Radio Rewind - the Unofficial History of BBC Radio 1

Radio Rewind - the Unofficial History of BBC Radio 1



Home HistoryPeopleShowsJinglesInteractive

» Noel Edmonds  


Car sticker from a more innocent time.

Dingley Dell was threatened with flooding to make way for a hydro electric power station.


Born in Ilford, Essex in 1948, Noel Edmonds gained 10 'O' levels and 3 'A' levels at Brentwood Public School. Instead of University, however, Noel opted for Radio; Luxembourg was his first station in 1968.


Radio 1


He moved to Radio 1 in July 1969, initially working in the Sound Trails Department. Noel was first heard on Radio 1 on July 21st, and on November 2nd he started his Sunday morning Workshop shows.


Noel Edmonds replaced the sacked Kenny Everett on Saturdays in July 1970, later moving again to Sundays however in June 1973 he took over from Tony Blackburn to present the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, attracting a record 12 million listeners per week.


His shows were highly produced, (by Dave Tate) and included

listener phone-ins and much humour. An example of the competition prizes given out can be seen below...Radio 1 received 250,000 entries for these stickers with only 250 winners! Other prizes included radio 1 gnomes, fairies, loofahs, and a balaclava with the hole on the wrong side! We remember a jingle 'If It Wasnae For Your Wellies' .


On the breakfast show Noel sent out a 'school report' signed by him for display in the classroom. In 1976 the show was broadcast from two service stations and the hotel where James Hunt was staying during the Texaco Tour of Britain. In April of that year he presented a show 'flying' from Gatwick to Aberdeen. Many listeners were patiently waiting at Aberdeen airport to see Noel arrive, however the whole broadcast was an elaborate hoax! Noel took part in Production Saloon Car Racing as part of Radio 1's fun days and enjoyed it so much he carried on independently.


Perkins Grange


He presented the Radio 1 Breakfast Show until April 1978, when he was heard again at weekends. Here he telephoned unsuspecting members of the public pretending to be an awkward official, live from Perkins Grange in Dingley Dell. Special guests included Chancellor Denis Healey, and Harry Chapin. Sketches and children's stories were read by famous personalities such as Sir John Gielgud. Noel's co-host and foil was originally famous wartime announcer John Snagge, later replaced with deadpan Radio 4 newsreader Brian Perkins. The show made famous the Captain Beaky poems by Jeremy Lloyd.


Swap Shop


In 1983 he left radio to host the new BBC1 Saturday morning television  show Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (there was even an annual published in his name in 1979!) . This was followed by, amongst other TV shows, The Saturday Roadshow, and Telly Addicts.


He is Chairman of the Unique Group of companies, a media production and management business which he founded in the mid 1980's. Their Saturday night BBC TV hit show Noel's House Party (1991 - 1999) gave the world Mr Blobby which became a marketing phenomenon, earning millions in merchandising. The House Party show gave way to spin-offs in the form of three short-lived theme parks in the UK called Crinkley Bottom.


1970 - spinning discs on location

1970 - spinning discs on location


Bearded In 1973

Bearded In 1973


Celebrating taking over the Breakfast Show in 1973

Celebrating taking over the Breakfast Show in 1973, pictured with (L-R) Peter Powell, Jimmy Savile, DLT, Paul Gambaccini, Simon Bates and David Jensen.


 'If It Wasnae For Your Wellies'

 'If It Wasnae For Your Wellies'

Back on the Radio


Noel Edmonds came back to BBC Radio to present Radio 2's Drivetime show from 4 August to 3 October 2003 sitting in for Johnnie Walker who was  undergoing treatment for cancer. MP3


Noel said in a BBC interview "This is a bittersweet experience. I am a huge fan of Johnnie's and I wish him a full and speedy recovery. "It's a great opportunity and I'm very excited to be back behind the mic, at the country's most listened to radio station."


These Days


From 2005 Noel was seen regularly once more on UK television; Channel 4 weekday tea-times, presenting Deal Or No Deal - where 22 players contest to win up to £250,000.


Noel owns a helicopter and lives in Devon, England with his wife Helen and four daughters.




Please check Audio Help Page in case of difficulty downloading.

Audio© BBC


Saturday Show Clips 1970-1972

Prince Charles gives a Reminder 1970

Ending a show Saturday 03.10.70

Wednesday's 'Pop over 13' Verse - 1970

'30 Billion' spent!  opening 1971

The Stoned Ranger 1971

Tina gets sweaty 1972

Prizes for Good Drivers 1972


The Following 4 clips are taken from a

Breakfast Show Dec 7th 1973


"You're as Beautiful as You Feel" (64kbps)  24Kbps

"Carol King is what it's all about"

You too can join the Breakfast Bike Club

A 'Fly-away Friday'

Breakfast Show 1973 - 1975

Super Noel has an idea 1973

Introducing a Radio 1 morning show  32kbps

'On Location' (April Fool Prank) 1974 

Chatting about his early radio days (+ trail) 1975

Clip from a 1975 show (32kbps)


Roadshow Southport August 1975  

Roadshow Southport August 1975  

(Low Quality Audio)

Breakfast Show 1976 - 1979

Mud jingle in 1976

Noel's 'Tile of Two Cities' 1976

A listener complains to Noel 1976

Desmond the Duck on his breakfast show 1976  

Trail for show's prize; a balaclava with no hole!

RAY WARD from Reading wrote to Radio Rewind;  "I liked the Noel Ed's clips - particularly the flight-to-Aberdeen hoax.

Famous plane 'journey' on April 1st 1976.  I remember listening to it before going to school. When he "took off" he played "up, up and away in my beautiful" balloon which jumped a couple of times as the wheels left the ground. Even my parents thought it was for real!"


Trail for Mallory Park Fun Day 1977

Last Breakfast Show April 28th1978

Good to be back on Sundays after 5 years 1978




'Funny Phone Calls' 'Funny Phone Calls'


In 1981 Noel Edmonds released an LP containing 16 hilarious 'Funny Phone Calls' as broadcast

 live on-air from 1975 to 1980 during his morning Radio 1 shows. Noel received 3,000 phone call suggestions per week. All royalties went to the Leukaemia Trust fund at a Swindon Hospital.


Noel's LP intro with first 'silly call' 1975. (2 mins)

Other wind-up calls on the LP included "Booking a Band to play in the Nude" and "Haggis Shooting".

Noel warns the telephone user! (15 secs)





Back on BBC Radio - 04.08.03.


(Sitting in for Johnnie Walker

4 August to 3 October 2003)



Help Radio Rewind improve! - your comment about this page


Site design and text

© Radio Rewind 1999-2006




All Radio Rewind sounds are now .mp3 format