Noel Edmonds

Noel Edmonds
Noel Edmonds
Born Noel Ernest Edmonds
22 December 1948 (1948-12-22) (age 62)
Ilford, Essex, England
Occupation Broadcaster
Years active 1969–present
Spouse Gillian Slater (1971–82) (divorced)
Helen Soby (1986–2004) (divorced)
Liz Davies (m. 2009–present) «start: (2009-07-23)»"Marriage: Liz Davies to Noel Edmonds" Location: (linkback://[1]

Noel Ernest Edmonds, (born 22 December 1948) is a British broadcaster and executive, who made his name as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 in the UK. He has presented many light entertainment television programmes, including Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Top of the Pops, The Late, Late Breakfast Show, Telly Addicts, Noel's Saturday Roadshow and Noel's House Party. He currently presents the Channel 4 gameshow Deal or No Deal and the Sunday edition of Sky1's Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old? and previously the topical Sky1 show, Noel's HQ.


Early life and radio career

The son of a headmaster who worked in Hainault, Edmonds attended Glade Primary School and Brentwood School.[2] 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,[3] which was offered to him in 1968 after he sent tapes to pirate 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.[3] In April 1970, Edmonds began his own two-hour Saturday afternoon programme, broadcasting from 1pm-3pm, before replacing Kenny Everett on Saturday mornings from 10am-12pm in July of that year. In October 1971 he was moved to a Sunday morning slot from 10am-12pm before being promoted to Radio 1's prestigious breakfast programme from June 1973 to April 1978, taking over from Tony Blackburn. Edmonds moved back to Sunday mornings from 10am-1pm in 1978 and also presented Talkabout, an hour long talk show broadcast on Thursday evenings.[4]

In the late 1970s, his Radio 1 Sunday show used to feature a send-up called "Musty Mind" where a phone-in contestant would be asked ludicrous questions on a parody of a serious subject, such as the "Toad Racing" or, on another occasion, "The Cultural and Social History of Rockall" - Rockall being a bald lump of uninhabited rock in the eastern Atlantic.

Edmonds left Radio 1 in March 1983,[3] 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.[citation needed]

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.[5] In December 2004, Edmonds played a detective on a radio murder mystery play on local station BBC Radio Devon.[6]

Television career

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. 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 had his first brushes with Saturday evening television, presenting Lucky Numbers, a 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 later moved to a Saturday early evening slot, first with The Late, Late Breakfast Show. The programme was cancelled by the BBC on 15 November 1986, following an accident two days earlier in which Michael Lush, a viewer who had been selected to take part in a live stunt for the 'Whirly Wheel' section, died during rehearsals.[7]

Edmonds was one of the original presenters of the BBC's motoring series Top Gear during the 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.[citation needed] Edmonds reappeared in one episode of Top Gear in the 1990s, to road test the classic 1960s Ford GT40 supercar, because current host Jeremy Clarkson - at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall - was unable to fit into the cockpit. Edmonds is one of a few people in the UK privately to own a GT40.[8] In September 2006, Edmonds admitted to men's magazine Loaded that he had travelled at speeds of up to 186 mph (299 km/h) in the car in the mid-1980s on the Tring Bypass in Hertfordshire, and to having sex in the back of a Range Rover.[9] In keeping with motor vehicles, Edmonds also starred in an advert for Austin Rover cars on British television during the mid 1980s[citation needed]. In the early 1980s he 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 seasons from 1981.

The Late, Late Breakfast Show

A teatime show hosted by Edmonds from 1982–1986, The Late, Late breakfast show featured members of the public performing stunts as well as Edmonds interviewing music acts. The show ended on the 15 November 1986, after a member of the public, Michael Lush, was rehearsing a bungee jump and plunged 120 ft to his death when his rope came loose. Noel Edmonds quit the show immediately after, although returned to Saturday night TV with his 'Saturday Roadshow', two years later.

Telly Addicts

Telly Addicts is the name of a BBC1 game show hosted by Noel Edmonds, broadcast from 3 September 1985 until 29 July 1998. All questions were based on television programmes past and present, 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 the format had no similarity to the Telly Addicts show and ran for only one series.

