26 April 1975 – Series Three (32)

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The mystery of Viewers Winner Adrian Sinclaire. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Heat 32 of series three of New Faces was once again hosted by Derek Hobson and featured a judging panel comprised the four ‘old’ faces and show regulars, who were Arthur Askey, Jack Parnell, Alan A. Freeman and John Smith.

The seven acts looking to impress and top the scoreboard were;

  • Spencer K. Gibbins (comedian / impressionist)
  • Speermint (five-piece group)
  • Bits ‘N’ Pieces (vocal / instrumental duo)
  • Sue Ambler (vocal / guitar)
  • David Konyot (comedy / impressionist)
  • Adrian Sinclaire (vocalist)
  • New Pickwick Sound (six-piece group)

The judges scores decided that the winner of the heat was comedy impressionist Spencer K. Gibbins. Southerner Spencer relocated his base to Bradford and had spent the previous two years, in his words, ‘trying to trim off the rough edges’ to improve his act.

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The winner of this heat was Spencer K Gibbins. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Spencer certainly impressed the judges and whipped up a fantastic score on the show, but that should have been no surprise as his manager, Johnnie Peller, sure knew how to pick New Faces as he also managed Marti Caine, winner of the second All Winners Show in January 1975.

Spencer had previously been the guitarist in the group Me and Them who had a number two US hit in 1964 with a cover of The Beatles’ Tell Me Why. The following year, now as the Chris Andrews Band, they had a number two hit with Yesterday Man which was only kept off the UK number one spot by Ken Dodd’s Tears.

In December 1977 Spencer was in rehearsals for Jack and the Beanstalk at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln, where he was due to play the part of Idle Jack. He was hoping that the show would end his spell of bad luck that included his wife falling ill which lead to him cancelling a world cruise, a producer’ of a one night tour disappearing with all the advance publicity money and his PA equipment being stolen from the boot of his car along with his props, business diary and music.

Post New Faces Spencer went on to present The Sooty Show for several years and became a cruise director and has appeared in theatre and pantomime as well as many television and movie roles. Spencer is back in pantomime from December 2019 when he plays King Crumble in Jack and the Beanstalk at Oakengates Theatre, Telford.

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Bits ‘N’ Pieces, Peter and Jean, were awarded over one hundred points by the judges. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Also scoring well were the vocal / instrumental duo Bits ‘N’ Pieces, who despite being awarded over one hundred points, could not beat the comedy impressions of the heat winner.

Peter Banyard and Jean Worthy first met when he took the photographs at her wedding. They formed Bits ‘N’ Pieces in 1968 and were primarily a singing duo but had worked up an impression act which presented seven voices in three minutes. This was the act they performed on New Faces.

Merseyside group New Pickwick Sound performed their version of  Star of the TV Show which they were hoping would be a prophetic choice, but unfortunately it wasn’t on this occasion.  The members of the six-piece group were Jim McCarvel, Lynne Styles, Bobby Tudor, Bill Brydon, Val Brydon and Mil Wookey.  In March 1976, with a week left before the votes closed, New Pickwick Sound were in the final running to win the coveted North West show Business title of Echo Ace of Clubs which recognised Merseyside’s top club entertainers.  When the final votes were counted they were well beaten by comedian Tom O’Connor, who scooped the award for the second year running.

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Former Hungarian Circus act David Konyot. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

David Konyot came to the UK as a small child and was born into the seventeenth generation of the Konyot family, an internationally famous Hungarian circus family. After starting out as a juggler and acrobat he left the circus when he was just sixteen. His singing and dancing act with interjections of impressions and a multi-instrumental performance made him a unique young man with a showstopping act. David returned to the circus in the mid-1970s, to become one of the countries leading ringmasters. Between 1976 and 1981 David was chosen as assistant ringmaster at London’s annual Circus World Championships.  David’s full career history can be discovered on the About David Konyot page.

An advert in 22 May 1975 edition of The Stage announced that vocalist Adrian Sinclaire had been voted the viewer’s winner and that he was looking forward to appearing on a future All Winners Show. The mystery is that there is no documented record of his appearance on a future show.  The most likely show he would have appeared on would be heat 37 on 7 June 1975 as only seven acts are documented as performing and all other ‘winners’ shows featured eight acts.  Adrian’s place in that All Winners Show makes perfect sense when the qualifying heats of the other acts in that show are taken into account, therefore the assumption is that he performed again in heat 37.

 

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