8 May 1976 – Series Four (21)

Comedian Teddy Lee. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The professional panel looking to fill the last spot on the All Winners show the following week were Tony Hatch, Martin Jackson, George Elrick and John Smith.

They watched the following seven acts;

  • Cops (five-piece group) from Norwich
  • Teddy Lee (comedian) from Surrey
  • Patricia Wood (vocalist) from Southport
  • Canticle (vocal / guitar duo) from Chepstow
  • Jim Marsh (vocalist) from Manchester
  • Johnny Cleveland (comedy pianist) from Norwich
  • Linda’s Latin Lovers (five-piece group) from County Durham

The judging panels were split on the winner of this show with the professional panel scoring the five-piece group Cops the top of their leaderboard but the panel of viewers selected Linda’s Latin Lovers as their winner.

Top scoring group Cops. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The top scoring act Cops sang Shortnin’ Bread and would appear again just one week later, taking the final place in the next All Winner Show of the series.

Five-piece group Linda’s Latin Lovers were unusually led by accomplished Teeside drummer Linda Rigby who was backed by four handsome Maltese male members.

After their appearance on the show they played clubs in the North East and took their balanced programme of standards, oldies and pops delivered with superb vocal harmonies to audiences in Malta.  They would make a second appearance on the 24 July 1976, which was the final show before the series four Grand Final.

Northern comedian Teddy Lee had been performing since the late 60s and was another act to come out of Len May’s Starfinders.  A few years before his New Faces appearance he had won a couple of talent contest heats including one for Pub Entertainer of the Year having been nominated by readers of the TV Times, who sponsored the contest run by St. George’s Taverns.

Rosemary Hawkins and Robert Morris were Canticle. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Gwent based duo Canticle were Robert Morris and Rosemary Hawkins who met when playing at popular medieval banquets at Caldicot Castle.  Robert Morris has a degree in mathematics, while Rosemary is a former student of Cardiff College of Music and Drama.

They discovered they had a musical compatibility which had attracted the attention of Max Boyce when he was one of the judges of the South Wales Search for a Star Competition, which they won.

The October after the appeared on New Faces they were back supporting Max Boyce at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne, where top priced tickets were £2.00.

East Anglia’s Comedy Pianist Johnny Cleveland. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Comedy pianist Johnny Cleveland started his musical career in the group era of the late 50s and played piano in the Pete Brandish Trio. He got some great reviews when he played on the Midnight Matinee show with Mike Yardwood and Rolf Harris at the Gorleston Super Holiday Camp in 1967 .

In 1968 he joined the Chic Applin Band and played a residency at Norwich’s Norwood Rooms for seven years, three as the band vocalist and four years with the Johnny Cleveland Trio, who he played with until he went solo, under the personal management of Chic Applin, in 1975.

After his TV appearance on New Faces Johnny was never short of work and in 1977 he played a series of shows in Malta, Jersey and Scotland.

In 1979 Johnny and Chic Applin were two of the seven founder members of the Anglia Charities Theatrical Society (ACTS). The aim of the society was to raise funds for local charities by presenting shows, dances and other entertainment.  ACTS first fundraising show featured New Faces faces acts Peter Collins and comedian Alan Mills and their second was headlined by 70s pop star Alvin Stardust.

In the 80s Johnny continued to play in the holiday resorts of the East coast and appeared in holiday summer shows in Gorleston and Lowestoft alongside Eve Bridger who he performed with regularly in the 80s and 90s. From 1984 he played a regular season with his own show at Rosie O’Grady’s in Great Yarmouth, which ran for over six years.

Over the years Johnny has taken his piano comedy act to Spain, Majorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote Yugoslavia, The Gambia, Northern Ireland, Malta, H.M.Forces all over Germany and several visits to the United States to entertain holiday audiences in Florida.

Footage of Johnny Cleveland from 1979 can be seen below.

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