9 Oct 1976 – Series Five (5)

Colin Boardman the sensational ‘exponent of legerdemain’.
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The judges panel for the fifth show of the series saw Jack Parnell, Clifford Davis and Lionel Blair joined by another new face, bandleader, musician and talent manager Tito Burns. 

Tito was famous for managing and discovering artists such as Cliff Richard and Dusty Springfield and promoting UK tours for US acts Simon and Garfunkael and Bob Dylan.

The seven new acts were;  

  • J.J. Breslin (vocalist) from Yorkshire
  • Gingerbread (trio) from St. Helens
  • Rob Dunndan (comedian) from Cheshire
  • Kerry Meadows (vocalist) from Leeds
  • Cotton Gin (five-piece countrty group) from Birmingham
  • Colin Boardman (magician) from Hyde, Cheshire
  • Paul John Forrest (guitar / vocal) from Liverpool
Paul John Forrest folk competition winner back in July 1974. Image © Reach plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The winner of the show, booking his place in the first All Winners Show of the series was Paul John Forrest, who sometimes transposed his first two names. No stranger to winning talent shows, he had previously seen success in the Cheshire Observer sponsored folk competition back in July 1974, winning the £40 first prize.

The Liverpool singer was signed to the Mike Hughes Agency who had a proven track record for producing New Faces winners, with Al Dean, Les Dennis, Mike Lancaster, Billy Moocho and the group The Nobodies who Paul John Forrest would later join at the end of the 1970s.

While she didn’t win the show singer Kerry Meadows scored in excess of 100 points as she later appeared on the first ‘Near Misses’ show of the series on 18 December 1976. Twelve months after her successful TV appearance Kerry was signed up to appear in pantomime, playing Prince Charming in Cinderella at the Leeds City Varieties, which followed her appearance at Blackpool’s Central Pier in the summer of 1977.

Birmingham group Cotton Gin put a new slant on country music, which was far from the typical picture of check shirts, ten-gallon hats and spurs. They were a professional, slick band who topped many a music bill. Cotton Gin comprised of Cara Baker (vocals, guitar), John Boyle (bass guitar, guitar vocals), Bob Graham (drums, vocals), Chas Ginder (guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals) and Tom Forde (pedal steel guitar, guitar, vocals)

A young Colin Boardman with his birds. Image: Facebook Profile Photo

Colin Boardman was the nineteen year-old sensational ‘exponent of legerdemain,’ which to the layman is better known as sleight of hand. Colin scored 96 points from the judges, with 35 of his points coming in the Entertainment Value category, which was added to scores of 29 for Presentation and 32 for Content.

Tito Burns liked Colin’s act but wasn’t keen on his choice of music however he gave 26/30 points. Former magician Clifford Davis thought that Colin needed a little more production but as he was young he thought he would get it as he got more experience, he scored 23/30.

Lionel Blair was very impressed with Colin’s act and thought he was terrific for a nineteen year old. He awarded Colin 24/30 marks. Jack Parnell said he thought Colin presented a really nice act and awarded him 23/30 points.

Colin won the Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year 1973 when he was just sixteen years-old making him one of the youngest magicians in the country and under the exclusive representation of Rex Graham he’d already been on TV in Junior Showtime, Blue Peter and the David Nixon Show. Colin was invited to appear on the Magic Circle show at London’s Collegiate Theatre for their 1974 Christmas show, but unfortunately due to his many club commitments he could not accept the offer, deciding he just couldn’t let the clubs down.

In the summer of 1974 he fulfilled a summer season on the Isle of Man, where his colourful and entertaining magic act delighted the visitors, he still works there to this day, assuming the title of Magic-Mann, and continues to win awards in his speciality act category.

The fans of Ossett based singer Johnny Breslin may have been confused on seeing him on New Faces as he had to make a change in his title in order to make his appearance, so from this show, and in the future, he would be known as J.J. Breslin.

Credit: Huge thanks to Colin Boardman for the details of his marks and judges comments.

Archive: A copy is held by the BFI – Work – 570104

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