29 March 1975 – Series Three (28)

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Harmony trio The Ivor Rolle Sound. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

On the judges panel for the 28th show of series three were George Elrick, Arthur Askey, Jack Parnell and Mickie Most.  They gave their collective views on these seven new acts all battling for a place in the All Winners Final;

  • Superbad (seven-piece soul group)
  • Bobby Kaye (comedian)
  • Jim Kelly (vocalist)
  • Ivor Rolle Sound (vocal / instrumental trio)
  • Wayne Pritchett (comic mime)
  • Josie Grant (vocalist)
  • Scarlet Jade (five-piece group)
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Joint winner Wayne Pritchett. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The judges could not separate the top two performances with comedy mime artist Wayne Pritchett and Rugby based vocal harmony group Scarlet Jade being declared joint winners with both acts scoring an impressive 105 points.

Former teacher and Army Major Wayne Pritchett decided to try his luck in show business a good dozen years before he appeared on New Faces, performing his unique mime act for a fifteen week summer season residency at The Pier, New Brighton way back in 1963.

Following his success Wayne enjoyed many years of performing his old art and later an updated version of it, in cabaret. His interest in mime, which he studied at length led him to direct the Canadian Mime Theatre at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, for three years.  He had considerable success in performing mime at conferences, trade shows and for training videos for many corporate clients, for his own company Mimescope.

Rugby based group Scarlet Jade formed at the start of the 1970s and had already celebrated national success with their songwriting talent by the time they appeared on New Faces, winning £200 of musical instruments in a contest organised by EMI Records back in 1973.

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Joint winner, Rugby based harmony group Scarlet Jade. Image: Coventry Evening Telegraph (Trinity Mirror). Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved.

In May 1974 the group appeared in The Harry Secombe Show at the Victoria Palace theatre in London’s West End.  By the time of their appearance in this heat Scarlet Jade were Rudi (Rudolfo) & Jan (Janusz) Prymaka, Johnny Walker, Susan James and Lesley Allen, who had replaced previous member Mary Knotton from an earlier line-up.

Following their success on the show Scarlet Jade released several singles and were added to the New Faces show at the Winter gardens in Morecambe and were one of a number of former TV show contestants in the line-up presented by Robert Luff. Joining them in the show were comedian Johnny Stafford, impressionist Tony Maiden, vocal duo Lee and Marie Grant and vocalist Geoff Taylor in a show hosted by Norman Vaughan.

Members Rudi and Susan married in 1977, however it was a relatively short relationship with Rudi remarrying in 1984.  Since 2001 Jan has swapped vocals for vultures and other birds of prey as he is now the owner of JRCS Falconry in Rugby, Warwickshire which he runs with his wife Abi. Scarlet Jade do however live on at the Scarlet Jade Group website, which reveals the origin of the groups name.

Liverpool comedian Bobby Kaye used to sing in a skiffle group and sell beer for a brewery before winning a talent contest at Butlin’s which led to a comedy career and an appearance on Opportunity Knocks in 1972.  His clean comedy and sharp wit earned him many years of success after his New Faces appearance including a summer season at Pontin’s, TV appearances, further talent show success and a pantomime appearance with boxer John Conteh.   Bobby died in hospital, at the age of 83, in April 2019 after a period of ill health.

The Ivor Rolle Sound were still performing at least five years later. Their mix of Glenn Miller tunes and contemporary tracks, including Micheal Jackson’s She’s Out of My Life ensured they were well received by audiences.

Soul group Superbad split before the year was out but all but one of the line-up formed another group J.A.L.N. Band who quickly earned themselves a reputation as one of the most exciting soul groups of 1976. It was that very reputation which earned them a spot supporting Kool and the Gang in September 1976.

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