Noddy Holder

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Noddy Holder
Holder performing in 1981
Holder performing in 1981
Background information
Birth nameNeville John Holder
Born (1946-06-15) 15 June 1946 (age 74)
Walsall, Staffordshire, England
GenresGlam rock, hard rock
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, actor, musician, writer, broadcaster, voice over artist
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1966–present
Associated actsSlade, Dave Hill

Neville John "Noddy" Holder MBE (born 15 June 1946)[1] is an English musician and actor. He was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the English band Slade, one of the UK's most successful acts of the 1970s. Holder co-wrote most of Slade's material with bass guitarist Jim Lea and is known for his unique and powerful voice.

Early life and career[edit]

Neville John Holder was born on 15 June 1946 in the Caldmore area, near the centre of Walsall, Staffordshire, England.[note 1] As a child he moved with his family to the Beechdale Estate, a council estate in the north of the town. The son of a window cleaner, Holder passed the Eleven plus exam and attended a grammar school for a year until it closed.[1] He then attended the new T. P. Riley Comprehensive School and passed six GCE O-level exams.[2] He formed a group called the Rockin' Phantoms with school friends at the age of 13, and with money earned from a part-time job, he bought a guitar and an amplifier.[2] He also used his father's window-cleaning van to drive Robert Plant to gigs with Plant's band at the time, the Tennessee Teens.[3] Holder started his own band called the Memphis Cutouts and then, with Steve Brett & the Mavericks in the early '60s, recorded four singles for Columbia Records.


A man walks down a flight of stairs. He holds a guitar and wears a black hat studded with round metal mirrors. His waistcoat and trousers are tartan. His coat and shirt are plain red. His socks are striped.
Holder in his stage gear, in 1973, with Dave Hill behind him

In 1966 drummer Don Powell persuaded Holder to join The 'NBetweens, a group which already included guitarist Dave Hill and bass guitarist/ keyboard player/violinist/songwriter Jim Lea. Together they formed the band Ambrose Slade, eventually to become Slade, one of Britain's top-selling rock bands. Slade also recorded some ballads, "Everyday" and "How Does It Feel?" in particular being widely acclaimed.[citation needed]

Lea and Holder turned out to be the group's most successful song-writing partnership, composing almost all of the band's songs. The band clocked up 21 hit singles and released 15 albums in their 25-year career as the original line-up.

Slade are particularly remembered for the single "Merry Xmas Everybody"[4] written by Holder and Lea. Holder recorded the single with Slade in 1973, and the song became the band's sixth number one and the third Slade single to go straight in at number one in the UK chart.[5] "Merry Xmas Everybody" has remained seasonally popular ever since and is a festive classic. To date, over one million copies of the song have been sold in the UK alone.[5]

After twenty-five years with Slade, Holder left[6] to pursue a career away from music, with regular stints as radio presenter, television personality, actor and voice-over artist.

Other work[edit]

During 1982, Holder branched into production and worked with his old school friend Phil Burnell and his band Three Phase on one single "All I Want To Do Is (Fall in Love With You)", which was the band's only release. Holder and Burnell produced the single together, and it was published under Noddy Holder Music Ltd./Whild John Music Ltd., and released via Speed Records. The single did not enter the UK chart, as it received limited promotion.[7][8]

During late 1983, Holder did some production work with the American band The First, who came over to the UK from Boston, Massachusetts in America, especially to work with him, although there was never any release of material.[7] In late 1983, both Holder and Lea produced Girlschool's cover of the T-Rex song "20th Century Boy" and then the parent album Play Dirty which featured two Slade tracks "Burning in the Heat of Love" and "High and Dry".[9] The "High and Dry" track was originally written for Girlschool but still appeared on Slade's album that same year.[10] In 1985, Holder co-wrote, and sang backing vocals on, the single "Citizen Kane" which Lea released under his own name.[11]

In 1988, Holder recorded "Tear into the Weekend" for a Pepsi commercial in Canada. In 1989, Holder provided vocals to help out Dave Hill and his newly formed group Blessings in Disguise which also featured, Ex-Wizzard keyboard player, Bill Hunt, Craig Fenney and Bob Lamb.[12] The debut single, released in 1989 for the Christmas market was a cover of The Everly Brothers "Crying in the Rain", backed by a Hill/Hunt composition, "Wild Nights".[13] The band also recorded a cover of the Elvis Presley song "A Fool Such As I" which was not released. The follow-up and final Blessings in Disguise single, "Chance to Be" did not feature Holder.

