Yesterday I was happy to play… a board game about this show…
Sunday 02 January 1983
Why on earth did I bother with that trip to Northwich yesterday? What a waste of a good Ford Transit van. For once, Bob Murphy and Co., you have spoiled my Christmas a little. Not a single goal. Nil nil, and 60 miles for nothing. Oh well, we live to fight another day at Seel Park tomorrow. South Liverpool this time, an economical version of the Manchester United v. Liverpool derby fixtures.
Oh, and after Monday, school looms.
Mr. South would have given his trip to Witton Albion a zero for Star Quality but 10 for Presentation. Perhaps he may have been more generous than Tony Hatch and Co. Who knows? Speaking of Tony Hatch…
Before computer games became the norm, the only way to reenact your favourite telly programmes was on plastic and cardboard. In front of the family instead of against the computer or a remote opponent. ATV’s New Faces was no exception. With the programme getting 15 million viewers on Saturday nights, Palitoy saw its potential for a board game.
For our younger readers, acts were judged on Presentation, Star Quality, and Content. A panel of four judges awarded each act a maximum of ten points. The most each act could get was 120, achieved only once by Patti Boulaye in 1978. There was also an audience panel verdict. Its winning performers would go on to bigger and better things. For example, presenting quiz shows and having a show on BBC One (Les Dennis); also, create their own comedy classics (Victoria Wood with Dinnerladies and Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV).
Now for the board game itself. The first stage of the board game is getting an audition on New Faces. There are three circuits, cards, and an Audience Reaction spinner. Each player has a counter and a small amount of money. If you land on a square, you pick up a card that corresponds with each square. For example, the Showbiz card. On some squares you could swop cards or land on a black ‘disaster square’. If you landed on one of these, you could miss a turn or lose money.
To reach the heady heights of stardom, you need to have completed all three circuits of the board and have 20 grand of green Monopoly style money in your pocket. But, the road to lasting success is punctuated by the odd setback. Fellow players could heckle your act and not give you the full ten points for Presentation, Star Quality or Content.
It is also worth noting that New Faces’ natural successor Britain’s Got Talent also has a board game. This was released in 2008 and, unlike its cardboard and plastic grandfather, it is electronic. From four to ten players can play the BGT game, and the participatory element is similar. It also comes with a set of kazoos.
S.V., 09 December 2017.