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New Faces

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New Faces

New Faces
Also known as New Faces of... (1986-8)
Genre Talent show
Presented by Derek Hobson (ATV era)
Marti Caine (Central era)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6 (ATV era)
3 (Central era)
No. of episodes 167 (ATV era)
39 (Central era)
Location(s) Birmingham Hippodrome (Central era)
Running time 60 minutes (Central era)
Production company(s) ATV (7 July 1973 - 2 April 1978)
Central (19 September 1986 - 3 December 1988)
Distributor ITV Studios
Original channel 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 is 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 1
  • Revived version 2
    • 1986 final 2.1
    • 1987 final 2.2
  • Famous winners and contestants 3
  • Other winners and contestants 4
  • Transmissions 5
    • ATV era 5.1
    • Central era 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Original series 1973-1978

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 Clifford Davis, Ingrid Pitt, Mickie Most, Alan A. Freeman, Clive James, Muriel Young, Ted Ray, Ed Stewart, Jack Parnell, Arthur Askey, Noel Edmonds and Tony Hatch. Davis, Most and Hatch were especially notorious for marking contestants harshly. Four judges would make up the panel each week. Tony Hatch made the headlines after one edition for giving a contestant whose act solely consisted of a repetitive and elementary 12 bar blues riff a score of zero. Hatch was deemed unduly severe for this.

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. It was seen as a tougher version of the long-running talent show Opportunity Knocks, also shown on ITV.

Whereas Opportunity Knocks relied on public votes, New Faces had a panel that judged the acts - the act who had the highest total went through to the next round.

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 (s)
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 Public phone-in winner/56 points 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
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

Other winners and contestants


ATV era

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 - July 1975.

Central era

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".  
  2. ^ Our Century 1950-1975
  3. ^ Hogan, Michael (11 December 2011). "Wonderland special: New Faces - I once had the X Factor.".  
  4. ^ Liverpool Echo: Latest Liverpool and Merseyside news, sports and what's on
  5. ^ Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine

External links

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