Holder also appeared on the television panel game Pop Quiz, hosted by Mike Read.[14]

Career since Slade[edit]

Since his departure from Slade in 1992, Holder has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, most notably the ITV comedy/drama series The Grimleys (1996–2001) as classical music teacher Neville Holder.[15] For the series, Holder recorded acoustic versions of the Slade songs "Coz I Luv You", "Cum on Feel the Noize", "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and "Everyday".[16]

He had his own radio shows on Piccadilly 1152 and Key 103 in Manchester, which were syndicated around the country throughout the 1990s, then on Century and Capital Radio syndication from 2000 to 2004.[17][18]

In 1996, Holder was the subject of the This Is Your Life TV show.[1] He also presented 31 episodes of Noddy's Electric Ladyland, a surreal television quiz show. He was a team captain in BBC1's music series A Question of Pop[1] and was immortalised as a puppet character Banger on the TV show Bob the Builder.[19]

In 1999, Holder's autobiography, Who's Crazee Now?, was published by Ebury. Updated in paperback in 2001 it is still available online. It was written by Holder with Lisa Verrico.[20]

Holder was awarded the MBE in the 2000 honours list for his services to showbusiness. In 2001, he was awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.[21]

On 8 December 2000, Holder made a cameo appearance on a live episode of Granada Television's Coronation Street, marking the soap's 40th anniversary.[22] He played a character called Stan, who was saving the street's cobbles from being replaced.

Holder voiced the lift announcements at the Walsall New Art Gallery.[23]

In November 2004, he made a guest appearance in Peter Kay's Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, in which he played a garage mechanic called Mick Bustin. The scenes were filmed in Bolton.[24] Also for the past 25 years[when?] Holder has voiced, sung and appeared in many adverts for TV, film and radio worldwide.[1]

In 2006, Holder made a guest appearance in a music video for the Misty's Big Adventure single, "Fashion Parade".[25][26][27]

Holder was a regular TV critic and contributor to The Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2 for eight years, and the three often talked about rock star gossip from all eras.[28] Radcliffe often refers to Holder as 'Sir Nodward of Holdershire'.[29]

To celebrate his 50th year in showbiz, Holder toured the UK during May 2013 with Mark Radcliffe for a series of intimate 'In conversation with' shows.[30][31] Venues for the spring part of the tour include Bolton, Leeds, Durham, Telford, Preston, Redditch, Buxton and Harrogate. During the majority of shows Holder performed some short acoustic numbers.[32]

Holder was the third celebrity to be inducted onto the Birmingham Walk of Stars. 27,000 people turned out to his induction ceremony, which took place on 9 December 2007 at Birmingham's 2007 Canal Boat Light Parade.[33][34]

Since Christmas 2007, Holder has annually recorded a TV show countdown of hit Christmas tunes.[35][36] He is the Nobby's Nuts mascot following on from the famous TV campaign.[37][38]

Holder also made an appearance on the 2008 Xmas edition of BBC's humorous news quiz show, Have I Got News for You as a member of Paul Merton's team.[39]

In January 2010, Holder and his wife appeared on All Star Mr. and Mrs. on ITV, where they won the £30,000 jackpot for the NSPCC charity.[40]

In 2011, Holder as 'King of the Sizzle' fronted British Sausage Week, touring the country to find the Best British Bangers and to promote support for British farmers and butchers.[41][42][43][44]

Holder featured as "Geoff's Dad" in the BBC Radio 4 comedy Hobby Bobbies. Series 1 was broadcast July/August 2013 and Series 2 November/December 2014.

On 24 June 2014, Holder was awarded the freedom of his home town of Walsall, making him an honorary freeman of the borough.[45]

On 25 September 2014, Holder released his second book via Constable, titled The World According to Noddy.[46]

In December 2015, he appeared as a presenter on BBC television's Songs of Praise.[47] On Christmas Day 2015 Holder appeared in a cameo role in BBC television's Mrs Brown's Boys.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Holder married dress designer Leandra Russell in 1976.[49] They had two daughters Jessica and Charisse, and divorced in 1984. In 2004, Holder married television producer Suzan Price, with whom he has a son, Django (named after Django Reinhardt).[1][50] Today, Holder lives in Prestbury, Cheshire.[51]



  • Noddy Holder: Who's Crazee Now? My Autobiography 1999 ISBN 0-09187-075-5
  • The World According To Noddy: Life Lessons Learned In and Out of Rock & Roll 2014 ISBN 1-47211-564-3


