New Faces – Facts & Figures

Most Appearances as a Contestant (ATV)

Only two acts can claim a record FIVE appearances as a contestant.

Eve Adam (vocalist) – Five appearances in Series Four

Shows: 4.10, 4.11, 4.25, 4.32, 4.33 (Gala Final)
Eve Adam made five appearances in series four. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Eve Adam holds the record for the most appearances in a single series, appearing on five shows in series four, including the Gala Final.

Eve first appeared on the show on 21 February 1976 on the show won by flautist George Galway. Eve won the vote of the viewers panel and appeared again just one week later on the very first Viewers Winners show of the series. The group Sparrow won that show, you can read more about them below, and Eve finished third on the scoreboard, but yet again impressed the viewers panel who gave Eve their vote to guarantee her third appearance on the second Viewers Winners show on 5 June 1976.

On her third appearance Eve failed to secure one of the two winners positions, despite receiving a maximum 100 marks from judge Ted Ray, and it seemed that her New Faces journey was over, however, just one week before the series Gala Final, she was invited back once more to appear on a special Winners & Viewers Winners show on 24 July 1976. It was on this show that Mickie Most, judging Eve for a third time, commented ‘I think I’ve seen more of Eve Adam than I have of my own wife recently.’

Eve guaranteed a record breaking fifth appearance in a single series by winning the vote of the judges and the viewers panel and claimed the last place in the following weeks Gala Final where she would finish in third place behind winner Roger de Courcey and runner-up Jim Davidson.

Eve also holds the record for appearances with guest acts from previous series finals. The shows Eve appeared on featured guests Elaine Simmons (series one finalist), Nicky Martyn (series two finalist) and Marti Caine (series three winner).

Sparrow (group) – Five appearances across Series Three and Four

Shows: 3.38, 3.40, 3.43, 4.11, 4.33 (Gala Final)
Sparrow made five appearances
across two series
. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The group Sparrow ran out winners on their first appearance on 14 June 1975 and booked a place in a special Winners & Near Misses show just two weeks later. On their second appearance they lost out to another group, Toby, who qualified for the series final. Sparrow were invited to appear again, along with another group, Helen Day & Catch, on a second Winners & Near Misses show on 19 July 1975, but the show was won by the group Ofanchi and it looked like their appearances were over.

Sparrow were popular with the viewers and as a result were invited back to appear on the first Viewers Winners show of series four where they topped the judges scoreboard, winning by 15 points from another group, Monopoly, and 18 points clear of third placed Eve Adam (see above). Sparrow made their fifth and final appearance in the series four Gala Final, which was won by Roger de Courcey, giving them the distinction of being the first act to reach a series final of a different series to which they first appeared.

Just four acts can claim four appearances on different shows as a contestant.

Les Dennis (impressionist) – Four appearances across Series One, Two and Three

Shows: 1.10, 2.01, 3.01, 3.08
Impressionist Les Dennis holds the record for appearing in the most series.
Image: ATV Broadcast

Les Dennis holds the record for appearances in multiple series of New Faces with performances in the first three series.

Following a first unsuccessful appearance on Opportunity Knocks in July 1971, Les Dennis returned to the talent show and made his first New Faces appearance at the age of twenty, during series one, on 1 December 1973. He lost out to folk trio Trotto but thousands of viewers called the studios to request he got another chance. Les made his second appearance on the opening show of series two where he finished runner-up to the group Art Nouveau and just ahead of comedian Pete Conway, the father of future pop star Robbie Williams.

Clearly a hit with the TV audience, Les got another chance on the opening show of series three when he was added to a show line-up based on votes sent in by viewers using a coupon in the TV Times. It’s a popular misconception that Les scored 119 points on this show, however, he actually scored 111 points winning the show and claiming a spot on the first All Winners show of series three.

Les finished fourth in the All Winners show, won by Tony Maiden, which also featured Victoria Wood and Malandra Newman. As his journey on New Faces came to an end his entertainment career began during the scoring of the show when host Nicky Martyn read out a note confirming Les had been offered a summer season at Butlin’s.

