I worked in the entertainment industry for 30 years and during that time had the pleasure or misfortune of working with a huge range of stars and celebrities , some of whom were wonderful people, some were absolutely appalling and numerous others somewhere in between.
As a professional I always thought that, apart from occasional snippets and anecdotes to entertain colleagues and friends, the skeletons would stay buried forever. PR, bizarrely, is the one profession where discretion is all.
And yet..every time I see anything about TV ‘personality’ Noel Edmonds I twitch and feel a torrent of resentment that he is still on the scene. It was bad enough that he made a comeback with Deal or No Deal, now he’s going to occupy screen time on one of my winter favourites, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.
So it’ll be with glee that I shall vote For Noel on every Bushtucker Trial, the more gruesome the better and ensure he also gets my vote when we can kick people off. He is an arch performer and will pretend to be charming, caring, one of the lads, helpful, concerned and a hard worker/collector of firewood and tidier of the camp.
As I am a relatively friendly and pleasant kind of a person, you may be wondering what on earth Edmonds could have done to upset me so much. Let me take you back many years to Christmas in the late 1990s when I was at the BBC. In those days women with families took the week off between Christmas and New Year, and mugs like me ‘volunteered’ to do the twixmas week graveyard shift.
Usually it was quiet and that year I looked forward to writing a full press pack on one of my new series, Jonathan Creek. It was on the Friday that the production team on Noel’s House Party and me were called into Paul Jackson’s office when he was Head of Entertainment.
Paul was a great manager and a fantastic producer. He informed us that Edmonds had come up to TV centre in his helicopter from Devon as usual to talk to the production team about his show, which was falling in the ratings, on the following night. – and he had stormed out and gone back home.
Edmonds blamed everyone on the production for the failing show, refusing to take any responsibility for his sliding popularity and the fact that the viewers were bored with both him and Noel’s House Party. He demanded that the BBC spent hundreds of thousands more licence fee on his show. Of course, the BBC (not Paul) caved in but the following night’s show had to be a compilation as Noel refused to come back.
I was left to announce this to the media, Paul, having been assured by Noel that he Would Not Talk To The Press. This was intended as a gentlemen’s agreement and Paul being an honourable man, told me that I had to say nothing about Edmonds walking out. I wrote a bit of nonsense, ‘due to unforeseen circumstances etc’ and sent it out.
Oh boy. Every single phone in the empty (apart from me) office rang and rang. I put them all on voicemail and when I picked up the messages it would say “you have 12 new messages”. I had to stonewall everyone who got through- you try calmly telling a fierce bunch of journos who can sniff a story that there isn’t a problem and it’s just for this week. They got really nasty – and I didn’t get to write my press pack. I left the office exhausted at 9pm.
And so Saturday passed…and on Monday morning we were treated to a double page centre spread in the Daily Mirror from that lying, double crossing, back stabbing horror who blamed everyone at the BBC for not supporting his magnificent show.
And that’s why, ladies and gentlemen, I will be voting for Noel and entreat you to do the same. I look forward to watching rats crawling over his face, Noel eating kangaroo penises and other animal genitalia, while being covered in cockroaches, snakes, spiders and slime. I really can’t wait.