New Faces is a British television talent show that aired in the 1970s and 1980s. It has been hosted by Leslie Crowther, Derek Hobson and Marti Caine. It was produced for the ITV network by ATV, and later by Central.

New Faces
Also known asNew Faces of... (1986–88)
GenreTalent show
Presented byLeslie Crowther
(Regional pilot)
Derek Hobson (ATV)
Marti Caine (Central)
Theme music composerEd Welch
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series6 (ATV)
3 (Central)
No. of episodes166 (ATV)
39 (Central)
Production locationsATV Centre (ATV)[1]
Birmingham Hippodrome (Central)[1]
Running time60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production companiesATV (1973–78)
Central (1986–88)
Original release
Release31 May 1973 (1973-05-31) –
3 December 1988 (1988-12-03)
Opportunity Knocks

Original series: 1973–1978 edit

The show first aired as a pilot on the ATV network on 31 May 1973 with host Leslie Crowther and a judging panel consisting of Noele Gordon, Tony Hatch, Clive James and John Smith assessing performances from ten acts looking for a break in show business. Welsh singer Jennifer Jones won the show that also featured a man who blew up a hot water bottle until it burst followed by a few choruses of "Spanish Eyes".[2][3]

A further pilot aired on 7 July 1973 with new host Derek Hobson and a full series followed from 29 September 1973 to 2 April 1978. It was recorded at the ATV Centre in Birmingham. The show's theme tune, "You're a Star!", was performed by singer Carl Wayne, formerly of The Move and it was eventually released, becoming a minor hit.[4]

Winners went on to have careers in television entertainment, such as Lenny Henry. Many top entertainers began their careers with a performance on this programme. The acts were evaluated by a panel of experts, including Tony Hatch, Mickie Most, Clifford Davis, Arthur Askey, Ted Ray, Ed Stewart, Jack Parnell, Alan A. Freeman, Muriel Young, Lonnie Donegan, Lionel Blair, Ingrid Pitt, Shaw Taylor, Terry Wogan and Noel Edmonds.

Four judges would make up the panel each week. Contestants received marks out of ten from the four judges in three categories such as "presentation", "content" and "star quality" – The "star quality" category was later replaced by "entertainment value". The highest score any act could attain was thus 120 points. Patti Boulaye was the only act who ever attained the maximum mark, doing so in the programme's final season. Les Dennis received 119 points, with only Tony Hatch giving him less than a perfect '10' for Presentation. Arthur Askey was on the same panel and started singing "Tony is a spoilsport" when Hatch awarded Dennis 9 as his final score.[5]

Series 1–6 Winners edit

Series Date Artist(s) Act
Pilot 7 July 1973 Trevor Chance Vocalist (in the style of Jack Jones)
1 29 December 1973 Tom Waite Vocalist
2 6 July 1974 Aiden J. Harvey Impressionist
3 27 July 1975 Marti Caine Comedian
4 31 July 1976 Roger de Courcey Ventriloquist
5 2 April 1977 Koffee 'n' Kreme Vocal duo
6 2 April 1978 Patti Boulaye Vocalist

Series One Final (1973)[6] edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Score Artist(s) Act
1 257 Tom Waite Vocalist
2 250 Showaddywaddy Eight-piece group
3 233 Jackie Carlton Comedian
4 217 Jean De Both Vocalist
5 215 John D. Bryant Guitar/vocalist
6 213 Charlie James Female vocalist
7 205 Ricki Disoni Vocalist
8 203 Yakity Yak Four-piece group
9 185 Anthony Waters Actor/vocalist
10 184 George Huxley's Dixieland Jazz Band six-piece jazz band
11 176 Dri Jinja Folk trio
12 171 Elaine Simmons Vocalist
13 143 Trotto Folk trio

