Edmonds in 2006
Noel Ernest Edmonds|
22 December 1948
Ilford, Essex, England
(m. 1971; div. 1982)
(m. 1986; div. 2004)
Liz Davies (m. 2009)
Noel Ernest Edmonds (born 22 December 1948) is an English television presenter and executive. Edmonds first became known as a disc jockey on BBC Radio 1 in the UK, and has presented light entertainment television programmes for more than forty years. Originally working for the BBC, these have included Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Top of the Pops, The Late, Late Breakfast Show and Telly Addicts. From 2005 to 2016, he presented the Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal.
Early life and radio career
The son of a headmaster who worked in Hainault, London, Edmonds attended Glade Primary School in Clayhall and Brentwood School in Brentwood. He was offered a place at the University of Surrey but turned it down in favour of a job as a newsreader on Radio Luxembourg, which was offered to him in 1968 after he sent tapes to offshore radio stations. In 1969, he moved to BBC Radio 1 where he began by recording trailers for broadcasts and filling in for absent DJs, such as Kenny Everett. In April 1970, Edmonds began his own two-hour Saturday afternoon programme, broadcasting from 1 pm–3 pm, before replacing Kenny Everett on Saturday mornings from 10 am–12 noon in July of that year. In October 1971, he was moved to a Sunday morning slot from 10 am–12 noon before being promoted to host The Radio 1 Breakfast Show from June 1973 to April 1978, taking over from Tony Blackburn. Edmonds moved back to Sunday mornings from 10 am–1 pm in 1978 and also presented Talkabout, an hour-long talk show broadcast on Thursday evenings.
Edmonds left Radio 1 in March 1983, although he briefly returned in 1985, sitting in for Mike Read for two weeks on the breakfast show, and again in 1992, where he presented a special edition celebrating Radio 1's 25th birthday.
In 2003, Edmonds made a brief radio comeback, taking over the 'drivetime' broadcast on BBC Radio 2 for eight weeks while Johnnie Walker was undergoing treatment for cancer. His stint on Radio 2 lasted from 4 August until 3 October. In December 2004, Edmonds played a detective on a radio murder mystery play on local station BBC Radio Devon.
Edmonds hosted Top of the Pops at various points between 1970 and 1978, during which time he also presented a phone-in programme for teenagers called Z Shed on BBC1 as well as a programme called Hobby Horse. He hosted the children's Saturday morning programme, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, which ran from 1976 until 1982. With the Swap Shop regulars, Maggie Philbin and Keith Chegwin, Edmonds was a member of the trio Brown Sauce, which recorded the single "I Wanna Be a Winner" in 1981. It reached number 15 in the UK singles chart. In 1980, Edmonds took part in the Eurovision Song Contest, introducing the UK entry live on stage at the final in the Hague. During Swap Shop's run, Edmonds hosted Lucky Numbers, an evening phone-in quiz programme which required viewers to call in and answer questions based on clips of films shown – and a revival of the 1960s pop music series Juke Box Jury.
Edmonds was one of the original presenters of the BBC's motoring series Top Gear during the late 1970s. During his time on the programme, he rubbished the Fiat Strada, saying it "wasn't very good", which caused Fiat to threaten to sue the BBC unless he apologised for the comments. Edmonds reappeared in one episode of Top Gear in the 1990s, to road test the classic 1960s Ford GT40 supercar, because former host Jeremy Clarkson - at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall - was unable to fit into the cockpit. In the 1980s, Edmonds hosted a series on BBC1 called The Time of Your Life, where celebrities recalled the time they were at their happiest professionally. It ran for three series from 1983.
The Late, Late Breakfast Show
The Late, Late Breakfast Show was Edmonds' first Saturday evening light entertainment show on the BBC. Broadcast live on Saturday evenings from 4 September 1982 to 8 November 1986. It was presented by Noel Edmonds, initially with co-host Leni Harper, and also featured Mike Smith and John Peel.
The programme is remembered for several accidents during its regular "Give it a Whirl" stunt slot; in particular the death of Michael Lush. The show was cancelled by the BBC on 15 November 1986, following the death of Lush two days earlier. While rehearsing a bungee jump to be performed live on the show, Michael Lush plunged 120 feet (37 m) to his death when his rope came loose. Noel Edmonds quit the show immediately afterwards.