Lenny Henry (impressionist) – Four appearances in Series Three

Shows: 3.17, 3.25, 3.37, 3.44 (Grand Final)
Dudley impressionist Lenny Henry.
Image: ATV Broadcast

Sixteen year-old Dudley impressionist, Lenny Henry, was the first act to make four appearances in a single series, winning on his first appearance with a score of 108 points. In the All Winners Show he lost out to the eventual series runner-up Al Dean, but was so popular with the viewers that he returned to win the second Viewers Winners show on 7 June 1975 to earn a place in the series Grand Final.

Lenny eventually finished in fourth place in a strong Grand Final where he once again was beaten by comedian Al Dean who in turn finished in second place behind overall series winner Marti Caine.

Lenny is also the only New Faces act to be knighted. Forty years after he first stood in front of the television cameras in ATV’s Broad Street studios, he received his knighthood in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours for services to drama and charity.

Simone (vocalist) – Four appearances across Series Four and Five

Shows: 4.18, 4.22, 5.01, 5.30 (Gala Final)
Vocalist Simone. Image: ATV Broadcast

Exeter vocalist Simone became the second act to reach a Gala Final of a different series from the one they first appeared on. Simone made her first appearance in series four, impressing the two new faces on the judges panel, Shaw Taylor and John Hamp, to finish in first place.

On the All Winners show Simone finished in second place behind show winner Johnny Hammond, but the viewers voted for Simone to return for the opening show of series five, which she subsequently won to claim her series five final place. Simone had to wait over just over six months for her final appearance and when it came she finished in third place in a show won by Koffee ‘n’ Kreme.

Stella Starr (vocalist) – Four appearances in Series Six

Shows: 6.10, 6.16, 6.28, 6.30 (Gala Final)
Vocalist Stella Starr. Image: ATV Broadcast

Stella Starr appeared four times in series six and was the winner of a very high scoring show on 12 November 1977, where four of the acts scored in excess of 100 points. Stella lost out to the country .group Poacher when she appeared on the All Winners show broadcast on Christmas Eve 1977, but she had won the hearts of the television audience who voted for her to return in a special Viewers Request show on 19 March 1978.

Stella won the Viewers Request show and claimed a place in the series six Gala Final, where she finished runner-up to Patti Boulaye.

38 acts have appeared as a contestant on three different shows

From series three onwards a series finalist needed to win two shows to make the final, so there are plenty of acts that have made three appearances on New Faces. These include series winners Marti Caine, Roger De Courcey, Koffee ‘n’ Kreme and Patti Boulaye.

Be Our Guest

The following list of acts appeared as guests on the show after impressing producers when they appeared as a contestant. The guest acts usually appeared on an All Winners, Viewers Winners or Near Misses show, when the show featured less than the usual seven performances or during the The list below details their contestant appearances and their guest appearance.

ActContestant on showGuest Appearance
Showaddywaddy1.08, 1.14 Grand Final2.13 Grand Final
Elaine Simmons1.01, 1.14 Grand Final4.11 Viewers Winners 1
Al Dean3.24, 3.25, 3.44 Grand Final4.15 All Winners 2
Trevor ChanceNetwork Pilot4.22 All Winners 3
Nicky Martyn *2.4, 2.13 Grand Final4.25 Viewers Winners 2
Joy Rose (Jodie Grey)4.4, 4.7 All Winners 1 4.29 All Winners 4
Marti Caine *3.14, 3.16 All Winners 2, 3.44 Grand Final4.33 Gala Final
Coventry Cathedral ChoirNo Previous Appearance5.16 All Winners 2
Roger De Courcey4.1, 4.7 All Winners 1, 4.33 Gala Final5.30 Gala Final
Gillian Burns5.21, 5.23 All Winners 36.07 All Winners 1
Ian ‘Sludge’ Lees5.6, 5.15 Near Misses 26.16 All Winners 2
Bryan Taylor5.13, 5.16 All Winners 2, 5.30 Gala Final6.17 Near Misses 2
Johnny Hammond4.17, 4.22 All Winners 3, 4.33 Gala Final6.23 All Winners 3
Geoff Taylor3.35, 3.40 Winner & Near Misses 16.26
Koffee ‘N’ Kreme5.11, 5.15 Near Misses 2, 5.30 Gala Final6.30 Gala Final
* Nicky Martyn and Marti Caine also went on to host the show following their successful appearances as contestants

