14 Feb 76 – Series Four (9)

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

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;

  • Scallywag (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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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Scallywag, formerly known as Mickey Finn, from left to right; Michael, Mickey, Melvyn and Ivan.  Image: Swindon Advertiser 10 February 1976

Wiltshire based show group Scallywag (photo), were previously known as Mickey Finn, which was the name on the production credits for their self-named single released in 1975.

They were Mickey Dobie (lead guitar), Michael Palmer (vocals), Melvyn Cook (bass) and Ivan Robinson (drums). By June 1976 they had toured Holland, and appeared with Hughie Green in his touring show and Mickey and Ivan were writing some songs for a planned LP by the group, but no details of this being recorded can be found.

Four-piece comedy group The Millionaires continued to entertain in northern clubs after their TV appearance. 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.  Writing in The Stage’s in September 1976, reviewer Jim Daley described them as “one of the finest” comedy-vocal groups he’d had the pleasure of viewing in the last few years.

19760212_MartiStuartAdComedy 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.

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