For the first time since July 1974 and sixty four shows of a male domination there was a woman on the professional panel for the second Viewers Winners Final of the series. Former producer Les Cocks removed women from the panel from the start of series three, stating ‘women judges are not very popular with viewers.’
New producer Albert Stevenson overturned the previous decision saying, ‘The door has never been closed to having lady panellists but we found that women viewers in particular did not like them. We’ve had a lot of letters from viewers asking for women to join the panel. Now we are ready to give it another try. This could be the start of a regular pattern of bringing women back on to the panel.’
Comedian and impressionist Janet Brown became the first woman panellist since Noele Gordon appeared on the show in the series two Grand Final. She was joined by Alan A. Freeman, Martin Jackson and Mickie Most.
They watched the six acts that had been voted for by the viewers representative panel in the studio as their choice of winner and so had a second chance to impress and win a place in the series four Gala Final at the end of July 1976. The acts were;
- True Expression (seven-piece group) from Leamington Spa- show 4.17
- Julie West (vocalist) Royton – show 4.17
- Raffles (vocal duo) from London – show 4.19
- Bodean (five-piece group) from London – show 4.18
- Eve Adam (vocalist) from London – shows 4.10 & 4.11
- Cissy Stone Band (six-piece group) from Birmingham – show 4.16
The winner on the scoreboard judged by the professional panel was the Cissy Stone Band, who performed their single Gone But Not Forgotten. Winning the show meant the band booked themselves a place in the series Gala Final.
The five-piece group Bodean were once again the choice of the studio viewers panel and they would appear for a third time on show 32 the week before the Gala Final for one last attempt to progress to the series finale. Professional judge Mickie Most said ‘Bodean are going to make it in the business.’ They released their debut single Saturday Woman, on DJM Records following their success in the series so far.
Vocalist Eve Adam was making her third appearance and her second as viewers winner having won the their vote for a second time in the previous viewers winner final on 28 February 1976. Such was Eve’s popularity with the viewers, this appearance wouldn’t be the last they saw of Eve, as she too would get one last shot at making the Gala Final with an appearance, also on show 32 with Bodean, the week before the series finale.
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Credit: Thanks to Ray Langstone for his help with the details on this show.