6 Oct 1974 – New Faces Revue – Charity Show

Comedian Neil James had not appeared on the New Faces TV show. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

As the bumper third series of New Faces had just begun on our television screens a number of former contestants were appearing at a special variety show at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

On Sunday 6 October 1974, as the highlight of a week of activities planned by CHAD the Coordinating Committee for the Handicapped and the Disabled, seven acts from series one and two appeared in the charity show just a stones throw from the ATV studios.

The show featured regular show compere Derek Hobson, who was assisted by four other compares who had regularly appeared on the shows judges panel, with John SmithClifford DavisTony Hatch and Mickie Most lending a hand. The show was produced by Les Cocks and Paul Stewart Laing who produced and directed the television shows and the Johnny Patrick Orchestra provided the musical backing as they did in the ATV studios.

Carl Wayne – You’re A Star singer

The one name that would not have been familiar to the television views was that of comedian Neil James. 18 year-old Neil was one of Britain’s youngest professional comedians, and had recently given up his salesmans job and signed a management contract with Colin Hutchinson. Earlier in the year Neil, had completed a five week Spring tour for the Bailey Organisation performing in Leicester, South Shields, Newcastle, Sheffield, Hull and Stockton.

Neil had been selected by Allan Blackburn to compere his New Faces show at Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre in the summer of 1974, and he reprised that role for this show. The Ramsgate show also featured Nicola Christie, Michelle Fisher, Aiden J. Harvey and Jimmy Lister, who all appeared on the Hippodrome stage for this charity event.

The full show line-up was;

First Half

Second Half

Recalling the show, producer Paul Stewart Laing remembers holding Crossroads star Noele Gordon’s hand in the wings to calm her nerves before she went on stage.

This wouldn’t be the last time that a New Faces show would take to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage as when Central TV revived the show in 1986 they moved out of the TV studio and all 39 shows of the three Central series, presented by series three winner Marti Caine, were recorded at the theatre.

Copy of the programme pages from Noele Gordon’s colletion. Image: https://twitter.com/noele_gordon