New Faces

It is 37 years since I won New Faces.It was the first time anyone had seen me on TV unless you count the Billy Cotton Band Show when I was 12 and in the Gang Show! New Faces was my big break.I knew I’d do well.The problem was getting passed the audition.I was living in Millwall -land. East St off the Old Kent Rd. My dancer girlfriend Val had gone nuts the night before and during a row had ripped up my suit trousers. In a panic I wore the suit top and a pair of white jeans.As I stood in the wings of the Victoria Palace theatre waiting my turn I could hear my heart beating. A man shouted “Next” and I was ushered on by a stage manager. The theatre was empty apart from 4 people sitting halfway back in the stalls. I told the first gag and heard them laugh.I relaxed and let em have it. When I finished I wobbled back to the wings shaking.The stage manager told me  they wanted to see me. My top lip stuck to my teeth and my throat went dry.Was this my moment? I was shown to the stage steps and walked up the isle to meet Les Cocks the producer. He shook my hand and said “I like your act” he then added, “Do you always wear that outfit?” shit I thought,  Val has buggered up my big chance. “No “,I splutterd.”I’ve got lots of stuff” he then said something that changed me and my families’ life. “CAN YOU DO MARCH THE NINTH?”  I did, and won. The show was shown on the 13th.The rest is history.

A while ago I went to see Les. he was having a party in Langhans. He wanted to say goodbye as he had dementia and would not know any of us in the months to come. What a thing to do.I thanked him for allowing my Mum never to have to work again and said goodbye. When he died I sat in the chapel and thought of that handshake. Les Cocks….Thanks mate

7 Comments

  1. Gary Stevens

    Jim

    Great show in Dunstable last night. John Maloney is a very funny man. Congratulations on 37 years, I look forward to the next 37! (or at least 10+).

    Don’t give up on the School teacher joke, I thought it was funny even if 99.9% of the people there didn’t get it straight away!!

    Good luck (although you don’t need it) for 20th March, I look forward to hearing your thoughts after that day.

    When all this rubbish is over make sure you get as much compensation from the B*****ds who stirred it all up!

    You’ve got my support 100% and cant wait to see you again soon.

    All the best and I hope you and Jethro raise loads of cash!!

    Your a credit to the profession!

    Kind Regards
    Gary Stevens

  2. Gail

    See Jim, women have come into your life for all different reasons.

    I know you can’t talk of what is going on or has gone on, I just wish you and Michelle strength while going through this terrible and tough time.

    Anyone that knows you and who matter to you Jim – they know the real you and in all reality, this is all that matters. You’re a good man Jim – Keep Strong.

    Talking of strong, what a man the late Mr. Les Cocks must of been, to face up to such a cruel illness as dementia in such a way as having a party, brilliant. We too should be thankful to Mr. Les Cocks for recognising talent when he watched and picked you out all those years back :)

    Thank You for making us laugh so much over the last 37 years Jim, through good times and bad times, you never fail to bring a smile to our faces and I for one ‘Thank You’ for this.

    Love, Gail xxx

    Ps. Thank You for re-opening the comments section

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing those memories and tribute, and mum never having to work again, bless.

    I remember the old shows, and don’t care how ‘incorrect’ the material was, to me a ‘jokes a joke’…not all that much to laugh about on TV these days (apart from old sit-coms).

    I’ve been up half the night working on a college assignment…a mature student with dyscalculia drafting floor plans and creating excel number charts… now have a laugh on me (shameful blog url posted)!

    You’re a real original, and a great entertainer,
    All the best,
    Sandra

  4. hi jim well done on winning new faces,that’s along time ago 37 years.that’s terrible that val ripped up your trousers.that’s brilliant that les cocks liked your act..that’s awful that les ended up with dementia but nice that he wanted to have a party to say goodbye as he would’nt know anyone in months to come.that was nice that you thanked les for allowing your mum never having to work again.that’s nice that you sat in the chapel when he died and thought of the handshake with les.i never saw you on new faces years ago.i saw a few clips of you on new faces a while ago.the first time i came to see you was 33 years ago.you were at the double diamond in caerphilly.you had the band with you.you were telling jokes and singing and i thought what a brilliant show.you were brilliant telling jokes and singing.i have been to see you 327 times in 33years.you are the best all round entertainer in the world.you are also the most loving and caring man i have ever met,i have met you alot.i love you to bits.i have been through alot over the years with alot of major operations.you are my rock you keep me going.you are so funny.you cheer me up no end.i have got to have a lump cut out of my tummy soon.thanks for being there for me jim.keep up the good work.see you in a couple of weeks.i love you take care lots of love teresa xxx

  5. Lorna Byrne

    Hi Jim,

    Just want to say that yet again you have been “lumped in” with Yewtree and yet again it’s very wrong. At the very least it should be a separate investigation. Would also like to let you know that someone you once knew quite well is saying the same thing on her personal FB page, and showing you support. If you want to know who it is ask me by e-mail, I didn’t feel it fair to mention her name here. But the point is you do have support, and from people who have actually spent time with you. I wish you the best.

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