New Faces (1973– )
Red Faces!
19 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Famous for launching the careers of Jim Davidson ( ouch! ), Lenny Henry, Marti Caine, Gary Wilmot, Sweet Sensation, Showaddywaddy and Victoria Wood, as well as ending a great many others ( anyone out there recall comedian Larry Larkin? ), 'New Faces' was the 'X Factor' of its day. Along with 'Crossroads' and 'Churchill's People', it was easily the worst programme of the '70's.

Each edition opened with pseudo-Python animation in which a sad-looking busker is pulled off the street by a giant disembodied hand, given a new image and turned into a mega-star. All to the accompaniment of a catchy tune called 'You're A Star', sung by the late Carl Wayne ( a former member of the '60's group 'The Move' ).

Hosted by Derek Hobson, who should have been selling washing machines for a living, it featured as judges the likes of Ted Ray, Arthur Askey, Mickie Most, Clifford Davis and, of course, the immortal Tony Hatch, the composer who gave the world the theme from 'Emmerdale' and ( much later ) 'Neighbours'.

Each week, millions tuned in to see the handsome and smartly-attired Tony cut contestants down to size with a flick of his tongue. On one occasion, he awarded someone 'zero points' for Star Quality. Coming from him that was a generous mark indeed.

A scandal erupted when it transpired that a winning contestant had broached rules by previously appearing on 'Opportunity Knocks!'. He was later disqualified. Personally I would have given him a medal for being brave enough to go within one hundred feet of first Hughie Green and then Hatch.

'New Faces' was revived a decade later, with Marti Caine as host, and waspish Nina Myskow looking more than comfortable in Tony Hatch's chair.

Parodied by 'The Goodies' in 1976 as 'New Faeces'!
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