22 Jan 1978 – Series Six (20)

Liverpool group The Kennedys performed a song written by ex-Applejack David Bailey.
Image: Reach PLC. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

As the series reached two thirds of the way through the scheduled number of shows the panel of four judges who appeared on this the twentieth show of the series were Mickie Most, Martin Jackson, Bridie Reid and Peter Prichard.

As usual Derek Hobson was in the host’s chair to keep things moving along nicely and he introduced seven new to television acts who were looking to book a place in the next All Winners show just three weeks later. They were;

  • Jamie Michael Stewart (vocalist) from Sheffield
  • Flint (four-piece group) from Kent
  • The Kennedys (three-piece group) from Liverpool
  • Suzanne Barry (vocalist) from Liverpool
  • Phil Jones (comedian) from Gwent
  • Phil Martel (guitarist) from London
  • Bullitt (five-piece group) from London
Show winners Flint sang one of their own songs.
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Show winners were the Kent based group Flint, who received some encouraging and complementary remarks from the four judges. The group clearly relished the pleasant working atmosphere in the studio as their performance of their own song, A Real Fine State Of Mind, secured them a place on the next All Winners Show on the 12 February 1978.

Top record producer and show judge Mickie Most commented, ‘I think you have just heard a hit band and a hit song.’ In fact Mickie liked A Real Fine State Of Mind, written by original band members Elfed Hayes (rhythm guitar) and John Dickinson (bass), so much that shortly afterwards he recorded and produced the song as the group’s first single on the RAK Record label for release in April 1978. The song failed to break into the top forty in the UK charts. The other two members of the group were, newly joined, sixteen year old drummer Matt Letley and lead guitarist Trevor Bevan, who also provided harmony vocals.

Flint wrote most of their original songs while on tour. The song they performed on the show was written in a villa at the foot of Mount Etna during a tour of Sicily, where they played for American Troops. Another song, A Night In Spennymoor, was written on a North East tour during a stay on a farm in Spennymoor, near Durham. They later added a fifth member, Dave Shields (keyboards and saxophone) to the line-up to bring more depth and variation of tone to their sound.

Just two months after appearing on this show Flint performed at The Royal Disco show at Bristol’s Romeo and Juliet’s discotheque in the presence of HRH The Princess Margaret. The evening, of music and dancing was made possible by the Combined Charities Committee and also featured disc jockey Dave Lee Travis and Peter Gordeno and raised £10,000 for the Dockland Settlements.

In May 1978 Flint began a two week long concert tour of Denmark, which included radio and television appearances and on their return to the UK they enjoyed a summer season at Pontin’s, Camber Sands, no doubt thanks to their acquaintance with camp booking manager Bridie Reid, who was on the judges panel for their winning show. Also appearing at Pontin’s during the same season were vocalist Linda Fletcher and comedian J.J.Stewart both winners of previous New Faces shows and comedy vocal duo Michelle and Myles who made two appearances on the show in 1976.

Flint’s drummer Matt Letley left the group in 1982 and has since toured with acts such as Elkie Brooks, Kim Wilde, Bob Geldof, A-ha and David Essex. In 2000 he joined rock band Status Quo and performed with then for thirteen years in across Europe, Australia, Mexico, Russia and the United States as well as recording a number of albums with the group.

Elfed Hayes spent much of the 80s and 90s establishing himself as a radio and TV commercial session musician playing guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and singing on television adverts including, Pizza Hut (Hit The Hut), Lynx, Tetley Tea and Hellmans. 

Jamie Michael Stewart scored over 100 points to earn another appearance in a future show.
Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Sheffield vocalist Jamie Michael Stewart would go on to appear on the penultimate show of the series which was a combined winners and near misses show. This not only suggests that he scored above the 100 points required to qualify for a near misses show recall, it can also be assumed that he was the runner-up on this show.

Jamie’s performances received great reviews from the local press with the Yorkshire Evening Post claiming he had ‘so much talent someone should write a musical around him,’ while the Glasgow Evening Times claimed Jamie ‘has charm, good looks, style and a voice equal if not better to many stars of today.’

In February 1978 it was confirmed that Jamie would be taking the lead role in Bing and Brass, a musical biography of Bing Crosby which would tour theatres in the North of England from Southport to Scarborough. In March of the same year Jamie was the guest on the Radio 2 show On The Third Beat.

In April 1978 Jamie was confirmed as one of the supporting acts who would perform in the new six part Radio 2 series the BBC Variety Club. Also on the list of support acts for the series were Anita Allen and Turnstyle, who had also previously appeared on New Faces on show 4.9. The hour-long shows would feature a twenty-minute star spot and supporting artists would get up to twelve minutes, meaning they could perform two or three songs instead of the usual one when appearing on television variety shows. The BBC Variety Club was hosted by Martin Dale and featured another regular in singer and pianist, Chester Harriott, the father of TV chef Ainsley. Star acts confirmed as appearing included Ken Dodd, Les Dawson and Roy Castle.

On 4 July 1978 Jamie was back on television in the BBC show Cabaret Showtime. Also appearing on the same show were New Faces series five winners Koffee ‘n’ Kreme and comedian Michael Barrymore (shows 3.36 & 3.43) and The Wurzels.

In April 1979 Jamie, who by now could claim to have worked with Bob Hope, was back on the stage and once again was playing the role of Bing Crosby this time in Bing, Judy and Friends at the Harrogate Theatre. The show traced Bing from his early years with the Musicaleers in Spokane to the start of the war through to 1955’s High Society and on to his final acclaimed shows at the London Palladium in 1977. The show featured well known songs from the wonderful songs ranging from The Bells of St Mary’s to White Christmas.