Have A Night Off

The most appearance on New Faces goes to the regular host and compere Derek Hobson, who had just one night off between his first appearance on the Network Pilot show on 7 July 1973 and the series six Gala Final on 2 April 1978. He hosted a total of 152 shows and in the shows where he was not the host, see below, he appeared on the judges panel. He missed just one show, the second viewer’s winners final of series three, which was won by Lenny Henry.

Nicky Martyn hosted nine shows in series three and the only other guest host of the show was comedian Peter Price, who took over the role for the first All Winners show of series four.

Series three winner Marti Caine returned to New Faces to host all 39 shows of the shows revival produced by Central TV between 1986 and 1988.

Highest Scores (ATV)

During the research for this archive of New Faces shows it’s been possible to discover some really impressive scores awarded by the judges for a large number of contestants. It is however acknowledged that this list is not complete as while the results of the shows are known, the scores remain unknown.

Of the scores that are available the following acts all recorded impressive scores of 115 points or more out of a possible maximum of 120.

The list below excludes All Winners, Viewer’s Winners and Near Misses shows as they simply awarded marks out of one hundred from each judge, rather than marks out of ten for each of the three scoring categories.

The highest known score from one of the shows mentioned above was recorded by series five winners Koffee ‘N’ Kreme, who dropped just nine points, scoring 391/400 when they won their Near Misses show (5.15) to claim their Gala Final place.
NB: The maximum score possible in series one was just 90 points as the shows only featured three judges.

ActScoreShow
Patti Boulaye *1206.27
Luie Cabellero 1193.19
Annie Bright1196.08
Spencer K Gibbins1183.32
Roger De Courcey 1184.01
Our Kid1184.20
Toby1173.36
Jim Davidson1174.13
Helen Day Band1163.39
Michael Barrymore1153.36
Roy Walker1155.07
Pat Tansey^1154.16
* The only maximum score ever achieved on the show.
^ Pat Tansey was later disqualified for breaking show rules around previous TV appearances

Nothing To Choose Between Them

Over the 167 shows there were nine shows where the judges failed to select clear winner. These tied shows meant that an extra act had to be accommodated on a future All Winners Show. There was one three way tie, on the 19 February 1977 (5.24), when three acts scored 100 points, and they were;

  • U.S.A.U.K. (six-piece group)
  • Dario and Delia (guitar / vocal duo)
  • Fresh (four-piece group)

The other eight shows that saw tied winners were;

  • Kenny Bee (comedian) & Jim Clearly & Davies (boy and girlfriend duo) – show 3.11
  • Wayne Pritchett (comic mime) & Scarlet Jade (five-piece group) – show 3.28
  • Johnny ‘Goon’ Tweed (comedian) & Joy Rose (singer) show 4.04
  • Brother (trio)* & Graham P Jolly (mind reader) – show 5.22
  • Wine & Roses (five-piece group) & J.J. Stewart (comedian) – show 5.27
  • Bob Clarke Ensemble (jazz trio) & Mr Carline & Mr Walling (comedy double act) – show 5.28
  • Ann O’Brien (vocalist) & Peter John Mitchell (comedian) – show 6.21
  • Patti Boulaye (vocalist) & Alan J. Bartley (comedian) – show 6.29

* Brother changed their name to Kite for their two further appearances on the show.

ATV Judges Top Appearances

It should be noted that there are a handful of shows where the full judges line-up remains lost in the ATV deleted shows, therefore, the number of appearances shown may not be 100% accurate as any of the names listed may have appeared on shows where the full judges lineup remains unknown. Of the shows where the judges are known here are the top ten appearances.

