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Television legend Noel Edmonds celebrates his 73rd birthday on December 22, and in his 50 years of presenting both on screen and on radio, he has become one of the country's biggest stars.
From his days on BBC Radio One, to fronting popular children's tv shows and the iconic Noel's House Party, generations of fans have grown up with the presenter as part of their lives.
It is no surprise then that the star has a huge estimated net worth of $100 million (£73 million) from his five decades in the industry – but it hasn't come without its ups and downs.
Along with achieving new levels of fame, Noel has also become embroiled in a row with other tv presenters and also faced the collapse of his entertainment company in 2005, before bouncing back as the presenter of Deal or No Deal, where he met his future wife.
Radio Fame and Mr Blobby link
Long before he became known for Noel's House Party and his friendship with Mr Blobby, Noel Edmonds was one of the BBC's youngest ever radio presenters.
At the age of 20, he began working as a DJ for BBC Radio 1 in 1969, where he wanted to follow in the footsteps of one of his heroes – Kenny Everett.
He told The Guardian: "I could never be as funny as Kenny, who was a genius."
"But I aspired to create the same amount of original content as him. That’s what always drives me: creating stuff that will entertain people. And I put the hours in."
He certainly did put the hours in, as it wasn't long before he was on our tv screens too, hosting children's television programmes including Multi-coloured Swap Shop and in the evenings, Top of The Pops in the seventies, drawing in millions of viewers per broadcast.
However, Noel will always be fondly remembered for Noel's House Party, where the world was introduced to the pink and yellow icon that was Mr Blobby.
The hit tv show ran for nine years between 1991-2000, and had a huge 15 specials, as well as winning BAFTA awards.
Some of the biggest stars of the times were victim to Noel's pranks in a segment called 'Gotchas', while others were famously made to sit on a seat where they would eventually be covered in gunge.
It was the 'Gotchas' section that introduced the world to Mr Blobby, who would often get involved with the pranks and became a star in his own right, scoring a Christmas number one in 1993.
Producer Michael Leggo said that the Christmas single even kept Take That from the Christmas number one, telling the BBC: "I came up with Mr Blobby, who helped us get so many people and then of course took on a life of his own.
"We could do anything with him, he would appear with major film and sport stars and then one day a guy rang me up and wanted to do a music single, which actually kept Take That off the top spot when it got to number one in the chart.
"I do hope one day Gary Barlow will forgive me."
However, fans were devestated in 2018, when Noel Edmonds confirmed that the house where the famous programme was filmed was being demolished.
He told The Mail Online: "Today Crinkley Bottom Parish Council rejected my application for an entertainment licence and instead confirmed their demolition order on the Great House."
This Morning row
In 2016, Noel Edmonds was questioned by This Morning presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby over a tweet that Noel had sent to a cancer patient, where he asked if their "ill-health was a result of their negative attitude."
Noel himself had been previously diagnosed with prostrate cancer and told the hosts that "negative energy" was to blame for his prostrate cancer diagnosis, but claimed he'd cured himself with a £2,300 electromagnetic pulse device and "positive energy".
Philip Schofield then said: "Obviously people are going to get a little bit sceptical when you’re banging on about this £2,300 box – and you know the people who make it!"
However, Noel later added: "I don't say cancer was caused by the stress, but that my health deteriorated to such an extent I got prostate cancer. I am absolutely sure the negative forces acting on me impacted on my health.
"There is a wealth of information from various clinical studies of a direct link between stress and cancer. I am absolutely certain there was a link in my case."
Both Noel and Philip later exchanged a heated conversation about the row on Twitter a few months later.
In his 2020 autobiography Life's What You Make It, Philip Schofield has since addressed the row, saying that Noel Edmonds was one of his tv inspirations, but "Sadly, many years later, he and I would strongly disagree over an interview on This Morning when he suggested that ‘negative energy’ could cause cancer.
"I still take a different point of view to Noel, but I think it’s a terrible shame we fell out over it."
In 2005, Noel Edmond's entertainment company Unique Group collapsed, who among other smaller television production companies, also owned the rights to tv icon Mr Blobby.
Over twelve years later in 2017, the financiers involved with the company were jailed for a £245 million loans scam, which saw the profits spent on luxury holidays and parties.
Noel revealed years later that the actions of the financiers and collapse of the company pushed him into a "a bottomless dark space" and that he nearly took his own life.
He told the Press Association: "Until these criminals took me to the brink of emotional annihilation, I had always felt those who opt out by taking their own lives were selfish and cowardly.
"But having been cast into that bottomless dark space devoid of logic and reason, I have a much deeper understanding of life without hope.
"I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of January 18th 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being.
He added: "The fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol."
Noel later won a compensation deal with Lloyds Banking Group in 2019 following the case for an undisclosed amount.
Deal or No Deal romance
Later in 2005, Noel became the host of the hugely popular Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal, where he once again triumphed as the successful series ran for nearly 11 years.
It wasn't just success that he found when working on Deal or No Deal though – he found romance.
Noel began dating make-up artist Elizabeth Davies while working on the show, and the couple married in 2009.
They have since moved to New Zealand, where he is once again working as a radio DJ, but told The Mail on Sunday that he will have a less zany persona than he did in the UK.
He said: "Kiwis can rest easy. I'm not going to inflict myself upon this proud nation. I'm not bringing Mr Blobby over. I'm here to behave."
Noel has been married three times – first to Gillian Slater from 1971-1981 and then to Helen Soby from 1986-2005, and also has four children – Lorna, Charlotte, Olivia and Alice.
- This Morning
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