Noel's Saturday Roadshow

Noel's Saturday Roadshow was a BBC television light entertainment show broadcast live on Saturday evenings from 3 September 1988 to 15 December 1990. It was presented by Noel 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 reestablished 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.[10]

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.[11]

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 filmed 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. It has proved to be a massive hit, and at the end of the second series - which finished on 13 July 2007 - had given away over £8 million in 512 programmes, including three winners of the £250,000 jackpot prize. 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.[12] 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.[13]

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.

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.[14]

Edmonds had in fact presented the very first National Lottery in 1994 before handing over to Anthea Turner and Gordon Kennedy.[15]

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 6pm. Edmonds hosts the peaktime showing of the programme, whereas the Daily Programme is presented by Dick and Dom.

Noel's HQ

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.[16][17] This was later developed into a series. The show received negative reviews.[18][19] Sky edited a repeat broadcast after Edmonds launched an extended verbal attack on a council press officer.[20] In March 2009 Sky1 announced the cancellation of the show.[21]

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.[22] Noel's Christmas Presents was originally broadcast on BBC One from 1989 until 1999, before it returned to UK screens courtesy of Sky One on 23 December 2007. Further editions were screened on 21 December 2008, 20 December 2009 and 18 December 2010.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

He was also a guest host for the fourth-series episode of The Friday Night Project, broadcast on 26 January 2007.[26]

Noel was a guest on BBC One The One Show on Wednesday 10 September 2008.

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 mentioned that Noel would still be on television in the year 2010.

Unique Group

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.[27] Edmonds resigned as non-executive director of UBCMG in March 2006 as a direct result of the success of Deal or no Deal.[28] Edmonds also has interests in Unique Motor Company, a producer of small off road vehicles.[29]

Theme parks

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 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.[30] 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'.[31] The affair was dubbed 'Blobbygate' by the media.[32]


Edmonds is a trustee of the Renewable Energy Foundation, (REF)[33] an organisation which is strongly opposed to wind farms. He was said to have joined "because of the threat near his home in Devon".[34] 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".[35] 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.[36]

He coordinated the Heart of Devon campaign to provide information for farmers affected by the foot and mouth epidemic in 2000.[37]

Personal life

Edmonds was married to Gillian Slater from 1971, but the marriage ended in divorce after eleven years.[2] In July 1986, he married Helen Soby, and the couple have four daughters: Charlotte, Lorna, Olivia and Alice. The couple bought an 855-acre (3.46 km2) 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.[38]

After his second divorce, Edmonds started 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.[39]

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.[40] However, Edmonds stated that he was not ready to get seriously involved in a relationship so soon after his second divorce.[39]

On July 23, 2009 Edmonds married his third wife, Liz Davies, a make-up artist on the programme Deal or No Deal, in Lower Slaughter Gloucestershire.[1]

As a result of his success on Deal or No Deal, Edmonds purchased a new home in Devon, a £1.7 million Grade-II manor house.[41]

Edmonds is a licensed helicopter pilot, and one of his early personal aircraft was registered G-NOEL[42] He was president of the British Horse Society between 2004 and 2007[43] Edmonds was one of the trio Brown Sauce, along with Maggie Philbin and Keith Chegwin, who released the single "I Wanna Be a Winner" in 1981, reaching number 15 in the UK singles chart.[44][45]

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 is suing for a reported £400,000.[46]

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 avoidance, as well as the large fines which can be used as enforcement for non-payment.[47] TV Licensing later claimed that he actually 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.[48]


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 the book ‘The Cosmic Ordering Service - A Guide to Realising Your Dreams’ by his reflexologist[49]. 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[50]. Edmonds later went on to write his own book[51] titled "Positively Happy: Cosmic Ways To Change Your Life".[52]

He has also claimed that he is occasionally visited by two melon-sized "spiritual energy" balls, which appear over his shoulders and which he believes to be the spirits of his dead parents. Edmonds further claims that the orbs appear only on digital photographs.[53]


