Jools Holland

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Jools Holland
Jools Holland at the BAFTA's.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJulian Miles Holland
Born (1958-01-24) 24 January 1958 (age 60)
Blackheath, London, England
  • Musician
  • composer
  • television presenter
  • bandleader
  • Piano
  • keyboards
  • vocals
  • guitar
Years active1974–present
Associated acts

Julian Miles "Jools" Holland, OBE, DL (born 24 January 1958) is an English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer and television presenter. He was an original member of the band Squeeze and his work has involved him with many artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Magazine, The The and Bono.

Since 1992, he has hosted Later... with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2, on which his annual show Hootenanny is based.[1] Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music.

Holland also regularly hosts the weekly programme Jools Holland on BBC Radio 2, which is a mix of live and recorded music and general chat and features studio guests, along with members of his orchestra.


Holland was educated at Shooters Hill Grammar School, a former state grammar school on Red Lion Lane in Shooter's Hill (near Woolwich), in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London, from which he was expelled for damaging a teacher's Triumph Herald.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Holland played as a session musician before finding fame, and his first studio session was with Wayne County & the Electric Chairs in 1976 on their track "Fuck Off".[3]

Holland was a founding member of the British pop band Squeeze, formed in March 1974, in which he played keyboards until 1981 and helped the band to achieve millions of record sales, before pursuing his solo career.[3]

Holland began issuing solo records in 1978, his first EP being Boogie Woogie '78. He continued his solo career through the early 1980s, releasing an album and several singles between 1981 and 1984. He branched out into TV, co-presenting the Newcastle-based TV music show The Tube with Paula Yates. Holland achieved notoriety by inadvertently using the phrase, "be there, or be an ungroovey fucker" in an early evening TV trailer, live across two channels, for the show, causing him to be suspended from the show for six weeks.[4] He referred to this in his sitcom The Groovy Fellers with Rowland Rivron.[citation needed]

Holland at the Tsunami Relief concert in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, 22 January 2005

In 1983 Holland played an extended piano solo on The The's re-recording of "Uncertain Smile" for the album Soul Mining. In 1985, Squeeze (which had continued in Holland's absence through to 1982) unexpectedly regrouped including Holland as their keyboard player. Holland remained in the band until 1990, at which point he again departed Squeeze to resume his solo career as a musician and a TV host.[citation needed]

In 1987, Holland formed the Jools Holland Big Band, which consisted of himself and Gilson Lavis from Squeeze. This gradually became the 18-piece Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.[3]

Between 1988 and 1990 he performed and co-hosted along with David Sanborn during the two seasons of the music performance programme Sunday Night on NBC late-night television.[5] Since 1992 he has presented the music programme Later... with Jools Holland, plus an annual New Year's Eve Hootenanny.

In 1996, Holland signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records,[3] and his records are now marketed through Rhino Records.

On 29 November 2002, Holland was in the ensemble of musicians who performed at A Concert for George, which celebrated the music of the late George Harrison. In January 2005 Holland and his band performed with Eric Clapton as the headline act of the Tsunami Relief Cardiff.

The Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, includes singers Louise Marshall and Ruby Turner and his younger brother, singer-songwriter and keyboard player, Christopher Holland.[citation needed]

Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra performing at Guilfest 2012

On 4 June 2012, Holland performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London. Also in June 2012, he presented a programme about the popular songs of London on BBC Two.[citation needed]

He presents a weekly programme on BBC Radio 2, combining guests and chat, with recorded and live music.[citation needed]

On 24 June 2017 Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra played a set on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival which included a special appearance from Chris Difford, a current member of his previous band Squeeze.[citation needed]

In November 2017 Holland released a new album As You See Me Now, working alongside Jose Feliciano and embarked on a sell-out tour of 33 UK dates. In many interviews Jools described Feliciano as his true hero, saying: "When I heard his music, it had the same effect on me as Ray Charles, The Beatles and Motown. Hearing José sing and play was like an arrow straight to my heart."[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

On 29 August 2005, Holland married Christabel McEwen, his girlfriend of 15 years and daughter of artist Rory McEwen. Holland lives in the Westcombe Park area of Blackheath in southeast London, where he had his studio, Helicon Mountain, built to his design and inspired by Portmeirion, the setting for the 1960s TV series The Prisoner.[6] He also owns a manor house near medieval Cooling Castle in Kent.[7][8]

He received an OBE in 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, for services to the British music industry as a television presenter and musician.[9] In September 2006, Holland was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent.[10] Holland was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University at a ceremony held at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 January 2009.[11] On 1 February 2011 he was appointed honorary colonel of 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment.[12]

In June 2006 Holland performed in Southend for HIV/AIDS charity Mildmay,[13] and in early 2007 he performed at Wells and Rochester Cathedrals to raise money for maintaining cathedral buildings.[14] He is also patron of Drake Music.[15]

Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra at Guilfest 2012

A fan of the 1960s TV series The Prisoner,[6] in 1987 Holland demonstrated his love of the series and starred in a spoof documentary, The Laughing Prisoner, with Stephen Fry, Terence Alexander and Hugh Laurie.[6] Much of it was shot on location in Portmeirion, with archive footage of Patrick McGoohan, and featuring musical numbers from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Magnum and XTC. Holland performed a number towards the end of the programme.

Holland was an interviewer for The Beatles Anthology TV project, and appeared in the 1997 film Spiceworld as a musical director.