Series Two Final (1974)[7] edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Score Artist(s) Act
1 396 Aiden J. Harvey Impressionist
2 353 Nicky Martyn Comedian
3 337 Michelle Fisher Vocalist
4 333 Art Nouveau Group
5= 327 Susan Cope Vocal / Piano
5= 327 Jeffrey Hooper Vocalist
7 322 Johnny Carroll Comedian
8 312 The Cosmopolitans Vocal Trio
9 306 Sweet Sensation Group
10 301 Nicola Christie Vocalist
11 300 Tony Gerrard Comedian
12 234 Jimmy Lister Comedian / Impressionist

Series Three Final (1975)[8] edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Score Artist(s) Act
1 539 Marti Caine Comedian
2 538 Al Dean Comedian
3 528 Ofanchi six-piece group
4 478 Lenny Henry Impressionist
5 475 Mike Felix Comedy/vocalist
6 472 Tony Maiden Impressionist
7 441 20th Century Steel Sound Nine-piece group
8 431 Toby Six-piece group

Series Five Final (1977) edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Score Artist(s) Act
1 369 Koffee 'n' Kreme Vocal Duo
2 363 Bryan Taylor Vocalist
3 341 Simone Vocalist
4 338 Kite Three-piece group
5= 337 Mike 'Stand' Douglas Comedian
5= 337 The Bob Clarke Ensemble Jazz trio
7 333 Peter Collins with Style Group
8 319 Mr Carline & Mr Walling Comedy duo

Series Six Final (1978) edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Score Artist(s) Act
1 565 Patti Boulaye Vocalist
2 554 Stella Starr Vocalist
3 543 Kirk St. James Vocalist
4 534 Pat O'Hare Vocalist
5 530 Civvy Street Five-piece group
6 524 Mike Johnson Jazz guitarist
7 522 Alan J. Bartley Comedian
8 509 Poacher Six-piece country group
9 498 Bazz Harris Comedian

Revived version edit

The series was revived by Central for three series between 1986 and 1988, presented by past winner, Marti Caine. Her catchphrase was bellowed at the voting studio audience: "Press your buttons... NOW!". The show also featured a panel of experts including the journalist Nina Myskow, who often made critical comments. In this incarnation, the home audience decided who won by sending in postcards (phone voting was soon introduced by BBC rival Bob Says Opportunity Knocks), though, the audience did vote for its favourite act using a gigantic lightboard known as Spaghetti Junction lighting up to a varying degree as they pushed their buttons.

1986 final edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Finished Artist(s) Act
1 1st overall in panellists' vote Duggie Small Comedian
2 7 points Walker & Cadman Comedians
3 5 points Billy Pearce Comedian
4 0 points Wayne Denton Club singer
5 22 points Julie A. Scott Soprano
6 56 points (public phone-in winner) Gary Lovini 17-year-old violinist
7 43 points James Stone Soul singer
8 Pauline Hannah Impressionist
9 Freddy Philips Singer/comedian
10 Scott Randele
11 Maggie Dee
12 High Jinks

Note: The James Stone who appeared in this final is the same one who appeared in the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals of 2008.

1987 final edit

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Order Finished Artist(s) Act(s)
1 94 points Jimmy Tamley Ventriloquist
2 92 points Joe Pasquale Comedian
3 70 points Brothers Demented
4 32 points Mike Sterling Musical theatre-style singer
5 26 points Richard Courtice Tenor vocalist
6 10 points Billy Jones Rock 'n' roll singer/guitarist
7 Lea Cassell Impressionist
8 Derek Barron Pianist/organist
9 Paul Duffy Saxophonist
10 Denny Waters Comedian
11 Barbara Allan Vocalist
12 Stiles and Drewe Singing duo

1988 final edit


The 1988 final took place at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday 3 December 1988 and was hosted by the 1975 winner Marti Caine.

