New Faces

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New Faces
Also known as New Faces of... (1986–8)
Genre Talent show
Presented by Derek Hobson (ATV)
Marti Caine (Central)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6 (ATV)
3 (Central)
No. of episodes 167 (ATV)
39 (Central)
Location(s) Birmingham Hippodrome (Central)
Running time 60 minutes (Central)
Production company(s) ATV (1973–8)
Central (1986–8)
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
First shown in 7 July 1973 (1973-07-07)
Original release 29 September 1973 (1973-09-29) – 3 December 1988 (1988-12-03)
Related shows Opportunity Knocks

New Faces was a British television talent show that aired in the 1970s and 1980s. It was presented originally by Derek Hobson. It was produced by ATV for the ITV network.

Original series 1973-1978[edit]

The show first aired as a pilot on 7 July 1973 and then as a full series from 29 September 1973 to 2 April 1978, it was recorded at the ATV Centre in Birmingham. The show was noted for its theme tune, "You're a Star!", performed by singer Carl Wayne, formerly of The Move, and it was eventually released, becoming a minor hit.[1]

Winners occasionally went on to greater success in television entertainment. 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 three perfect '10's'. Arthur Askey was on the same panel and started singing "Tony is a spoilsport" when Hatch awarded Dennis 9 as his final score.

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
12 Stiles and Drewe Singing duo

Famous winners and contestants[edit]

Other winners and contestants[edit]

  • PENNY BLACK popular female fronted 5 piece band from Walsall appeared December 4, 1976 opening the show performing Kiki Dee's "I got the music in me".

Lineup: Tiki Jones (vocals), Barry Underhill (Bass guitar & vocals), Rob Wood (Lead guitar & vocals), Roger Hayward (Hammond organ), John Perkins (Drums)

PENNY BLACK stayed together in various lineups from 1973 until 1989 when they changed their name to PARIS with a new lineup and a revamped modern 'romantics' image. Led by Barry Underhill, PENNY BLACK/PARIS performed around the UK heavily throughout the 70's & 80's establishing a strong following, recording 'Inside These 4 Walls' written by Underhill/Wood in 1981, with 'Teenager in Love' on the B-side. PARIS reformed in 2012 for a charity gig & performed a few more gigs before disbanding in 2014.

  • The Glentones - 20 piece high school big band playing music from the Glenn Miller era.
  • Charlie James - Female singer - Winner, December 1973.
  • Mike McCabe - Comedian.
  • Martin Berger
  • Al Brown - Comedian and father of television personality Claire Sweeney.
  • Pete Hartley - Won audience vote in 1987.
  • Pete Price
  • Dave Curtis - Vocalist.
  • Son of a Gun - Won in 1975 with 111 points beating Paul Shane. They did a number of TV shows and were signed to RCA. They lost to Lenny Henry in the final.
  • Sparrow
  • M3 - 3 sisters, Maureen Stevens, Mary Stevens, Marilyn Stevens.
  • Walker and Cadman
  • Professor Steve Green - Pianist and doctor.[4]
  • Dragon's Playground - Band.
  • David Gold - Vocalist.

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  • Jimmy Tamley - Beat Joe Pasquale.
  • Crick's Canine Wonders
  • Darren Stuart
  • Frank Leyton
  • Frank Yonco and Kit Connor
  • The Mad Hatters
  • Rabbit - Cabaret Band.
  • Sandra Christie - Voice of Edith Piaf.
  • The Libra Brothers. Three-piece band from Barnsley - members were Frank Cawthrow, Charlie Foster and Gordon Scholey.
  • Rod and Mark Lyons - Father and son ventriloquist duo who had a minor hit single in Germany with the Neil Sedaka song "Oh, Carol!".
  • Ground Pepper - Band. Song - Draculamania Feb 1975
  • Pyramid-comedy showgroup from Gateshead - Steve Laidlaw, Allen Meche and Brian Pick.
  • Colin "fingers" Henry
  • Inter-City Union 6 piece Soul/Funk group from London
  • Roy 'Chubby' Brown - December 1977




Series Start date Final date Episodes
Pilot 7 July 1973 1
1 29 September 1973 29 December 1973 14
2 6 April 1974 6 July 1974 14
3 21 September 1974 27 July 1975 45
4 20 December 1975 31 July 1976 33
5 11 September 1976 2 April 1977 30
6 10 September 1977 2 April 1978 30

Many of the episodes from the ATV era of New Faces were wiped from the archives with 38 surviving, including episode 14 of series 1, episodes 1, 11 & 14 of series 2, episodes 1, 36, 40 & 45 of series 3, episodes 7, 11, 15, 19, 22-24 & 28-29 of series 4, episodes 1, 5, 8, 11, 14-16, 21, 24 & 30 of series 5 and episodes 20-30 of series 6.[5]

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.


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


  1. ^ "The precarious path of talent show fame". BBC. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  2. ^ "Our Century 1950-1975". 
  3. ^ Hogan, Michael (11 December 2011). "Wonderland special: New Faces - I once had the X Factor". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  4. ^ "News". 
  5. ^ Simon Coward, Invisible Technology Ltd. "Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine". 

External links[edit]