  1. ^ a b Jo Clements, Daily Mail, Noel Edmonds shows off his Deal or No Deal make-up artist wife after marrying for third time 24 Jul 2009
  2. ^ a b Rachel Cooke, The Observer, Noel Edmonds talks to Rachel Cooke, 29 Jan 2006
  3. ^ a b c "Noel Edmonds Biography". Noel Edmonds Biography. Archived from the original on 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2006-09-27. 
  4. ^ "Noel Edmonds at Dingly Dell". Radio Rewind. Archived from the original on 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  5. ^ "Noel Edmonds Returns To His Radio Roots". BBC Radio 2. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  6. ^ "Noel Edmonds turns detective for BBC Radio Devon's whodunnit.". BBC. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  7. ^ "The Glory Game - The Rise And Rise Of Saturday Night Telly". Off The Telly. Archived from the original on 2004-11-18. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  8. ^ Hollebone, Ashley (2005-03-22). "Where's Noel going in that odd car?". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  9. ^ "I DROVE AT 186 mph (299 km/h) .. AND I WAS NAKED". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  10. ^ "UK Number One singles of 1993". Everything2. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  11. ^ "The TV Cream Guide to Television Presenters". TV Cream. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Noel Edmonds 'set for TV deal'". Manchester Online. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  13. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2006: The winners". BBC News Online. London. 2006-05-07. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  14. ^ "Noel Edmonds returns to BBC ONE". The UK National Lottery. Retrieved 2006-09-27. 
  15. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about The National Lottery Draw television programme". The UK National Lottery. Retrieved 2006-09-13. 
  16. ^ Edmonds fronts TV show for free
  17. ^ "Noels broken Britain call". Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  18. ^ Noel reaches for turquoise trackie
  19. ^ Charlie Brooker's screen burn
  20. ^ Editing of tirade against council
  21. ^ Noel Edmonds show dropped by Sky from
  22. ^ Whitelaw, Paul (2005-12-17). "The nightmare over Christmas". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  23. ^ Sky One
  24. ^ Chris Morris (1997). Brass Eye, Series 1, Episode 6: Decline (Television series). 
  25. ^ "The Curse of Noel Edmonds (2004) (TV)". Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  26. ^ The Channel 4 programme The Friday Night Project, 26 January 2007
  27. ^ "Radio Stations Overview". UBC Media Group plc. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  28. ^ "Directorate Change". UBC Media Group plc. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  29. ^ "The Verdict: Qpod". The Independent Online. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  30. ^ "Council broke law in Blobby park failure". BBC News Online. London. 2003-01-31. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  31. ^ "Council got it wrong says auditor". This is Lancashire. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  32. ^ "Blobbygate report 'fair'". The Westmoreland Gazette. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  33. ^ Renewable Energy Foundation
  34. ^ Edmonds joins fight against wind farms (Guardian - 15 July 2004).
  35. ^ Woodford wind farm action group
  36. ^ Noel Edmonds on how the Government is ignoring the energy crisis
  37. ^ Edmonds fights plans to build wind farms (Daily telegraph - 8 Dec 2003)
  38. ^ "Noel Edmonds wife had fling with transvestite". Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  39. ^ a b "Noel Edmonds exclusive: me & Pauline? It's not the real deal". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  40. ^ "Noel's new date exclusive Big bouquet for teacher Pauline". The people newspaper. Retrieved 2006-10-18. 
  41. ^ [1] Daily Mail, accessed 27/11/07
  42. ^ Gill, Rosemary; Crispin Evans (1981). Swap Shop: Book 4. British Broadcasting Corporation. ISBN 0-563-17989-9. 
  43. ^ "The British Horse Society - About Us: President". The British Horse Society. Archived from the original on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  44. ^ "Label and Recording info.". Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  45. ^ "Sound and Video Gallery:Multi-Coloured Swap Shop". Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  46. ^ Griffiths, Sophie (2009-02-26). "Noel Edmonds sues former pals after property venture goes sour". Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  47. ^ "Edmonds begins TV licence boycott". BBC News. London. 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  48. ^ "Edmonds 'does have a TV licence'". BBC News. London. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  49. ^ Need a lover or a house? Call on the cosmos The Daily Telegraph April 4th 2006.
  50. ^ DEAR COSMOS, CAN I HAVE A HIT SHOW? Daily Record, April 3rd 2006.
  51. ^ [ISBN: 978-0091912987] Positively Happy: Cosmic Ways To Change Your Life
  52. ^ Noel on his cosmic comeback The Daily Mail July 2006]]

External links

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Preceded by
Tony Blackburn
BBC Radio 1
Breakfast Show Presenter

Succeeded by
Dave Lee Travis

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