Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The son of a window cleaner, Noddy Holder (born Neville John Holder on 15 June 1946, at Newhall St, Walsall, West Midlands) is an English musician and actor best known as the vocalist, guitarist, and occasional bass guitarist with 1970s rock music group Slade. He co-wrote most of the band's songs with bass guitarist and occasional keyboard player, violinist, guitarist Jim Lea, and has also been praised for his distinctive vocals.

Neville attended the T. P. Riley Comprehensive School, in Walsall and passed 6 GCE O-level exams. He left school at 17 half way through his A-level course to work in the office of a local car components firm.

He had formed a group called The Rockin' Phantoms with school friends at the age of 13. With money earned from his first job he bought a Hofner guitar and an amplifier. Holder turned professional with Steve Brett & the Mavericks. The band made three singles and one TV appearance.

As well as appearing onstage with Steve Brett, Neville was an occasional roadie (using his father's van, bought for their window cleaning round) for local band Listen, whose singer Robert Plant later went on to greater things with the group Led Zeppelin.

Don Powell then persuaded Holder to join The N'Betweens. The group already included guitarist Dave Hill and bass guitarist Jim Lea and the four of them went on to eventually become Slade. Lea and Holder turned out to have the group's most successful song-writing combination, composing most of the band's many hits. Noddy Holder was the lead singer and front man of Slade.

Slade were first and foremost a formidable live act and their live show has never been captued on film for commercial release.

Slade are unjustly best remembered for the single "Merry Xmas Everybody" 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. "Merry Xmas Everybody" has remained seasonally popular with partygoers ever since and is regularly included as a festive classic on compilation albums. To date, in the UK alone, sales of this song have exceeded several million copies.

Since Noddy Holder has parted company with Slade, he has only ever recorded one song - a short acoustic version of the Slade song Coz I luv you, which featured on the soundtrack album for 'The Grimleys' TV show. This has also been made available as a digital download.

Holder has no intention of rejoining the group, though he occasionally liked to start fans talking about the possibility by dropping 'never say never' comments in radio interviews, when asked about the possibility. Mostly these days, he will admit that there is no chance of it happening.

After Slade & acting career

Since the singer's departure from Slade in 1991, he has appeared in various TV shows, most notably The Grimleys (1999-2001) as music teacher Neville Holder, and had his own radio show on Piccadilly 1152 in Manchester in the 1990s. He also presented 31 editions of Noddy's Electric Ladyland on Men & Motors, was a team captain in BBC's A Question of Pop and was immortalised as a puppet on the TV show Bob the Builder.

In 1999 Noddy Holder's autobiography Who's Crazee Now? was published and he was awarded the MBE in 2000 for his services to music. The singer has also been the subject of the This Is Your Life TV show. On 8 December 2000, Holder made a cameo appearance in a live episode of Granada Television's Coronation Street, as a character called Stan, helping the cast mark the 40th anniversary of the soap.

Holder's voice was famously used in 2000 to record the lift announcements at the Walsall New Art Gallery. Director of the gallery Peter Jenkinson said at the time: "We are delighted that Noddy has agreed to record the lift announcements so that generations to come will be able to enjoy the unmistakable voice of Walsall's most famous son".

In November 2004 he made a guest appearance in the second episode of Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere - where he played a garage mechanic called Mick Bustin. In 2005 Noddy has appeared in an advertisement campaign for Nobby's Nuts and Crisps. In 2006 Noddy made a guest appearance alongside Northampton Indie Rockers The Retro Spankees in a music video for the Misty's Big Adventure single 'Fashion Parade'.

Noddy Holder is a regular TV critic and reviewer for The Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2, where the three often talk about Holder's rock star past. Mark often refers to Noddy as 'Sir Nodward of Holder'. He also occasionally presented Dumber & Dumbest, which was broadcast in the UK on Five.

Noddy Holder was the third celebrity to be inducted onto the Birmingham Walk of Stars. His induction ceremony took place on 9 December 2007 at Birmingham's 2007 Canal Boat Light Parade. For Christmas 2007, he recorded 'Noddy Holders Favourite Christmas Songs,' a countdown of his favourite seasonal songs from various musicians, for the music channel The Hits. On 24th December, 2008, Holder appeared on British TV's BBC humorous news quiz show Have I Got News for You as a member of comedian and writer Paul Merton's team.

Personal life

On 7 April 2004 in East Cheshire, he married TV-producer Suzan Price, with whom he has a son, Django (named after legendary gypsy jazz-guitarist Django Reinhardt), who was born in January 1995. Holder has two grown daughters, Jessica and Charisse, from his previous marriage, to Leandra. Nod is a grandfather.