Norman Phillips was the nephew of talent agent Lenny Phillips. From 1963 to 1964, Norman worked at Lenny's Manchester office, with a responsibility for finding acts and assisting Lenny's business partner Laurie Frazer at the Viaduct Sporting Club.
Norman was given the position of talent scout at the Manchester Office when his predecessor Dennis Tanner lost the agency eleven bookings by closing the office over Christmas. A short, scruffy-haired man, Norman was unsentimental in his handling of the club, being willing to sack comic Charlie Moffitt if business didn't pick up in 1964. He and Charlie organised a talent contest which successfully drummed up business and brought to Norman's attention young Lucille Hewitt's talents as a singer. He offered her a contract with the club but she turned it down.
In October of that year, Norman kept a close eye on the arrangements for a wrestling match between Stan Ogden and Ian Campbell that was to take place in the club, and again warned Charlie that the takings from the event would determine the future of his job.