14 Feb 1976 – Series Four (9)

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Hilary Harwood in her days with the Steve Evans Trio. Image: Steve Evans Trio LP Cover

The four judges who were lined up to critique the acts George Elrick, Martin Jackson and John Smith. They were joined by Lionel Blair who was return for his second appearance on the panel.

They were joined by regular host Derek Hobson to watch the following seven acts;

  • Scallawag (vocal / instrumental trio) from Derbyshire
  • Marti Stuart (multi-instrumentalist) from Cheshire
  • David Gold (vocalist) from London
  • The Millionaires (four-piece comedy group) from County Durham
  • Hilary Harwood (vocalist) from Cornwall
  • Gerry Aidan (comedian) from Manchester
  • Turnstyle (five-piece group) from Sheffield
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Show winners Turnstyle had to change their name for their appearance in the All Winners Final. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The winners of the show were the five-piece harmony group Turnstyle.

Turnstyle were from Sheffield and their members included Anita Allen (real name Ann Kay) and her brother Paul (keyboards) and their drummer Brian Bolton.

They booked their place in the next All Winners Final on 27 March 1976 however they would appear under a different name after another group changed their name to Love Together, as they felt that the name Turnstyle hadn’t connected with their fans.

Turnstyle released a couple of singles with Pye Records, Don’t Think We Can Make It and Once More From The Top. Turnstyle were managed by Johnnie Peller, who also managed New Faces series three winner Marti Caine.

Singer Hilary Harwood, performed one of her own compositions on the show. Her song More Than A Lover has also had quite a good career since then and been covered a number of times.

Hilary attended Torquay Grammar School, where she was head girl. She relocated to the Midlands when she was a student at Warwick University (BA Hons English and Drama) and gained experience in musical theatre.  In her under-graduate years she played Viola in Your Own Thing at Leamington’s Loft Theatre and soon after earned a part in Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre production of The Pajama Game.

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Vocalist Hilary Harwood performing on the show.
Image: Kindly provided by Hilary Harwood

After performing in pantomime and more theatre productions Hilary joined the Steve Evans Quartet, the resident band at Chequers in Barnstaple, as their vocalist for the 1975 season. The August after her TV appearance she reunited with the Steve Evans band, now a trio, at the Palace Hotel in Torbay.

Hilary continued to work professionally in the industry, for the next 10 years, in theatres, concert halls and recording studios all over the UK, including singing with the BBC Big Band, before taking a break from entertainment to get additional degree level qualifications that lead to a successful career in the probation service.

Since retiring Hilary has returned to entertainment and is regularly back in theatre. Between 2011 and 2019 Hilary has appeared in over 30 productions including a regular role in the Guildford Fringe annual adult pantomime.

Nottingham based group Scallawag in dress rehearsals in the studio.
Image: Kindly provided by Peter Bottomley

Finishing third on the show with one of their own songs, Toby, were Scallawag, a comedy, instrumental harmony trio based in Nottingham. Their members were Paul Chapman (drums), Graham Adams (guitar / lead vocals) and Peter Bottomley (bass).

Three years before their appearance on New Faces Scallawag were one of acts entertaining the holiday crowds at Butlins’ Pwllheli. In 1974 they played the summer show at Cliff Tops Hotel, Shaklin on the Isle of Wight. It was a return to old ground for Graham who first visited in 1972 when he was a waiter at a holiday camp and where he first sang and played guitar at the Brambles Chine Holiday Camp.

With the show recorded on the Tuesday when it was broadcast on the Saturday Scallawag were performing at the Celebrity Club in Chester but they arranged to have the show recorded at their local superstore, where Peter’s wife was working. Unfortunately they didn’t keep the tape as they never imagined they would be able to afford one of those expensive video recorders themselves.

After their appearance the trio were joined by Eric Cooke and continued to perform as a four-piece group. By the early 1980s Graham had gone solo and developed an act that was a montage of comedy, impressions and music, performing back on the Isle of Wight in 1981 at Warners, St Clare and in 1982 he was back on the island again to perform at the cliff top Savoy Tavern.

Scallawag members Eric and Peter later formed their Palzact duo playing music from the sixties and were performing into the late 1990s. Paul Chapman’s wife, Terrie, was a comedy scriptwriter for the Russ Abbot Show and The Les Dennis Laughter Show.

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Comedian Gerry Aidan was also a fine singer. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Gerry Aidan (sometimes spelt Aiden) had needed to secure a release from his contact at The Musters Hotel, Nottingham to enable him to appear on the show. Back in 1971 the comedian  had supported Irish crooner Val Doonican.  The summer before his appearance on New Faces Gerry had been a big hit on the island of Jersey, performing a summer season at The Woodlands Hotel.  He would return to Jersey in the summer of 1976 to star in his own show.  As well as a comedian, Gerry was also a fine singer and released a Country & Western EP in 1976 called Gerry Serenaiden.   

Gerry worked well into the 21st century in pubs, clubs and holiday camps.

Paul Squire, one of three siblings in the group The Millionaires. Image: The Stage Media Company Limited

Four-piece comedy group The Millionaires were mainly a family affair with 25 year-old Paul Squire being joined by his older brother Peter and younger sister Joanna. The trio had been performing togethers for over fifteen years and continued to entertain in northern clubs after their TV appearance until their spilt in 1977. Devilvering a mixture of their own material and comedy timing, which showed the hours of practice they must have put into their act, they delivered some great impressions that would put star impressionists to shame. 

Following the split of the group Paul Squire went solo and in 1980 was the runner-up on LWT’s Search For A Star losing out to another comedian Dave Wolfe. The same year Paul appeared on the Royal Variety Performance in the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday year.

The following year Paul secured his own TV series, The Paul Squire Show, on ATV and in 1983 he got his own prime time Saturday evening show, Paul Squire Esq. on BBC1. Central TV gave Paul another of his own series, PS, It’s Paul Squire later in 1983 before vanishing from TV screens entirely, appearing only in pantomimes, on the woking men’s club circuit and as a cruise ship entertainer.

Paul had the dubious honour of being immortalised in a Young Ones sketch just a year or two after his heyday. In the final episode of the alternative comedy sitcom the characters are playing a 20 Questions-style guessing game, and Rik chose to be Paul Squire, to the bafflement of his housemates.

Paul Squire the old school, clean comedian who disliked the swearing and coarseness of some modern acts, appeared with Bob Monkhouse and Bernard Manning before he was ten years-old and was never entirely comfortable performing ion TV sadly died on 4 December 2019.

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Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Comedy multi-instrumentalist Marti Stuart could play trumpet, clarinet, post horn, bagpipes, ukelele, bicycle bells, car pump and saw. His speciality was his famous Boys’ Brigade band impression and his unique exploding violin.  There is no evidence that his act was a disaster, but an advert in The Stage just two days before the show was broadcast described it as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, featuring the death of Marti Stuart.

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Vocalist David Gold. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Singer David Gold went on to appear on the late night ITV London show called Meet ‘n’ Greet, which broadcast in August 1977.  The two programme show presented the best of London’s pub entertainment and the episode David featured on came from Seven Kings, Ilford.  He was joined by a couple of former New Faces acts, singers Ruby James and Lee Harding.

Credits:
Special thanks to Hilary Harwood for providing a copy of the production photograph of her performing on the show and some additional career details.

Huge thanks to Peter Bottomley (Scallawag) for correcting my error and confirming that is was his group that appeared and not Scallywag as I’d previously listed. Peter also provided the dress rehearsal photo and useful information about the show and the contestants.

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