Telly Addicts was a BBC1 game show hosted by Edmonds, broadcast from 3 September 1985 until 29 July 1998. Questions were based on past and present television programmes, and generally took the form of a short clip being shown followed by a series of questions either specifically about the clip or more generally about the programme from which it had been taken. Two teams sat opposite each other on sofas. In 1991, he presented a prime time series called Noel's Addicts, but this show had no similarity to the Telly Addicts format and only ran for one series.
Noel's Saturday Roadshow
Noel's Saturday Roadshow was Noel's second BBC television light entertainment show broadcast live on Saturday evenings from 3 September 1988 to 15 December 1990. It was presented by Edmonds, his first major TV project since the demise of The Late, Late Breakfast Show two years earlier. The programme contained several elements which had been found in its predecessor, such as phone-in quizzes, celebrity interviews and bands performing in the studio. The premise for the new show was that unlike The Late Late Breakfast Show, which had been broadcast from the BBC's studios each week, the Roadshow would come from a new, different and exotic location each week. These 'locations' were in fact elaborate studio sets dressed to resemble each week's location, such as the North Pole, a space station, Hollywood, Niagara Falls. The irony of this was not lost on Edmonds, whose self-deprecating presentation style frequently made light of the low budget production values.
The programme was a slow-burning success, and following the third series in 1990, Edmonds' popularity and reputation were sufficiently re-established with the public for Edmonds to pitch Noel's House Party to the BBC.
The show also introduced regular features such as the Gunge Tank, the Gotcha Oscars and Wait 'Till I Get You Home, which would all be carried across and subsequently developed in House Party. Another item was "Clown court", where a guest actor from a TV series would be on trial for all the bloopers made during the shooting of that show, for example Sylvester McCoy for the title role of Doctor Who, and Tony Robinson for his character of Baldrick in Blackadder the Third.
Noel's House Party
Edmonds returned to television with The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow in 1988, after presenting a show called Whatever Next? earlier in the same year. By 1991, the Saturday Roadshow morphed into Noel's House Party. This latter series ran for eight years from Edmonds' supposed mansion in the fictional town of Crinkley Bottom. Regular features included NTV, where cameras were secretly hidden in viewer's homes, often in VHS tape cases. There was also the "Gotchas", where celebrities were caught in elaborate and embarrassing setups.
In one infamous incident NTV's hidden cameras caught celebrity psychic Uri Geller apparently bending a spoon with his hands while demonstrating his "powers" to a member of the public. When then-Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis was "Gotcha'd", he infamously yelled: "You are a dead man!". He later participated in Noel himself being "Gotcha'd". Mr. Blobby, a yellow and pink spotted character, initially appeared in the "Gotcha" section, and became a regular feature of the programme. The character even achieved the 1993 Christmas No. 1.
Noel's House Party was a staple of BBC1's autumn and spring schedules for more than eight years. Several reformats failed to reverse its declining popularity, and in the final programme, broadcast on 20 March 1999, Edmonds appealed that viewers' memories should be kind to the programme.
Deal or No Deal
Edmonds made his television comeback, presenting the gameshow Deal or No Deal on Channel 4 (produced by Endemol), from a format that had already proved popular in numerous countries. The programme is recorded in a set of studios in Bristol converted from an old warehouse. It began UK transmission on Monday, 31 October 2005, and is broadcast on afternoons six days a week. In March 2006, Edmonds had his contract for presenting Deal or No Deal extended until Autumn 2007, for a fee rumoured at £3 million, making him one of the highest paid personalities on UK television. Edmonds was recently nominated for a BAFTA award for his work on the programme but lost out on the night to Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
On 16 March 2007, Edmonds made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch with Catherine Tate who appeared in the guise of her character Joannie "Nan" Taylor from The Catherine Tate Show. Nan appeared on a special episode of Deal or No Deal, where she ended up cheating. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day fund raising programme of 2007.
On 27 September 2015, Edmonds received an award from the Atlantic Award Group for his extensive contributions in broadcasting. This selection process was initiated by a nomination by a viewer of Deal or No Deal. Noel is the first TV personality to receive an award from the AAG. He is also the first recipient from the UK in 2015.
On 19 August 2016, Edmonds was informed by Channel 4 that they would not do another deal for the show. The studio-based version would be axed in the autumn, and further episodes will be filmed on tour around the UK at the end of 2016.
The National Lottery: Everyone's A Winner!
On 21 August 2006, it was announced that Edmonds would be returning to the BBC to host a one-off programme called Everyone's A Winner! celebrating National Lottery "good causes". The programme was broadcast on 23 September 2006.
Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?
