Before There Was Britain’s Got Talent There were…….New Faces, 1973

New Faces was the popular talent show that originally ran in the 1970’s on a Saturday night for six series.  Screened on ITV the show is probably best remembered for discovering Jim Davidson and Marti Caine who returned to front a revived version of the show in 1986.

Where as Opportunity Knocks relied on public votes, New Faces acts were judged solely by a panel of judges. Over it’s run these included:

Clifford Davis, Ingrid Platt, Mickie Most, Alan A. Freeman, Clive James, Muriel Young, Ted Ray, Ed Stewart, Jack Parnell,Arthur Askey, Noel Edmunds and Tony Hatch.  Davis, Most and Hatch were especially notorious for being “hard” on contestants.

The first run of the show was presented by Derek Hobson, it was produced for ITV by ATV Network Ltd. It ran from 1973 until 1978.  The revived version ran from 1986 for three series until 1988, presenting duties this time fell to Marti Caine.


The format was that of a talent show.

Contestants appeared before a panel of four judges to perform their act.  Judges would mark acts out of ten in three categories: “presentation”, “content” and “star quality,”  The “star quality” category was later replaced by “entertainment value”.

During the show’s run only one act ever received the maximum mark and that was singer – Patti Boulaye in the show’s final series.

When Marti Caine presented a revived version of the show in 1986, the format remained similar, with a new panel of judges.  The audience got to vote for their favourite and public voting was counted by asking viewers to vote for their favourite act and send it in on a postcard.






Hosted By:
Derek Hobson – 1973 – 1978
Marti Caine – 1986 – 1988


Channel: ITV
Produced By:
ATV – 1973 – 1978
Central – 1986 – 1988
Original Transmission Dates:
29th September 1973 – 2nd April 1978 (original)
19th September 1986 – 3rd December 1988 (revived)



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2 Responses

  1. lyn

    please can you confirm with me whether my father appeared as a judge in the earlier, Derek Hobson series of, New Faces. His name was Michael Guthrie, of Mecca Leisure entertainment. I have a memory of this happening and would dearly love to know. It would have been sometime between 1976 and 78.

    • admin

      New faces was produced by ATV who are now long gone. Therefore getting an answer may prove difficult try addressing your querie to ITV direct via email to see if they can put you in touch with the right people. Sorry we can’t be more help, but good luck and o let us know how you get on.


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