silvari & June (magic act) from Blackpool
  • Flashback (four-piece guitar group) from Manchester
  • (Elaine & Johnny) The Jacksons (comedy guitar / vocal duo) from Leeds
  • Krack of Dorn (four-piece comedy group) from Durham
  • Cameron James (male vocalist) from Swansea
  • Mitzi Graham (female vocal) from Swansea
Winner Joey Holliday scored 103 points. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Before appearing on New Faces, vocalist Mitzi Graham had spent the previous seven years making a name for herself in the North East of England playing the cabaret circuit.

It was a good week for acts with the magic of Silvari and June, and the comedy of The Jacksons running the eventual winner close.

The winner of the show was Liverpool comedian Joey Holliday who scored a well deserved 103 marks from the judges and booked his place in the next All Winners Final on 3 May 1975.

Magic duo Silvari and June. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Magic act Silvari and June had already established their act in professional circles following success in the People-Butlin’s National Talent Contest in 1971, when they made the area finals. The following year they achieved similar success in the Players No.6 contest at Blackpool Ivy Leaf.

They made their professional debut in a summer season at the Blackpool No. One club in 1973 and a mammoth 23-week engagement at Pontin’s, Prestatyn in 1974 gave them the polish the act needed to secure a  place on this New Faces show.

Half of the four-piece comedy group Krack of Dorn were husband and wife Brenda and John Woods.

The origins of the group were formed when John met 16-year-old Brenda Swainston on a bus journey. He asked if she’d like to join a group as their singer and after attending practice sessions she agreed and Krack of Dorn were born.

They left their day jobs and toured the country playing up to 15 shows a week in clubs and nightclubs.  John and Brenda were married in 1971 and after a number of line-up changes they became the four-piece group that appeared on New Faces. The judges were not that complimentary about the act, with only Ted Ray really liking the performance on the night, however, John Smith would encounter Krack of Dorn again a few years later when they were runners-up in the Bailey Organisation, Top Town Talent competition.

Having recorded the show earlier in the week, Krack of Dorn were performing in a club on the Saturday evening, when the show was screened, so they bought a Betamax video recorder to enable them to watch the show when they got back from their show. Their neighbours watched them perform at the club and then all returned to Brenda and John’s house to gather around the TV to watch the recording.

Krack of Dorn. © Copyright Brenda Collins 2008 (http://www.brendacollins.co.uk)

Just a few years after their New Faces appearance Brenda suffered damage to her larynx and was ordered to stop singing for two years to save her voice.  Undeterred Brenda and John launched a new mime act in 1977 becoming the duo Krack and Dorn and found work in clubs and army bases overseas. It was as part of this act that Brenda first used her uncanny resemblance to Cilla Black to her advantage, even keeping her hair style aligned with any changes Cilla made to her own style.

They met and became great friends with mad magician Clive Webb and Brenda appeared as his assistant when he performed at the London Palladium. In 1981 Krack and Dorn also appeared at the London Palladium in the finals of a publand competition and received a Blue Star Showcase award.

John eventually tired of the show business life and found a ‘proper job’ and the pair split professionally and personally in the late 1980s.  Brenda carried on in the entertainment industry and rebranded her act as Brenda Collins.  Brenda (performing as Dizzy Brenda and billed as an ‘Accomplished Looney’) was voted Comedy Act of ’92.

Since the 1990s Brenda has continued with her one-woman-show and had a number of years performing at the Metrocentre in Gateshead.  Brenda now performs on dozens of cruises a year, including Fred Olsen and Thomsons.  After taking 2019 off from cruise ships she already has plenty of bookings secured for 2020.

Credits: Thanks to Brenda Collins from Krack of Dorn for the additional details on their appearance.

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