JudgeShows
1Mickie Most*67
2Tony Hatch*58
3Jack Parnell42
4Clifford Davis*41
5John Smith*40
6George Elrick38
7Martin Jackson29
8=Arthur Askey26
8=Jimmy Henney26
10Alan A. Freeman25
* Mickie Most, Tony Hatch, Clifford Davis and John Smith all appeared as judges from series one, so may have a few extra appearances that cannot be confirmed. There are also a small number of missing judges appearances on shows in series two, three and four, so any of those listed may have one or two more appearances to their name.

Tony Hatch appeared as a judge on every one of the six series finals. The MGM Grand Executive, Bernie Rothkopf, appeared on four consecutive finals from series three onwards, as he was offering the winner the prize of a Las Vegas cabaret slot at his casino hotel.

Amazingly Tony Hatch and Mickie Most can be confirmed as appearing together just twelve times across all six series. Their final appearance together came on the series six Gala Final, where they were introduced as ‘the Batman and Robin of television’ by host Derek Hobson.

The longest run of shows where the judges remained unchanged is three. Tony Hatch, Mickie Most, Clifford Davis and Arthur Askey were the judges on shows 2.10, 2.11 and 2.12. The same four were on the panel in show 2.08, so it could have been five consecutive shows had Ingrid Pitt not made her sole appearance on show 2.09, alongside Tony Hatch, Arthur Askey and Clifford Davis, with Mickie Most the only absentee from the quartet.

ATV Winning Act Category

Across the 167 shows, including the two pilot shows, 120 winning acts were musical, be that either vocalists or instrumentalists or a musical group. Comedy also faired very well with 34 comedians, 11 impressionists and 3 comedy / vocalists claiming a win, accounting for over a quarter of all wins when combined.

These figures do include multiple wins by the same act, so when you learn that there were three ventriloquist winners, you need to understand that it is simply three wins by Roger de Courcey.

Here is the breakdown based on the category assigned to them. It can often be difficult to accurately categorise some acts into a single category, but the predominant style of the act has been used to determine the category as best as possible.

Act CategoryShow WinsPercentage Wins
Musical Group5430.5%
Vocalist5028.2%
Comedy3419.2%
Impressionist116.2%
Musical Duo84.5%
Instrument / Vocalist52.8%
Comedy / Vocalist31.7%
Instrumentalist31.7%
Ventriloquist31.7%
Magic21.1%
Animal Act10.6%
Mime10.6%
Mind Reader10.6%
Puppet Act10.6%

Squaring up the New Faces

A number of acts who appeared on New Faces went on to fill a square on television quiz show Celebrity Squares during it’s original seventies run of five series between 1975 and 1979.
Listed in order of their first appearance on Celebrity Squares they are;

ActCelebrity Squares
First Appearance
New Faces
First Appearance
Total Appearances on
Celebrity Squares
(1975-79)
Marti Caine30 Nov 197521 Dec 19743
Peter Price8 Feb 197612 Apr 19751
Roger De Courcey10 Oct 197620 Dec 19753
Jim Davidson21 May 197713 Mar 19761
Lenny Henry14 Jan 197811 Jan 19754
Patti Boulaye24 Mar 197912 Mar 19784
List of New Faces acts that later filled a square on Celebrity Squares.

A large number of New Faces judges and hosts also appeared on Celebrity Squares during the 1970s. IN order of most appearances they are;

JudgeFirst New Faces AppearanceNo. Of Celebrity
Squares Appearances
Don Maclean24 Sep 197722
Katie Boyle1 Dec 197317
Arthur Askey6 Apr 197414
Terry Wogan1 Oct 197712
Noele Gordon31 May 19738
Tony Blackburn16 Oct 19768
Leslie Crowther31 May 19735
Clement Freud29 Sep 19734
Lionel Blair24 Jan 19764
Danny La Rue10 May 19753
Janet Brown5 Jun 19763
Ted Ray27 Apr 19743
Jack Parnell19 Oct 19742
Michael Aspel29 Oct 19772
Ray Ellington8 Oct 19772
Barbara Kelly20 Apr 19741
Derek Hobson7 Jul 19731
Ed Stewart10 Sep 19771
Geoff Love15 Jan 19771
Jess Yates17 Jan 19761
Lonnie Donegan27 Dec 19751
Norman Vaughan5 Jul 19751
Rosalie Horner24 Sep 19771