On 24 May 2007, Sky One announced that Edmonds would host the UK version of the American hit, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, entitled Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old?. The programme debuted on Sky One on 7 October 2007, at 6.00 pm. Edmonds hosts the peaktime showing of the programme, whereas the Daily Programme is presented by Dick and Dom.
Sky1's autumn 2008 season saw Edmonds host Noel's HQ, a new live entertainment show with a philanthropic purpose, with his fees going to a charitable trust. This was later developed into a series. The show received negative reviews. Sky edited a repeat broadcast after Edmonds launched an extended verbal attack on a council press officer. In March 2009 Sky1 announced the cancellation of the show.
Other television appearances
Edmonds was involved in the historic Live Aid concerts in 1985, transporting stars to and from the Wembley concert via helicopter and appearing on stage at Wembley to introduce the set by Sting and Phil Collins. Edmonds also took Collins to Heathrow Airport, where Collins boarded Concorde to fly to America to perform at the Philadelphia concert.
Noel's Christmas Presents was an annual broadcast made on Christmas Day in which Edmonds delivered special presents to various people. Some of the gifts included arranging trips to Lapland for ill or disadvantaged children, or arranging family reunions. Noel's Christmas Presents was originally broadcast on BBC One from 1989 until 1999, before it returned to UK screens courtesy of Sky1 on 23 December 2007. Further editions were screened on 21 December 2008, 20 December 2009, 18 December 2010 and 18 December 2011.
In 1997, Edmonds was involved in an episode of the Chris Morris spoof documentary series Brass Eye, in which he unwittingly pledged his allegiance on camera to a campaign to rid the country of a new killer drug, the entirely fictitious 'cake', which apparently made 10 seconds appear as a few hours to a user.
The Curse of Noel Edmonds, a documentary tracing the rise and fall of his showbiz career, was transmitted by Five on 9 November 2004, with former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read being one of the contributors to the programme.
He was also a guest host for the fourth-series episode of The Friday Night Project, broadcast on 26 January 2007.
He was visited by Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor in 1993 in the introduction of the 30-year Doctor Who anniversary Children in Need special Dimensions in Time, during which the Doctor (correctly) mentioned that Noel would still be on television in the year 2010. In 2014, he appeared in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern as himself.
In 1985, Edmonds formed the Unique Group, which now consists of various operations. The Unique Broadcasting Company Media Group plc (UBCMG) is an independent producer of audio programming in the UK, supplying BBC and independent radio. Michael Peacock was an executive of the group between 1989 and 2005, and former Radio 1 controller Johnny Beerling joined the group following his departure from the network in 1993. It owned Classic Gold Digital before selling the stations back to GCap Media who merged them into the Gold network. Edmonds resigned as non-executive director of UBCMG in March 2006 as a direct result of the success of Deal or no Deal. Edmonds also has interests in Unique Motor Company, a producer of small off-road vehicles.
Edmonds-licensed theme park attractions based on Crinkley Bottom and Mr Blobby were set up in existing parks at Cricket St Thomas in Somerset and Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park in Lowestoft, Suffolk. A park was also built in Morecambe, Lancashire, on the site of the former Happy Mount Park. Following disappointing visitor numbers, and in the case of Morecambe, legal disputes with the local council, the deal was scrapped and the park closed. The two existing parks reverted to their previous state. Edmonds was said to be very critical of Lancaster City Council's management of the Morecambe park. A report by the District Auditor found that the council had behaved 'unlawfully' in its dealings with Edmonds, which cost £2.5m, and two former senior officers were found to have committed 'misconduct', although this was not deemed to be 'wilful'. The affair was dubbed 'Blobbygate' by the media.
Edmonds is a trustee of the Renewable Energy Foundation, (REF) an organisation which is strongly opposed to wind farms. He was said to have joined "because of the threat near his home in Devon". He has been quoted as saying that, "Politicians are promoting the wind industry as a green icon, but they are misleading the public into believing the propaganda of the wind industry. The reality is that wind power is too costly and can never meet our energy needs; but it will destroy the countryside". His view is that those who are promoting wind farms are energy companies with a vested financial interest and that wind turbines are not reliable enough as a source of sustainable energy.
Edmonds also opposes immigration and the BBC's Welsh Language Service. Edmonds received widespread mocking on Twitter for his "hyperbolic view of rush hour" when implying that immigrants were responsible for traffic delays, saying: "Just tried to get somewhere. Allowed loads of time but abandoned journey. Am I alone in feeling Britain is full?"
He coordinated the Heart of Devon campaign to provide information for farmers affected by the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001.
