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Noel Ernest Edmonds, DL (born 22 December 1948) is an English television presenter 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 and Noel's House Party. He currently presents the Channel 4 gameshow Deal or No Deal, the Sunday edition of Sky One's Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old? and the new topical Sky 1 show, Noel's HQ.

Early life and radio career

The son of a headmaster who worked in Hainaultmarker, Edmonds attended Glade Primary School and Brentwood Schoolmarker. He was offered a place at the University of Surreymarker 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 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. In April 1970, Edmonds began his own two-hour Saturday afternoon programme, broadcasting from 1pm-3pm, before replacing the sacked 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.

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" - Rockallmarker being a bald lump of uninhabited rock in the eastern Atlantic.

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.

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..

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. 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 tall - was unable to fit into the cockpit. Edmonds privately owns a GT40 and is one of a select few people in the UK to do so. In September 2006, Edmonds admitted to men's magazine Loaded that he had travelled at speeds of up to in the car in the mid-1980s on the Tring Bypass in Hertfordshiremarker, and to having sex in the back of a Range Rover. In keeping with motor vehicles, Edmonds also starred in an advert for Austin Rover cars on British television during the mid 1980s . 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.

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 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: "Edmonds, 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, however , and in the final programme, broadcast on 20 March 1999, Edmonds appealed that viewers' memories should be kind to the programme.

Other television appearances

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 Laplandmarker for ill or disadvantaged children, or arranging family reunions. Noel's Christmas Presents returned to UK screens courtesy of Sky One on 23 December 2007 and again on 21 December 2008.

In 1997, Edmonds notoriously responded badly to his involvement 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. His protests after the broadcast of the programme resulted in a follow-up sketch in which a fake news bulletin reported that Edmonds had gone mad and killed presenter Clive Anderson during a dinner party, in which he held the rest of the guests hostage, before later returning to the scene to see an Edmonds lookalike throw a severed bald head from an upper-floor window before firing a rocket propelled grenade at a nearby wedding and making off in a helicopter gunship.

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 One 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.

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

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 Bristolmarker 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 one winner 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. 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.

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.

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

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. This was later developed into a series. The show has received some negative reviews comparing it to David Icke’s TV appearances and to the satires Network and I'm Alan Partridge. Its campaigning strands have attracted some attention given the traditional attempts to avoid media bias in British television; 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.

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. 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.

Theme parks

Edmonds-licensed theme park attractions based on Crinkley Bottom and Mr Blobby were set up in existing parks at Cricket St Thomasmarker in Somerset and Pleasurewood Hillsmarker Theme Park in Lowestoftmarker Suffolk. A park was also built in Morecambemarker 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 back to their previous state. Edmonds was said to be very critical of Lancastermarker 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 supports renewable energy but 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.

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

Edmonds has called for a total ban on migrants coming into Britain saying, "I'm very straightforward on immigration - the bus is full."

Personal life

Edmonds was married to Gillian Slater from 1971, but the marriage ended in divorce after eleven years. In July 1986, he married Helen Soby, and the couple have four daughters: Charlotte, Lorna, Olivia and Alice. The couple bought an estate at Jacobstowe, near Okehamptonmarker, as a family home. In 2004, he and Soby divorced, splitting with much tabloid publicity due to her extramarital affair.

Noel is a fan of West Ham United.

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.

It was reported that Edmonds was involved with English teacher and former Miss England Pauline Bull, who lives in Monacomarker, close to his £3m home in Magagnosc, near Grassemarker, 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.

On July 23, 2009 Edmonds' married his third wife, Liz Davies a make-up artist on the programme Deal or No Deal in Lower Slaughtermarker Gloucestershiremarker.

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

Edmonds is a licensed helicopter pilot, and one of his early personal aircraft was registered G-NOEL He was president of the British Horse Society between 2004 and 2007 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.

Edmonds has engaged in property development. Edmonds bought a country house in Devonmarker 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.

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. However TV Licensing later claimed that Edmonds actually did possess a valid current TV licence.


For many years Edmonds has been a believer in Spiritualism, in particular the concept of Cosmic ordering. He has 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 only appear on digital photographs.


  1. Rachel Cooke, The Observer, Noel Edmonds talks to Rachel Cooke, 29 Jan 2006
  2. Sky One
  3. The Channel 4 programme The Friday Night Project, 26 January 2007
  4. Edmonds fronts TV show for free
  5. Noel reaches for turquoise trackie
  6. Charlie Brooker's screen burn
  7. Noel Edmonds's rant at Wealden council gets personal
  8. Editing of tirade against council
  9. Noel Edmonds show dropped by Sky from
  10. Renewable Energy Foundation
  11. Edmonds joins fight against wind farms (Guardian - 15 July 2004).
  12. Woodford wind farm action group
  13. Noel Edmonds on how the Government is ignoring the energy crisis
  14. Edmonds fights plans to build wind farms (Daily telegraph - 8 Dec 2003)
  15. Noel Edmonds calls for UK's borders to be shut (News of the World - 14 Sep 2008.
  16. [1] Daily Mail, accessed 27/11/07

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