17 Sep 1977 – Series Six (2)

Shaw Taylor, Ken Irwin, John Smith and Jack Parnell sat with Derek Hobson at the panel’s new desk. Image: ATV Broadcast

Producer Albert Stevenson quickly scrapped his new-style setting for the panel on just the second show of the series. The Birmingham backdrop used on the opening show the previous week was removed and instead the panel had a desk to lean on as they took their notes.

There was another fresh face on the judging panel for this second show of series six. Joining the familiar faces of Jack Parnell, John Smith and Shaw Taylor for his first appearance was the TV critic for the Daily Mirror, Ken Irwin . They were all joined at the newly installed desk by host Derek Hobson, himself looking fresh and slimline from a recent spell at a health farm.

The seven new acts appearing on the show were;

  • Indiana (seven-piece country & western group) from North London
  • Jon Jon Keefe (comedian) from London
  • Vernon and Maya (guitar / vocal duo) from Sunbury-on-Thames
  • Pat O’Hare (vocalist) from Oldham
  • Terry Herbert (comedy magician) from Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Angel Caan (vocalist) from Coventry
  • Admiral Hawke (five-piece group) from Hull
Winning act, vocalist Pat O’Hare.
Image: ATV Broadcast

The winner of the show, and one of two acts to score in excess of one hundred points with the judges, was vocalist Pat O’Hare, who became the second act to book a place on the first All Winners Show of the series in just a few weeks time.

Before that All Winners Show Pat was a guest singer for the BBC Northern Radio Orchestra on a show broadcast on BBC Radio Two and he later made a number of appearances on the Stars on Sunday television show. You can hear some of Pat O’Hare’s vocals on his You Tube Channel.

Watching Pat’s appearance on this show was Welsh vocalist Dorothy Squires, the ex-wife of James Bond star Roger Moore, who did not hestitate in signing him up to appear in her One Woman Show at the London Palladium on 23 November 1977.

Coventry vocalist Angel Caan was the runner-up with 102 points. Image: ATV Broadcast

The runner up with an impressive 102 points was Coventry vocalist Angel Caan, who sang St Louis Blues, a song that was popular with a number of jazz and blues musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Count Basie.

Judge and bandleader Jack Parnell said Angel’s ‘musical phrasing is great,’ while Shaw Taylor said she was ‘smooth and professional.’ Clubland boss John Smith found her entertaining and Daily Mirror columnist Ken Irwin commented ‘she has a great sense of humour,’ and was a ‘whole lot of woman.’ The judge’s score, in excess of one hundred points, guaranteed Angel would appear on a second show as one of the ‘Near Misses’ of the series.

Angel wasn’t sure whether she would be able to watch the show on the Saturday it aired as she was working on stage that evening but she arranged to take a portable television set along in the hope that she would be able to see herself before delivering another live performance.

The 35-year-old singer was better known around the Midlands club circuit as Angel Brown, but when she resumed her career after an eighteen month lay-off, she wanted to start afresh with a new name. Her name was not the only change as three years earlier, Angel had slimmed down to thirteen stone from her original twenty-two stone weight.

It was a second chance for Jon Jon Keefe under the revised rules of the show. Image: ATV Broadcast

Comedian Jon Jon Keefe, real name Brian Kearney, might have looked familiar to regular viewers of the show as he was making a second appearance, having failed to win fame and fortune first-time-round. This was allowed under a new rule introduced by producer Albert Stevenson which allowed an artist to return for a second attempt after two years if they had not made a television appearance since their first exposure.

When Ken Irwin gave his views on the act he said ‘he made me chuckle, most of the gags were old but he was trying to be original in style.’ Shaw Taylor thought ‘his material had a lot of good things going for it,’ while Jack Parnell simply said ‘I liked his presentation.’ When they judges scores for presentation, content and entertainment value totalled Jon Jon Keefe scored 67 points.

I can only assume that Jon Jon Keefe’s first appearance must have been in the first few shows of series one back in 1973, possibly on one of the shows where the full line-ups haven’t yet been confirmed, as I don’t have any record of him on any previous show, however, the details below about the Benny Hill Show would fit with a pre-November 1973 New Faces appearance.

In November 1973 Jon was performing at Leicester Square’s Talk of the Town club and in the crowd that evening was comedian Benny Hill who left a note at the stage door asking Jon if he wanted to appear in his show. Jon spent a total of nineteen years on the Benny Hill show, but had a break of three years when two other performers took his place. I can only assume that this second New Faces appearance was during that three year period of him not appearing on television with Benny Hill. Jon Jon Keefe can be seen in this Great British Dancing clip from a 1973 Benny Hill Show. Jon’s autobiography I Was Benny Hill’s Toy Boy was released in 2009 and details his nineteen years performing alongside one of the UK’s most well known comedians.

Husband and wife duo Vernon and Maya sang the Bee Gees hit Words. Image: ATV Broadcast

Husband and wife vocal duo Vernon & Maya performed their version of the Bee Gees hit Words, scoring 83 points with the judges. Their scores were split as follows; 26 for presentation, 30 for content and 27 for entertainment value, which put them behind the act that had already recorded a score of 92, although it is not known which act that was.

Shaw Taylor was the first judge to offer his thoughts on the act, addressing Vernon and Maya directly he said ‘I think these two have so much going for them in the future if they really work at it,’ but added ‘they were unsure if they were singing to each other or they were singing to us.’ He continued, at some length, explaining that his suggestion was for Maya to be the centrepiece of the act while ‘Vernon looks at her, well, literally as though he could eat her!’