TV licence boycott
Edmonds claimed that he had stopped payment on his TV licence in early 2008, in response to the sometimes controversial methods used to enforce collection of the licence. Edmonds declared that it is wrong to "threaten" and "badger" people, in response to the collection authority's common assumption that the non-possession of a licence can mean licence evasion, as well as the large fines which can be used as enforcement for non-payment. TV Licensing later claimed that he did possess a valid current TV licence, but this claim was denied by a spokesman for Edmonds who said that TV Licensing had their facts wrong.
In March 2014, Edmonds declared on Newsnight that he was part of a consortium which planned to buy the BBC, because the corporation is "sleepwalking itself to destruction". He said that he did not have a TV licence and watched BBC programmes only on catch-up.
For many years Edmonds has been a believer in Spiritualism, in particular the concept of cosmic ordering, a subject he became interested in after being introduced to Bärbel Mohr's book The Cosmic Ordering Service - A Guide to Realising Your Dreams by his reflexologist. He had not worked on TV since the end of his BBC TV show Noel's House Party in 1999. One of his wishes was for a new challenge. Later he was offered the chance to return to TV to work on Deal or No Deal. Edmonds later went on to write his own book titled Positively Happy: Cosmic Ways To Change Your Life.
Edmonds said in 2008 that he is constantly accompanied by two melon-sized "spiritual energy" balls, which appear over his shoulders and which he believes to be the spirits of his dead parents. "Orbs are little bundles of positive energy and they think they can move between 500 and 1,000 miles per hour," according to Edmonds. "They look like little round planets but they come in all shapes and sizes." He has asserted that the orbs appear only on digital photographs.
In August 2015, Edmonds gave an interview to the Daily Mirror in which he stated that the greatest problem facing humanity was "electrosmog" due to Wi-Fi and other "systems", causing the destruction of "our natural electro-magnetic fields". He also stated a belief that death was impossible because the body was merely a container for "a universal energy", and that this had "been known for a very long time". When he dies, Edmonds' anticipates that "My energy will return to where it came from - part of a massive, incomprehensible universal web of energy".
In June 2016, Edmonds claimed on Twitter that an Electromagnetic Pulse device was "a simple box that slows ageing, reduces pain... and tackles cancer". The firm responsible for the device said it did not agree with his claims "in any way, shape or form". The UK's Advertising Standards Authority said that it was "urgently looking into" a complaint made over the claims, because advertising any proven or unproven cancer treatment would violate the Cancer Act 1939 if payments had been made. Later, the ASA said that no rules had been broken. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that it was investigating the products available from EMP Pad "to determine whether there are any breaches of the Medical Device Regulations 2002". Edmonds said on ITV's This Morning television programme on 8 June that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2013, and asserted that the box had cured him: "I then had my tumour destroyed by sound waves". According to Edmonds, the cancer was caused by stress which he termed a form of "negative energy".
Edmonds married Gillian Slater in 1971, but the marriage ended in divorce after eleven years. In July 1986, he married Helen Soby and, while together, the couple had four daughters: Charlotte, Lorna, Olivia and Alice. The couple bought an 855-acre (346 ha) estate at Jacobstowe, near Okehampton, Devon as a family home. In 2004, he and Soby divorced, splitting with much tabloid publicity because of her extramarital affair.
After his second divorce, Edmonds began a relationship with Marjan Simmons, a French estate agent. They dated for a year until summer 2006. Simmons later went to the press, telling how she was left heart-broken after he dumped her, claiming she felt "discarded" by him after he battled to regain his television career.
It was reported that Edmonds was involved with English teacher and former Miss England Pauline Bull, who lives in Monaco, close to his £3m home in Magagnosc, near Grasse, in the South of France. However, Edmonds stated that he was not ready to get seriously involved in a relationship so soon after his second divorce.
Edmonds has engaged in property development. Edmonds bought a country house in Devon that was in need of repair in order to develop new properties on the land. After disagreements with two business partners over payments, Edmonds was suing for a reported £400,000 in 2009.
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- Renewable Energy Foundation
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I'm very straightforward on immigration. The bus is full," he said. "We haven't got enough energy, we haven't got enough electricity, we haven't got enough of a health service.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Noel Edmonds.|
- Official website
- Noel Edmonds discography at Discogs
- Noel Edmonds at the Internet Movie Database
- Spoof fansite with several photos of Edmonds from the 70s
- Biography at Radio Rewind at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 March 2005) including sound clips
- Aircheck biography
- Noel Edmonds biography page