In 2008, Holland commissioned TV series Bangla Bangers (Chop Shop) to create a replica of the Rover JET1 for personal use. Holland is a greyhound racing supporter and has previously owned dogs.[16]


His 2007 autobiography, Barefaced Lies and Boogie Woogie Boasts, was BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week" in the week beginning 8 October 2007 and was read by Holland.


Albums which charted and received certifications[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1996 Sex & Jazz & Rock & Roll 38
1998 Best Of
  • UK: Silver
2000 Hop The Wag
  • UK: Silver
2001 Small World Big Band 8 23
  • UK: 2× Platinum
2002 SWBB Volume Two: More Friends 17 44
  • UK: Platinum
2003 Jack O The Green (SWBB Friends 3) 39
  • UK: Silver
2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland 5
  • UK: Gold
2005 Swinging the Blues, Dancing the Ska 36
2007 Best of Friends 9
  • UK: Silver
2011 Finding The Keys – The Best of 127[20]
2012 The Golden Age of Song 11[21]
  • UK: Silver
2015 Jools & Ruby 39[22]
2017 As You See Me Now (with José Feliciano) 24


  • 1978 "Boogie Woogie '78" (EP)
  • 1981 Jools Holland and His Millionaires
  • 1984 Jools Holland Meets Rock 'A' Boogie Billy (US release only)
  • 1990 World of His Own
  • 1991 The Full Complement
  • 1992 "Together Again" (single with Sam Brown)
  • 1992 The A-Z Geographer's Guide to the Piano
  • 1994 Solo Piano
  • 1994 Live Performance
  • 1995 Piano
  • 1996 Sex & Jazz & Rock & Roll
  • 1997 Lift the Lid
  • 1998 Best Of
  • 1999 Sunset Over London
  • 2000 Hop the Wag
  • 2001 Small World Big Band
  • 2002 SWBB Volume Two: More Friends
  • 2003 Jack O the Green (SWBB Friends 3)
  • 2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland
  • 2005 Beatroute
  • 2005 Swinging the Blues, Dancing the Ska
  • 2006 Moving Out to the Country
  • 2007 Best of Friends
  • 2008 The Collection
  • 2008 The Informer (with Ruby Turner)
  • 2008 "The Informer" (single with Ruby Turner)
  • 2009 "I Went By" (single with Louise Marshall)
  • 2010 Rockinghorse
  • 2011 Finding the Keys: The Best of Jools Holland
  • 2012 The Golden Age of Song
  • 2014 Sirens of Song (UK No. 25)
  • 2015 Jools & Ruby (with Ruby Turner)
  • 2016 Piano
  • 2017 As You See Me Now (with José Feliciano)


Film and television[edit]

Current television programmes[edit]


  • "Rolling Stones": A Life on the Road (with Dora Loewenstein), Viking/Allen Lane (1998) (ISBN 0-670-88051-5)
  • Beat Route: Journeys Through Six Counties, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (1998) (ISBN 0-575-06700-4)
  • Ray Charles: Man and Music, (with Michael Lydon), Payback Press (1999) (ISBN 0-86241-929-8)
  • Hand That Changed Its Mind, International Music Publications (2007) (ISBN 1-84328-645-9)
  • Barefaced Lies and Boogie-woogie Boasts, Penguin Books (2007) (ISBN 9780718149154)


  1. ^ "BBC Later With Jools Holland". BBC. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  2. ^ Farndale, Nigel (19 November 2006). "A man in touch with his inner anorak". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "About Jools – Official site". Retrieved 4 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Laughing Policeman Wireless Society: History of Swearing". Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  5. ^ "Sunday Night" episodes No. 104 (1988), No. 113 (1989), No. 114 (1989), No. 121 (1989)
  6. ^ a b c "About Jools – Biography – Official site". Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  7. ^ Dyer, Chris; Bird, Steve (17 March 2018). "Jools Holland wins battle over late night music from wedding venue neighbour".
  8. ^ "Jools Holland in wedding venue noise row". 16 March 2018.
  9. ^ "No. 56963". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 14 June 2003. p. 11.
  10. ^ Farndale, Nigel (19 November 2006). "A man in touch with his inner anorak". (Interview with Jools Holland). London: Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  11. ^ "Widdecombe, Holland and Underwood are appointed honorary fellows". Canterbury Christ Church University. 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  12. ^ "No. 59986". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 6 December 2011. p. 23310.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Jools Holland To Play UK Charity Concerts". 25 January 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  15. ^ "Leaders in Music, Disability & Technology". Drake Music. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  16. ^ Racing Post Greyhound TV, Racing Post, 11 January 2013.
  17. ^ [2] Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 16 March 2000. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  19. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Jools Holland". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  20. ^ "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update: Chart Date 18 June 2011". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  21. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100 – 22nd December 2012 | Official UK Top 40 | music charts | Official Albums Chart". Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  22. ^ Copsey, Rob (2015-12-11). "Adele beats Coldplay to Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart". Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  23. ^ "Jools Holland - Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  24. ^ Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine: Jools' Holland's Happening 1990-1991. Publisher: Kaleidoscope Publishing. Retrieved: 29 May 2015.
  25. ^ Lost UK TV Shows Search Engine: Jools' Holland's Happening (1991-1992). Publisher: Kaleidoscope Publishing. Retrieved: 29 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Virginia Astley". Retrieved 27 July 2015.

External links[edit]