25 Dec 1976 – Series Five (16) – All Winners Show 2

Guest act The Coventry Cathedral Choir.
Image: ATV Broadcast

On the judging panel for this All Winners Show were Muriel Young, Shaw Taylor, Jack Parnell and Les Reed. The show was broadcast on Christmas Day afternoon, tucked neatly between the 1971 John Alderton movie Please Sir! and Nicholas Parsons with his Christmas Sale of the Century in the ITV schedules.

The young Liverpool group Our Kid were scheduled to appear on this All Winners Show, having won the Viewers Panel vote in the All Winners Final (show 4.22) but they were not granted a licence to do so. The Liverpool Director of Education refused the group the licences they requested for appearances on four different shows over the Christmas period, including New Faces, after an investigation discovered they had already been granted 79 of their allowed 80 licences for the year and that school attendance records were found to be less than satisfactory. They would have to wait until 26 March 1977 to get their chance to make their third appearance on the show.

The winning acts returning for the show and looking for a place in the Gala Final were;

  • Peter Lewis (vocalist) – from Birmingham – show 5.11
  • The Medium Wave Band (six-piece group) – from Southern England – show 5.9
  • Cricks Canine Wonders (dog act) – from Sussex – show 5.10
  • Linda Fletcher (vocalist) – from Surrey – show 5.12
  • Bryan Taylor (vocalist) – from Glasgow – show 5.13
  • Nickey Gunn (comedian) – from Country Durham – show 5.14
Scottish vocalist Bryan Taylor won by just eight points. Image: ATV Broadcast

The winner of the show was Glasgow vocalist Bryan Taylor who booked himself a place in the 2 April 1977 Series Five Gala Final alongside Simone, Mike ‘Stand’ Douglas and the previous weeks winners Koffee ‘n’ Kreme, completing half of the scheduled final line-up.

Joining the six previous show winners were special guest act the Coventry Cathedral Choir. It was a more positive end to the year for the choir who, just three months before the show was recorded, had a narrow escape when their coach ran off the road and hit a tree. Most of the choristers sustained just bruises but one member broke a rib and another broke her nose. Luckily none of the injuries were too serious and they were able to travel to the ATV studios in Birmingham on Monday 20 December to record their version of The Twelve Days of Christmas for the show.

The runners-up were the four man and two woman comedy showband The Medium Wave Band, who were known for their pop-disco numbers with accompanying jazz dancing. For their performance they were all dressed in silver futuristic catsuits, fitting attire for a group that often featured a ‘space themes’ medley in their regular stage shows.

Linda Fletcher sang The Beatles Got To Get You Into My Life on the All Winners Show
Image: ATV Broadcast

In third place was Linda Fletcher, who unfortunately had lost her voice the week before recording the show, who was dressed in emerald green for her second New Faces appearance. Linda performed her version of The Beatles hit Got To Get You Into My Life.

Judge Muriel Young specifically had asked to be on the show panel having watched on TV when Linda won show 5.12 back on 27 November 1976. Muriel wanted to see and hear Linda in person and has since confirmed ‘I wasn’t on the panel that week, but I knew at once Linda was what I wanted.’

Muriel, a producer on Granada TV, quickly signed Linda to co-present her new Granada pop music show Get It Together, alongside former Basil Brush presenter Roy North. Their first show, featuring New Faces series one runners-up Showaddywaddy, The Dead-End Kids and Opportunity Knocks appearance record holder Berni Flint. Guests on other shows included New Faces winners Koffee ‘n’ Kreme as well as some of the biggest names in pop music including The Glitter Band, T-Rex, Bay City Rollers, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Ocean, Shakin’ Stevens, Alvin Stardust, Slade, Cliff Richard, Boomtown Rats, ELO, Squeeze and Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran (who was also the show’s musical director).

Linda’s voice so impressed the pop act Blue when they appeared on Get It Together (no not the Blue you are thinking of) that they recommended her to Rocket Records, where Elton John was a leading figure, who signed her and put out her first single Angel of Love in 1978.

Cricks Canine Wonders ‘went walkies’ after the show finished. Image: ATV Broadcast

The very first show of Get It Together debuted just four days after the New Faces Grand Final Linda had been trying to reach, however, Linda remained the singer and co-host of the show for the next three years, proving that you didn’t need to win the show to kickstart your entertainment career.

The clever and amusing dog act, Cricks Canine Wonders, who won show 5.10 back in November where they scored top marks for entertainment value to book their place on this All-Winner’s Show, unfortunately, according to a later Derek Hobson interview in Look-In magazine, decided to give up performing after they failed to win this show.

Geoffrey Windship, who arranged their audition and handled bookings for the former circus performers and their talented dogs, tried to collar them repeatedly, but without success, he’s quoted as saying ‘there hasn’t been so much as a woof from any of them since.’ Geoffrey reckoned he’d been sold a pup, so to speak, adding, ‘I get no reply to my calls or letters.’

PositionActTotal Score
1Bryan Taylor383
2Medium Wave Band375
3Linda Fletcher362
4Cricks Canine Wonders338
5Peter Lewis325
6Nickey Gunn324
The Christmas Day All Winners Show final scoreboard

Each of the six acts, plus the guest act had their own custom artwork designed for the show which was displayed to the studio and TV audience by Derek Hobson.

Credits: Thanks again to Linda Fletcher for her invaluable input and also Gary Jordan (via Kaleidoscope Facebook) for the various images.

Archive: A copy is held by the BFI – Work – 571917

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