New Faces

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

New Faces
Also known asNew Faces of... (1986–88)
GenreTalent show
Presented byLeslie Crowther (ATV)
Derek Hobson (ATV)
Marti Caine (Central)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series6 (ATV)
3 (Central)
No. of episodes167 (ATV)
39 (Central)
Production location(s)Birmingham Hippodrome (Central)
Running time60 minutes (Central)
Production company(s)ATV (1973–78)
Central (1986–88)
DistributorITV Studios
Original networkITV
Picture format4:3
First shown in31 May 1973 (1973-05-31)
Original release29 September 1973 (1973-09-29) 
3 December 1988 (1988-12-03)
Related showsOpportunity Knocks

Original series: 1973–1978

The show first aired as a pilot on the ATV network on 31 May 1973[1] 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]

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 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.[3]

Winners occasionally went on to greater success in television entertainment, like Lenny Henry the 1975 competition winner. 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.

Series 1-6 Winners

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

Series One Final (1973)[4]

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

Revived version

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

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

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

1988 final


The 1988 final took place at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday 3rd 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 Winner Stephen Lee Garden Musical theatre-style singer
11 Runner Up Steve Womack Comedian
9 Third Donimo Comedy Mime
2 Fourth Stevie Riks Impressionist
1 Max Bacon Vocalist
3 The Mad Hatters Comedy Group
4 Tim Murray Vocalist
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[6] is the son of 1950s singer Ruby Murray

Famous winners and contestants

Other winners and contestants

  • Penny Black – Extremely popular female fronted five piece band from Walsall. Appeared December 4th 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.



SeriesStart dateFinal dateEpisodes
Pilot7 July 19731
129 September 197329 December 197314
26 April 19746 July 197414
321 September 197427 July 197545
420 December 197531 July 197633
511 September 19762 April 197730
610 September 19772 April 197830

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.[12]

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.


SeriesStart dateFinal dateEpisodes
119 September 198613 December 198613
24 September 198728 November 198713
310 September 19883 December 198813


  1. "Midlands TV Listings". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. 31 May 1973. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. Terry, Metcalf (1 June 1973). "Arts Review - Television". Birmingham Daily Post. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. "The precarious path of talent show fame". BBC. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  4. "You're A Star, Superstar: Series One Grand Final". Original TV Broadcast. ATV. 29 December 1973. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  5. The Stage - Thursday 8th December 1988
  6. Liverpool Echo - Monday 3rd October 1988
  7. "Our Century 1950–1975".
  8. Hogan, Michael (11 December 2011). "Wonderland special: New Faces – I once had the X Factor". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  9. "You're A Star, Superstar: Charlie James Profile". Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  10. "You're A Star, Superstar: Series One, Episode 9". Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  11. "News".
  12. Simon Coward, Invisible Technology Ltd. "Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine".

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