In Part 1, we saw the rise of Noel ‘propensity to make moderately entertaining low grade TV’ Edmonds, and the fall of Noel ‘propensity for his ideas and philanthropy to cause deaths’ Edmonds. Following the demise of House Party, Noel would meander on for the next 7 years in Telly wilderness, with the most exciting thing to happen to him being his wife having an affair with a transvestite. But Noel will stay down for no-one, and came storming back onto our screens in 2005 with Deal or no Deal.
Deal or no Deal is essentially the best use of shoe boxes and a disused Bristol warehouse that you could ever imagine. It’s not even a gameshow. There’s no questions, no fancy podiums, no fancy multi-screens, no graphics, no CJ; nothing that we hold dear with gameshows is prevalent here. It’s just a load of boxes with numbers inside. And that’s the beautiful duality of it; it’s so fucking simple, yet people make it so fucking complicated. Rather than just eliminate 5 arbitrary boxes then doing a runner with a virtually guaranteed 10k, the contestants turn it into some sort of Mystic Meg/Christian exorcism, where they try and detect which boxes are emitting blue energy and which red. They analyse the boxes, discuss tactics over which order to pick the numbers in, chat to their loved ones about what they should do and bring lucky key rings onto the table with them. You just wanna grab these people by the lapels and shout at them ‘THE FUCK ARE YOU ON ABOUT!? IT’S A GAME OF GUESSING YOU JEB-END! THE BOX COULD HAVE A DOODLE OF A COCK INSIDE FOR ALL YOU KNOW!’.
Anyway, Britain loved it, and it turned Edmonds into a star again almost overnight.
He was back in the big time and getting offers thrown at him left right and centre. Opening a supermarket in Norwich, a guest on celebrity mastermind, the world (of terrestrial daytime TV) was Noel’s oyster. However, he wanted the Saturday slot back. He made his name there, and that was his spiritual home. Sky One, answered the call, and considering that the bulk of their weekend content was Dream Team re-runs and some dodgy sit-com about travel reps, they knew he’d slot right in.
Now I’m an Edmonds sympathiser, but Noel’s HQ was one of the biggest piles of turd I’ve ever seen. It was a reactionary, middle-England vehicle where people came on and moaned about kids in hoodies and parking fines. It was like getting beaten round the head with a copy of the Daily Mail. But even Noel himself admits it was right wing nonsense. In an interview with the Mail promoting the show:
The TV presenter blamed out-of-touch politicians and joyless health and safety zealots for the country’s downward spiral.
Speed cameras, gang culture and the London congestion charge were also among the ‘components of what’s wrong with the country’, he said.
Edmonds, 59, said while people were frightened of growing violence on the streets, they also feared the suffocating influence of the nanny state and unnecessary laws.
In that you’ve got health and safety zealots, speed cameras, gang culture, congestion charge, nanny state and downward spiral; he’s really gone for the jugular there. His swinging for the (easily off) fences with that one.
During the Noel’s HQ saga, in transpired that Edmonds had some bat-shit crazy political views. He is a trustee of the Renewable Energy Foundation (supporting renewable energy), but opposes wind farms because of the proximity of them to his Devon home. Right. However, it’s on immigration where he takes two full spoons of twat-syrup, with his calls for a total ban on immigration to Britain.
“I’m very straightforward on immigration – the bus is full.”
The bus? There’s a bus? So we should cap immigration to avoid public transport congestion? Is that what he means? Also, what’s his definition of full? Does he mean like after you visit a buffet ‘full’, or homosexuals turned away from a B&B because it’s ‘full’? It’s an important distinction.
Noel’s HQ was a bit like the UK’s answer to one of those nincom-poops of fox. He would berate the screen for an hour like a despotic leader, then bring midgets out to dance on his ‘Bonkers Britain’ section. I also remember a section with Carol McGriffin up a tower, moaning about hoodies.
Anyway, it was further proof that Noel wanted to take over the country (shit, would that make Blobby Chancellor of the Exchequer? Can’t be worse than Osbourne, but it would turn the Commons Budget into a bit of a farce……). It included absurd made-up facts, including my personal favourite
‘An act of Yobbish behaviour happens every second’
Which is just, wrong. Furthermore, what categorises a Yobbish act? Is stealing a penny chew yobbish enough, or do I have I to do something mental like power-bombing a granny?
Anyway, it got loads of complaints after Noel went on an unhinged tirade against a council press officer, after their councillor had been totally fucking out of line and followed building regulation. Pfft, Nazis. The press office said he wouldn’t go on an ‘entertainment show’ which caused Big Noel to go on the aforementioned unhinged tirade about how he isn’t paid anything to present the show, and that it’s a serious program (may have been more convincing had we not just sat through the Bonkers Britain dance routine, and if every member in the audience didn’t have a foam hand). Audiences dwindled due to most people not wanting to hear that every minute in Britain a blood donor is choke-slammed by a terrorist, and with dwindling audiences and shockingly bad press, the show was cancelled.
Despite this excursion into production being an unquestionable failure, with the presenting merry-go-round the way it is Noel was still ubiquitous on our screens. Alongside the aforementioned Deal or No Deal, Edmundo also hosted Are You Smarted Than a 10 year old?, where an ensemble of auditionees for The Omen competed against some simpering adults to see who knew more about Maths, English and Rhianna.
If, at any point during the game, the player chooses to drop out or is flunked out, they must face the camera and state, “I amnotsmarter than a/my 10 year old.” However, if the final question is answered correctly, the contestant has the opportunity to claim, “Iamsmarter than a/my 10 year old.”
So he doesn’t even gunk them? Oh, fuck that.
As we look back across Noel’s career, marked with success, failure, death, death again, and the biggest thing to hit Bristol since THAT suspension bridge, one must say that Noel has made us feel a range of emotions; from laughter on House Party to tension on Deal or No Deal, and ‘Do people honestly think like this? Really? Still? Fuck me…’ on Noel’s HQ, one must doff their cap at the man that has done so much for so many, whilst artistically achieving so little. Bravo, Mr Edmonds. Bravo.