In May 1979 Jamie was the first signing for Wakefield management agency SM Promotions. Jamie’s success as the resident entertainer on board the cruise liner the Princess, and his two years working extensively in America, during with time he appeared with Bob Hope in Las Vegas, meant that SMP saw tremendous potential in his career prospects.

In autumn of 1979 Jamie was performing shows in the Midlands with a headline spot at Sutton Coldfield’s La Reserve in September, where he gave a very polished performance of songs such as Swinging On A Star, Irish Lullaby and Pennies from Heaven, to audible sighs from a very appreciative audience. In October Jamie was one of the support acts, along with The Duvals (show 3.15), on The Don Maclean Laughter Show at the newly owned Birmingham Hippdrome theatre, which itself would become home to the Central TV revival of New Faces in the 1980s.

As his career moved into the 1980s Jamie could be seen, along with New Faces series six winner Patti Boulaye, on The Video Entertainers, presented by John Hamp. in 1982 Jamie performed on the bill of Sir Harry Secombe and Friends, a Charity Gala Variety Concert in aid of Polish entertainment artistes at the Dominion Theatre, London. Also on the bill were Harry Secombe, Rolf Harris, Tom Baker and Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog, from ATV’s Tiswas. The same year Jamie would represent the BBC in the annual Knokke Song Festival in Belgium, but lost out to the entry from Norway, who claimed the $5,000 cash prize.

In July 1984 Jamie was signed to appear in Showtime ’84 at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre. He shared the bill with some other former New Faces acts, series four winner Roger de Courcey and series three runner-up Al Dean. The show also featured comedian Duncan Norvelle and Scottish comedy duo The Krankies, who Jamie would support, alomg with Bobby Davro, on their thirty date UK tour in September 1984.

Jamie’s long career as an international recording artist has spanned many years which has seen him support many star entertainers. In addition to Bob Hope he’s also worked with Jerry Lewis, George Burns and Phyllis Diller and in his early career his band opened shows for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and he’s even performed alongside Sir Elton John. He has recorded over 1,000 broadcasts with the BBC Radio and Television Orchestras and was voted Vocalist of the Year by the corporation. His act has included impressions of many great singers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Barry Manilow, Nat King Cole, Matt Monro, Perry Como and, of course, Bing Crosby. He has also been the headline entertainer on many five star luxury cruise liners and as recently as 2019 was on the talent roster of the Florida based entertainment agency Best At Sea and you can hear his fantastic voice and watch a compilation of his performances on Vimeo.

Suzanne Barry. Image: Reach PLC. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

The experienced and stylish vocalist Suzanne Barry was born on the island of Malta, but had lived in Liverpool from an early age. Her pop ballad style was described as a cross between Shirley Bassey and Vicki Carr, but Suzanne was adamant that she didn’t consciously copy any particular artist’s style. The year before this television appearance Suzanne’s bookings included a six month working cruise, around the Caribbean, Canada, Alaska and the rest of the United States.

Suzanne had mixed feelings about the show being aired. She was excited as the screen time might have given her career a huge lift, but she was disappointed with her own performance on the show. Her singing career had kept her very busy and she had not been able to visit her birthplace for several years. By the time the show aired Suzanne was travelling back to Malta for a two-week engagement at the luxurious Dragonara Palace, so was exceptionally sad that she wouldn’t be able to watch her performance on screen.

The Kennedys, had built quite a following around Merseyside and were expected to score quite highly, especially regarding their presentation. They were a very clean-cut and well dressed trio, with brothers Peter and Terry Kennedy on guitars and Graham Evans on drums. Peter and Terry had worked as a duo for a few years before being joined by Graham just four months before this show.

The song they chose to perform on the show was If We Could Put Our Love To Music which was written for them by ex-Applejack, David Bailey. The slow ballad highlighted their tight, three-part harmonies, which was their speciality. They were hoping to record the song for a single release, however, no details of that happening have been confirmed.

Welsh comedian Phil Jones was selected to appear on the show after he won the Grand Final of the Butlin’s Star Trail talent competition on 27 November 1977. His prize for winning was £1,000 and the challenge trophy plus a contract for a Butlin’s Summer Season. The judges for that competition included Janet Brown and Peter Prichard, both New Faces judges. Show producer Albert Stevenson, was also on the judges panel and he offered Phil, along with group New Harmony and comedian Joe Jones, their places on New Faces.

From as far back as 1967 instumentalist Phil Martel was known as ‘the man who makes the guitar come alive.’ He completed a successful tour of Germany and Italy in 1968 and became well known as the guitarist who doesn’t just play chords. In 1969 he was being billed as ‘Britain’s Top Guitarist’ and shared a bill with The Mighty Atom, who would later appear on the New Faces network pilot, and her partner Roy when they performed at Felling Social Club, Gateshead. Later that same year Phil, not to be outdone by Johnny Cash, performed at Bodmin Jail Night Club and Casino, the former Bodmin Prison.

By early 1970 Phil had formed a duo with dancer and vocalist Tiki to play a number of shows in London, at venues such as The Blue Angel and The Astor, where Phil deftly picked his way through Monti’s Czardas, Granada and the William Tell Overture while Tiki provided grass-skirted dancing and a small amount of brass guitar playing, while both provided vocals. After performing in the United States the duo returned to the UK in 1975 and are documented as playing a show at the Falcon Hotel, Reading.

Archive: A copy is held by the BFI – Work – 571922

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