  1. ^ Walsall was within Staffordshire at the time of Holder's birth, though it is now within West Midlands.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Holder, Noddy (1999). Noddy Holder – Who's Crazee Now?. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-187503-X.
  2. ^ a b Charlesworth, Chris (1984). Slade, Feel the Noize!: an Illustrated Biography. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-0538-X.
  3. ^ Simpson, Dave (26 November 2015). "Noddy Holder: 'People think I live in a cave all year and come out in December, shouting It's Chriiisstmaaasss!'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Biggest Hits 'About' The Festive Season". Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Sold on Song: 'Merry Xmas Everybody' – Slade". BBC Radio 2. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  6. ^ Simpson, Dave (26 November 2015). "Noddy Holder: 'People think I live in a cave all year and come out in December, shouting It's Chriiisstmaaasss!'".
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Three Phase - All I Want To Do Is (Fall In Love With You)". Discogs. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Jim Lea Discography". Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Girlschool – Play Dirty". Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Jimmy Lea* – Citizen Kane (Vinyl)". Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  12. ^ 7" vinyl single of "Crying in the Rain" sleeve notes.
  13. ^ "Blessings in Disguise featuring Noddy Holder and Dave Hill – Crying in the Rain / Wild Nights – Mooncrest – DISGUISE 1". Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  14. ^ "The Definitive Guide to Pop Quiz - the BBC television programme". Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ The Grimleys (TV Series 1999–2001) – IMDb
  16. ^ "Noddy Holder". Slade – Weer All Crazee. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Jingle of Piccadilly Gold Noddy Holder's 70s Show". audioBoom. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Noddy approached for millionaire role". Manchester Evening News. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Bob the Builder: A Christmas to Remember (Video 2001)". Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  20. ^ Holder, Noddy; Verrico, Lisa (1999). Who's Crazee Now? My Autobiography. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09187-503-9.
  21. ^ "Gold Badge Awards: Roll of Honour" (PDF). BASCA. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Noddy to make Street cameo". BBC News. 5 December 2000. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  23. ^ Laws, Roz (7 April 2013). "Slade singer Noddy Holder keeps coming back to Walsall to play free gigs in hotel bars". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere: Episode #1.2". IMDb. 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Misty's Big Adventure (Featuring Noddy Holder) – Fashion Parade / Crumpled Up Guy – Sunday Best – SBESTS 40". 45cat. 16 January 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  26. ^ "Sunday Best - Releases: Misty's Big Adventure – Fashion Parade – Feat. Noddy Holder". Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  27. ^ "Book Noddy Holder For Your Event". Prime Performers UK. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  28. ^ "The Radcliffe and Maconie Show: Noddy Holder talks telly". BBC Radio 2. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  29. ^ Radcliffe, Mark (12 May 2011). Reelin' in the Years: The Soundtrack of a Northern Life. Simon & Schuster. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-85720-051-8 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ "An Evening with Noddy Holder, in conversation with Mark Radcliffe". Noddy Holder Official Website. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  31. ^ Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe Tour on YouTube
  32. ^ Harrison, Phil (22 May 2013). "Show review: Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe at Leeds City Varieties". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  33. ^ Elkes, Neil (31 October 2007). "Noddy to get a Broad Street star". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  34. ^ "Noddy gets his star". BBC Black Country. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  35. ^ "Noddy Holder's 50 Best Xmas Songs Ever!". LocateTV. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  36. ^ Kahle, Monika. "What's going on now". Slade40Years. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  37. ^ Barton, Geoff (July 2005). "Noddy Goes Nuts". Classic Rock. p. 21. Archived from the original on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  38. ^ Dempster, Sarah (14 May 2005). "The hard sell: Nobby's Nuts". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Have I Got News for You: Episode #36.10". 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  40. ^ Levine, Nick (8 April 2013). "Slade's Noddy Holder wanted for 'Strictly Come Dancing'". NME. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Rock Superstar Noddy Holder Kicks Off British Sausage Week with Sausage Walk of Fame". Love Pork. 31 October 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  42. ^ Donnelly, Nigel (17 October 2011). "Noddy Holder to launch British Sausage Week (Oct 31–Nov 6)". Practical Motorhome. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  43. ^ "Noddy Holder sets off on tour of legendary bangers". The Online Meat Trades Journal. 2 November 2011. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  44. ^ "Slade legend Noddy Holder dishes out Best Sausage Award to Bolster Moor Farm Shop in Golcar". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Noddy Holder from Slade to get freedom of Walsall". BBC News. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  46. ^ Holder, Noddy (2014). The World According To Noddy: Life Lessons Learned In and Out of Rock & Roll. London, UK: Constable. ISBN 978-1-47211-967-4.
  47. ^ "Songs of Praise". BBC One. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  48. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (25 December 2015). "Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Day Special 2015, review: 'unexpectedly charming'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  49. ^ "1976 Press Cuttings". Slade Scrapbook. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  50. ^ "He's Noddy, but so nice: We speak to Slade's singer". Belfast Telegraph. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  51. ^ Dowle, Jayne (20 August 2010). "Focus: Prestbury – The Cheshire village is home to Wayne Rooney and other stars, but critics say celebs are pricing out lesser mortals". The Times. Retrieved 6 December 2018.

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