Everything you need to know about the TV legend that is Noel Edmonds

He fronted Swap Shop, Noel's House Party and Deal or No Deal, created Mr Blobby - and then things started to get weird...

Noel Edmonds

I’m a Celebrity 2018 contestants: Noel Edmonds

Noel Edmonds has been confirmed as a late addition to the 2018 I’m a Celebrity jungle, entering the camp after the show’s first ten celebrities. Here’s everything you need to know about the TV legend…

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Age: 69

Famous for: Edmonds made his name as a Radio 1 presenter and was the king of light entertainment TV during the late 80s and early 90s, with his biggest hits including Noel’s House Party, while in more recent years he’s fronted daytime gameshow hit Deal or No Deal. Also responsible for Mr Blobby

Twitter: Edmonds’ official account has seemingly been deleted, but his bright blonde bouffant has its own parody Twitter account, which you can follow if you must @EdmondsHair

Phobias: Heights, confined spaces – and people not taking electro smog seriously

Noe Edmonds (Getty)

Is Noel Edmonds married? Sorry everyone, but yes, Noel is taken. He’s been married twice before – once to Gillian Slater in 1971, before the pair divorced in 1982, and from 1986-2005 to Helen Soby, with whom he had four children. Despite vowing to “never marry again”, he soon ate his words when he met make-up artist Liz Davies who he worked with on Deal or No Deal. On his wedding day, he told guests, “To start with, it was all very professional. But there was a look in both our eyes.”

Noe Edmonds (Getty)
Noel Edmonds and third wife Liz Davies

Why is Noel Edmonds famous?

The Early Years

Born in 1948 in Essex, Noel Edmonds launched his glittering media career in 1968 as a newsreader on Radio Luxembourg. A year later, he moved to Radio 1 where he began filling in for DJs, before landing his own two-hour Saturday afternoon programme and eventually going on to front the Radio 1 Breakfast Show for five years until 1978, taking over from original host Tony Blackburn.

Diversifying into television in 1970 by filling in on Top of the Pops, Edmonds got his major break hosting children’s programme Multi-Coloured Swap Shop alongside Maggie Philbin and the late Keith Chegwin. The threesome formed a band called Brown Sauce, recording the song I Wanna Be A Winner which went to number 15 in the UK Singles Chart.

The video is here – with Noel on drums.

After a stint as an original presenter on Top Gear, Edmonds landed his very own Saturday night light entertainment show in the form of the now infamous Late, Late Breakfast Show. Intended to be a magazine programme for the hungover, the show featured pop stars and celebrities and live stunts in the Give It A Whirl section.

It became a hit, but was swiftly cancelled in 1986 when Michael Lush died while practicing a bungee jump stunt. Edmonds resigned immediately after, saying he no longer had the heart to continue.

As well as hosting Telly Addicts, a popular TV quiz show that launched in 1985 and ran for 13 years, Edmonds fronted Noel’s Saturday Roadshow, which soon morphed into his biggest hit: Noel’s House Party.

The show, set in Noel’s ‘mansion’ in the fictional village of Crinkley Bottom, was famous for gunging guests and its many ‘Gotcha’ moments, catching celebrities in elaborate and embarrassing set-ups.

But the most memorable part of the show was Mr Blobby – a mutant spotted foetus in a bow tie who first appeared in the Gotcha moments before spawning into a regular character.

Blobby’s popularity saw him somehow beat Take That to Christmas number 1 in 1993. For those who don’t want to sleep tonight, here’s a clip.

Noel’s House Party achieved huge ratings and re-established Edmonds as the king of light entertainment, but its popularity declined throughout the 90s, with the show eventually cancelled in 1999. Its axing saw Edmonds retreat from our screens.

Noel’s TV comeback

Already a hit show across the world, the British version of box-opening money-spinner Deal or No Deal was a notably more understated and frankly weird show filmed in an old warehouse in Bristol. While the American interpretation of the format favoured leggy models (including Meghan Markle) in glittering dresses opening slick briefcases, our version tended to focus on ramping up the tension – and the close relationships between the ordinary folk opening the boxes. There were often tears.

The popularity of Deal or No Deal saw an Edmonds revival in the mid 2000s, landing him jobs hosting National Lottery’s Everyone’s a Winner in 2006 and fronting Sky1’s Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old a year later.

But it also led to the launch of Edmonds’ very own live entertainment show, Noel’s HQ, a flag-waving, red-tape-hating show which fixated on how awful life in modern Britain was.

Likened by Charlie Brooker to Alan Partridge, the show attracted controversy when Edmonds ranted for three minutes at the screen after a councillor refused to appear on the show. It was cancelled after one series, as was 2017 series Cheap Cheap Cheap which our very own Frances Taylor termed so bizarre, tatty and ridiculous that it might just be genius. Unfortunately Channel 4 didn’t agree…

Deal or No Deal lasted a lot longer, but was cancelled in 2016 – prompting Edmonds to take it on tour, which included a broadcast on a Boeing 737 from 37,000 feet in the air. It was the high point (pardon the pun) in a career characterised by odd Edmonds moments. Like…

1. The time he dressed up as a fictional BBC chief – Priscilla Prim – to go on a rant about the corporation and encourage viewers NOT to watch Noel’s House Party

2. The time he claimed cancer was caused by negative energy and could be treated by an EMAP device

3. The time he claimed to be accompanied by two ‘melon-sized’ spiritual energy balls

“I have two orbs that visit me,” Noel told the Express in 2008. “They’re both the size of a melon and one sits on my arm and the other is over my shoulder. I like to think they’re my parents. Conventional photography can’t pick them up but digital cameras can. My belief is that these are something to do with some form of spiritual energy.”

4. The time he appeared on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man and brought along the third person in his marriage to Liz Davies – mannequin Candice Cannes

5. The time he called up a cat and gave it a motivational speech

Noel launched a phone-a-pet service on his website, offering to “pick up the spirits of the most dejected hamster, the most stressed goldfish and the most neurotic cat”. In an essay titled ‘Noel Edmonds phoned my cat’, Peter Ormerod revealed that on Saturday 17th September 2016 at 12:26pm the TV host called him up and offered his cat words of affirmation and motivation.

Edmonds – Ormerod concluded – “is a man whom we should all seek to emulate”.

Perhaps it won’t be long before he’s giving a pep talk to the jungle critters…

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