Jack Parnell disagreed with Shaw’s lengthy comments, saying that Shaw’s suggestion was exactly what did happen with Maya leading the duo ‘like Peter’s and Lee reversed.’ Showing how split the panel were on this act, John Smith agreed with Shaw Taylor adding ‘they did look a little awkward there together and they didn’t make the most of their presentation.’ Ken Irwin lead with ‘lucky old Vernon, what a stunning lady he’s got.’ He liked the song but thought they didn’t do as much with it as they possibly could have done, adding that ‘he looked a bit uncomfortable, she has the much stronger voice.’

To confirm the split in the judges views, Shaw Taylor and John Smith, who agreed on their comments scored completely differently when it came to entertainment value with Shaw giving them nine points, adding ‘success is in the palm of their hand,’ but John Smith clarifyed his score of just five by adding ‘in the future,’ suggesting he didn’t think they were ready just yet.

In 1979 the duo came under the management of Wally Dent Entertainments who also looked after a number of other New Faces acts including Jim Davidson, Frank Leyton and Terry and Wally Mardell. Vernon and Maya were once again back on the talent show circuit in November 1980 when they were one of the acts top perform on the second edition of the BBC show Rising Stars, hosted by former New Faces judge Arthur Askey who was joined by Jenny Lee Wright. Appearing on the same show was comedy singer songwriter, Jamie Adams, yet another former New Faces act.

Comedy magician Terry Herbert.
Image: ATV Broadcast

Comedy magician Terry Herbert scored a credible 96 points with the judges and received some great comments. Ken Irwin said ‘He’s funny, very clever,’ while Shaw Taylor suggested, ‘I think he will have a very successful career.’

‘I thought he was excellent, a very, very entertaining act,’ commented Jack Parnell and John Smith said he’d delivered ‘an old routine with a nice fresh presentation.’

Terry was born in 1935 and has been performing magic since he was a young boy. In November 1951 he had entertained one hundred children at the south Norwood Congregational Church’s annual Father Christmas visit.

In 1956 Terry started work as a Butlin’s Redcoat, working at the Queen’s Hotel, Cliftonville, Margate and remained with the company until 1965, working his way up to Resident Compere and finally becoming an Entertainment Manager. During his Butlin’s career, as Entertainment Manager in Brighton, he worked with a young redcoat called Al Dean, who would go on to great success in the third series of New Faces, as well as a young comedian called Jimmy Tarbuck. He also got to work with some big names in the entertainment world such as, Bruce Forsyth, Norman Vaughan and Dusty Springfield.

After leaving Butlin’s in 1965, Terry became the assistant and promotions manager at Streatham’s Silver Blades Ice Rink, while still performing his children’s magic shows part-time. Terry then moved into the toy business where he remained for the next twelve years combining it with working as a semi-pro magician until deciding to become a full time professional in 1976.

Terry Herbert performing as The Great Fiasco.
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

In the early 1980s Terry adopted the stage persona of The Great Fiasco and appeared as a guest on the Easter edition of the baffling ITV quiz show 3-2-1.

In 1981 Terry appeared on the children’s television show Five Magic Minutes performing quick and simple tricks to the after school audiences. You can see one of Terry’s performance at around 23 minutes into this video on the Daily Motion site and again at around 13 minutes in the second part of the video. In 1982 Terry was one of the acts on the ITV comedy show Starburst where he appeared on the same show as Ted Rogers, Una Stubbs, Bobby Davro, The Stylistics and two other former New Faces acts, comedian Roy Walker and vocalist Maggie Moone.

In 1986 a judging panel including Ali Bongo, Geoffrey Durham, also known as the Great Soprendo and then husband of Victoria Wood, and Granada TV and former New Faces judge John Hamp voted The Great Fiasco the British Magical Champion of Comedy. In 1988 Terry made a special guest appearance on The Paul Daniel’s Magic Show which you can watch on the You Tube link.

In the mid-nineties Terry created the character of Mr Woo the Wizard and enjoyed a number of successful seasons at Chessington World of Adventures where he was a popular favourite with visitors. He also released a couple of DVDs Terry Herbert – Magic for Under Fives and Children’s Magic – The Herbert Way which is one of the best-selling children’s magic DVDs of all-time.

In 2010 Terry was recognised by the Magic Circle for his services to British magic when they honoured him with the Maskelyne Award. He was in very good company as the award had also been won by David Nixon (1971), Ali Bongo (1972), Paul Daniels (1988), David Berglas (1995), Geoffrey Durham (2002), Wayne Dobson (2004) and since Terry’s win it’s been awarded to Derren Brown (2012), Dynamo (2016) and Debbie McGee (2017). At the grand age of 85, according to his website, Terry still seems to be performing his children’s magic shows as well as performing close-up magic and delivering after-dinner speeches.

I’ve been unable to find any more information on the other two acts other than the two production images below, so at least you know what Indiana and Admiral Hawke looked like.

Archive: Copy of Vernon and Maya’s performance discovered by Kaleidoscope

5 thoughts on “17 Sep 1977 – Series Six (2)

  1. Indiana Members
    Keith Giles Drums, Brian Stone Violin, Sid Cade Steel Guitar,John Livermore Bass, Steve Usher Banjo, Steve Norby Guitar and Song Writer, Barry Gibbs Keyboards.

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    1. Hi Barry
      Drop me a message on the contact page and I can put you in touch with someone who may be able to source a copy for you. If you can provide any details about Indiana then I’d love to include them. Line-up, career background, post New Faces career etc. Anything you think will be of interest would be welcome.
      Mark

      Like

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