Key   Winner   Runner-up   Third place
Performance Order Finished Artist(s) Act(s)
12 118 points Stephen Lee Garden Musical theatre-style singer
11 102 points Steve Womack Comedian
9 80 points Donimo Comedy Mime
2 54 points Stevie Riks Impressionist
4 6 points Tim Murray Vocalist
1 Max Bacon Vocalist
3 The Mad Hatters Comedy Group
5 Steve Tandy Comedian
6 Janice Watson Soprano Vocalist
7 The Brothers Condo Comedy Group
8 T.J. King Vocalist
10 Louisa Shaw Vocalist

Note: Vocalist Tim Murray is the son of 1950s singer Ruby Murray.[10]

Famous winners and contestants edit

Other winners and contestants edit

  • Penny Black – Extremely popular female fronted five piece band from Walsall. Appeared 4 December 1976 opening the show performing Kiki Dee's "I Got the Music in Me". Penny Black's TV lineup included Tiki Jones (vocals), Barry Underhill (Bass guitar & vocals), Rob Wood (Lead guitar & vocals), Roger Hayward (Hammond organ & vocals), and John Perkins (Drums). An EP was recorded to coincide with the New Faces TV appearance however it was never released. Penny Black performed with various personnel changes with Underhill an ever present from 1974 until 1989 when they changed their name to PARIS and introduced a revamped modern 'romantics' image initiated by their latest female vocalist, Paula Tuckley. Penny Black/PARIS performed around the UK heavily throughout the 70's & 80's establishing a strong fan base. They recorded 'Inside These 4 Walls' written by Underhill/Wood in 1981, with 'Teenager in Love' on the B-side, before disbanding in late 1991, however, Underhill & Wood continued as a duo until 1999. PARIS reformed in July 2012 with the original band members to perform a 'One Night Only' Charity gig in November that year, however the gig was so successful they decided to carry on performing, until Underhill left the band in early 2014 and PARIS finally disbanded shortly afterwards.
  • The comedy character John Shuttleworth is managed by "Ken Worthington", a fictional Clarinet player and fictional New Faces runner-up. Worthington's voice is provided by actor Graham Fellows.

Transmissions edit

ATV edit

Series Start date Final date Episodes
Pilots 31 May 1973 7 July 1973 2
1 29 September 1973 29 December 1973 14
2 6 April 1974 6 July 1974 13
3 21 September 1974 27 July 1975 44
4 20 December 1975 31 July 1976 33
5 11 September 1976 2 April 1977 30
6 10 September 1977 2 April 1978 30

Series 3 was not fully broadcast on Scottish Television, with episodes not being broadcast during the weekends, which resulted in their votes not being counted. Episodes were instead broadcast on a Thursday evening between December 1974 and July 1975.

Central edit

Series Start date Final date Episodes
1 19 September 1986 13 December 1986 13
2 4 September 1987 28 November 1987 13
3 10 September 1988 3 December 1988 13

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bentley, David (21 June 2013). "TV programmes made in Birmingham: New Faces". Birmingham Live. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Midlands TV Listings". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. 31 May 1973. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. ^ Terry, Metcalf (1 June 1973). "Arts Review - Television". Birmingham Daily Post. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  4. ^ "The precarious path of talent show fame". BBC. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  5. ^ Master copy held in the BFI National Archive
  6. ^ "You're a Star, Superstar!: Series One Grand Final". Original TV Broadcast. ATV. 29 December 1973. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  7. ^ "You're a Star, Superstar!: Series One Grand Final". Original TV Broadcast. ATV. 6 July 1974. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  8. ^ "You're a Star, Superstar!: Series Three Grand Final". Original TV Broadcast. ATV. 27 July 1975. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  9. ^ The Stage - Thursday 8 December 1988
  10. ^ Liverpool Echo - Monday 3 October 1988
  11. ^ "Our Century 1950–1975".
  12. ^ Hogan, Michael (11 December 2011). "Wonderland special: New Faces – I once had the X Factor". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 January 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 412. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. ^ "You're a Star, Superstar!: Charlie James Profile". Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  15. ^ "You're a Star, Superstar!: Series One, Episode 9". Retrieved 4 August 2019.

External links edit