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The Iconic Voice of Slademania: NODDY HOLDER shares his story

Ever wondered what Slade’s Noddy Holder is doing now?
Curious as to whether he still sings? Or how he survived a terminall cancer diagnosis? Tune in to find out.

Neville ‘Noddy’ Holder is one of the great institutions of British rock. As the garishly trousered, top-hatted frontman of West Midlands glam yobs Slade, he helped soundtrack the early 70s with a string of Top 10 hits that peaked with the immortal festive anthem Merry Xmas Everybody. Since leaving the band in the early 90s, Noddy branched out into acting, most notably in sitcom The Grimleys, and writing (his 1999 autobiography Who’s Crazee Now? was followed by 2014’s The World According To Noddy). He is also the voice for the elevator announcements at his local Walsall art gallery.

Born in 1946 in the Midlands, Noddy formed his first band, The Rockin’ Phantoms, at the age of 13 and left school after O levels to take a job in a car parts firm while pursuing a music career. The band became The Memphis Cut-Outs and they became popular enough on the local scene for Noddy to quit the day job. He went on to join The Mavericks, who were signed to a record label in 1965, and his stablemates were The N’ Betweens, a band that included future Slade members guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell. The two bands shared bills and bonded, laying the foundations for Noddy’s next move.

In 1966, Dave and Don convinced Noddy to join their new group, along with multi-instrumentalist Jim Lea. They called the band Ambrose Slade. After their debut album flopped, they changed their name to Slade and adopted a skinhead Image for the following year’s Play It Loud. When that failed to catch the public’s imagination, the band turned to glam rock and swiftly became one of Britain’s biggest bands, with Slayed? (1972) reaching No 1 after their breakthrough single Get Down And Get With It.

The next few years saw Slademania take Britain by storm with a run of classic, hit singles (mostly chart-toppers) that gave English teachers the nation over sleepless nights including Coz I Luv You, Take Me Bak ’Ome, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy T’Jane, Cum On Feel The Noize, Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me and Merry Xmas Everybody.

Noddy Holder left Slade in 1992 but remained a familiar figure on BritishTV screens, most notably as a team captain on BBC1’s music series A Question Of Pop and playing the music teacher Neville Holder in the ITV comedy drama The Grimleys. In 2000, Noddy was awarded the MBE for his services to showbusiness.

Late in 2023, Noddy revealed that he’d been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer five years earlier and had been given six months to live. Thanks to some experimental chemotherapy treatment, Noddy has survived and is back on the stage doing what he loves to do best.

Noddy Holder joins us this week to walk us through his illustrious career and talks warts and all.

For more information about Noddy

Hello, I’m Sandy Kaye. A freelance broadcaster, journalist and producer who has spent more than 35 years on both sides of radio and television microphones. I’ve worked with every TV network in Australia, have produced and presented for countless radio stations around the country and have hosted my own commercial radio talk-back show. I’ve even held the distinction of being Sydney’s first female newsreader on radio – way back when!

Today my passion is A Breath of Fresh Air which allows me to immerse myself in one of my favourite things – music. I just love all kinds of music and am fascinated by the people who make it. In particular, it’s the music of the '60s '70s and '80s that takes me back to my youth and means so much to me.

As a journalist, I’m all about digging deep into the classic hits of our time.
I bring you intimate, warm, fireside chats with the artists who tell us about their lives both then and now.
We learn about what makes them tick, who they are in their professional and private lives and how they went about making the soundtrack to our lives.

'A Breath of Fresh Air’ is exceptional - exceptional not because of me, but rather because of the stories that some of the best-known musical artists choose to share with me.

I created this podcast to honour them. It’s all about THEIR lives, THEIR stories, THEIR music, told now, in THEIR voices, before they’re lost forever.

I see my podcast as a personal labour of love, but also as an archival legacy for music fans and practitioners alike, both current and future, who otherwise might never know of the amazing people who helped build the industry.

I really hope you enjoy each and every episode of A Breath of Fresh Air.

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