31 Dec 1977 – Series Six (17) – Near Misses 2

Vocalist and comedian Nick Barry. Image: The Stage Media Company Limited

The judges who assembled to assess the artists who had previously scored over 100 points on their first show were Terry Wogan, Peter Prichard, Danny La Rue and Muriel Young.

The six acts that qualified for another appearance delivered a strong comedy and musical line-up. They were;

  • Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra (eight-piece band) – show 6.4
  • Dave Wills (comedian) – show 6.8
  • Steve Cassidy (vocalist / guitarist) – show 6.10
  • Nick Barry (vocalist / comedian) – show 6.9
  • Hercules (comedy strong man) – show 6.10
  • Mike Johnson (jazz guitarist) – show 6.10

Filling the final slot on the show was guest vocalist Bryan Taylor, who had appeared in the Series Five Gala Final in April 1977.

This was Bryan’s fourth appearance on the show and, being the guest act, the first time he wasn’t being scrutinised and scored by the judges. In his three series five appearances Bryan had won two shows and finished runner-up to Koffee ‘n’ Kreme by just six points in the series finale, so it was no surprise he had been invited back to perform again.

Mike Johnson with his busker trophy from this successful Near Misses show performance.
Image: The Stage Media Company Limited

Winning this show was jazz guitarist Mike Johnson who, by doing so, booked his place in the series six Gala Final. With this win he became the first and remained the only guitarist to claim a show victory on New Faces.

Mike was reunited with comedy strongman Hercules and guitarist and vocalist Steve Cassidy, his former contestants on the high scoring show 6.10. Bizarrely Mike managed to secure his Gala Final ahead of Stella Starr, who was the winner on the original show but failed to progress from last week’s All Winners show, finishing runner-up to the winning group Poacher.

Stella would eventually make the Gala Final after being given another chance to qualify and winning the Viewer’s Request show in March 1978.

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