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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Edmonds provides easy listening

By Helen Bushby
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Noel Edmonds has returned to the airwaves after a 20-year-break, broadcasting on BBC Radio 2's drive time show while Johnnie Walker has treatment for cancer.

Edmonds, who was hugely popular during his heyday, sounded genuinely grateful to be broadcasting once more.

Noel Edmonds
Edmonds has not lost his touch
"Everything's changed so much - I can't believe the technology here - all dubris and whatsits and thingummys. It's a bit like asking the Wright brothers to fly Concorde," he said.

His disembodied voice sounded eerily familiar, with phrases such as "oh crumbs" prompting flashbacks to his TV days on Swap Shop and Noel's House Party.

But, minus the interminable Mr Blobby - and not a bad jumper in sight - Edmonds became a friendly-sounding voice and the epitome of easy listening.

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With tracks including Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams and Squeeze, the show began to take shape, until he tried his first stab at topical satire.

He announced that travel reporter Sally Boazman was now reading the latest bulletins from a "dossier - to make things sound important".

Noel Edmonds
He was last on the radio 20 years ago
"I heard one of these TV chefs talking about his recipe dossier - I rather fear my five-year-old will ask me to read Peter Rabbit from a dossier.

"Sally - do you sex up your dossier?" he added.

But Edmonds soon picked up the pace again, taking two calls from listeners trying to guess who was behind "today's mystery voice" - a staple of the show.

Fiona, a giggly "housewife superstar" from Gravesend, insisted on calling him "darling", while Mike, a househusband from Cornwall, said: "Could I put a swap on please Noel - I've been waiting 20-odd years for that."

'Another world'

And more than 2,000 listeners texted messages to the show, with Edmonds saying he was "overwhelmed" by the response.

There is no doubt that Edmonds has not lost his touch - and appears keen to stay.

He ended his show by saying: "I'm in another world. I've thoroughly enjoyed the last two hours - my gratitude for Radio 2 for inviting me here."

What did you think of Edmonds' show? This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Why not let Noel do the drivetime show permanently and get rid of Johnnie Walker - I find the latter so rude and arrogant that the only times I listen to Radio 2 on the homeward journey is when someone else is standing in for him.
Susan Wakefield, England

Why on earth did BBC 2 bother to replace Stuart Maconie?! His show combined excellent taste in music plus stimulating conversation - Noel is too safe and I won't be listening to drive time any longer I'm afraid. This a pity as I used to rush back home to listen to Stuart's show.
Lisa Richards, UK

Not convinced by the return of Noel. Perhaps Radio 2 should be looking to give a younger presenter the chance in the prime time slots.
Colin P, England

I found him a little bland and the comedy forced. It will be interesting to see if things improve when he has settled in but from first impressions, I much preferred Stuart M-Wotzit who has been presenting the show recently even though he does have the annoying habit of talking all over Martin Shankleman who is too much of a gentleman to be irked.
KP, UK

Great to hear Noel back on the radio. A true professional like Terry Wogan and Steve Wright. Hope you give him a permanent slot on Johnnie's return, Jonathan Ross's slot would be good.
Marge Irene, England

I grew up listening to, and watching Noel on TV. A real pro - welcome back and sod the critics!! You're doing Johnnie proud. A friend.........
Carole Young, Scotland

Although I thought he was treading carefully on his first day, I thought Noel did a great job
Susan White, UK
I noticed the return of Noel Edmonds was due on Monday on Radio 2... Despite being in the age group for the Radio 2 target audience, I much prefer Radio 1 which I've grown up with since it started.

I was a big fan of Noel on Radio 1 and wanted to hear that old magic again.... Neither Noel nor the music selection were doing it for me yesterday though. Sorry Noel.

The final straw was when he was talking to some Daily Mail reader to see if she could guess a voice. Their banter was driving me nuts. I tuned over to Moylesy and heard "... Wendy's legs on the web-cam!"... I knew I was home then....

PS: Is it just me or would the majority of radio 2 listeners be tuned into Radio 6 if they had a DAB radio in their cars?
Stephen, UK

Any plans to allow listeners to re-listen to Noel's shows via the internet? I listen to Wogan mid-morning and Jeremy Vine late afternoon and it would be great if Noel's show was made available in the same way.
Steve, UK

Although I thought he was treading carefully on his first day, I thought Noel did a great job. Once he relaxes into this new role I'm sure we'll get even more laughs and great music. Well done.
Susan White, UK

I thought it was a really good show, unfortunately I am old enough to remember the good old days and I was very much reminded of these yesterday. Keep up the good work! I thought you were great.
Jo Harris, Britain

He was ok but I will need to give it a little more time to see how he settles in
Sue Kav, North Wales
As I only travel part of the way home by car, I only caught the last few minutes of the show, but it was great to have Noel back on air. From the earlier comments, though, it sounds like I missed the best bits of the show. With Steve Wright, Mark Goodier and now Noel on Radio 2, Radio 1 is in danger of losing another listener!
James Norman, UK

Where will this end? Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Mike Read?? Bring back Stuart Maconie please!
John, England

Noel is better than Johnnie Walker, and much as I wish JW a speedy recovery I'd sooner hear Noel each night. When JW comes back, I'll go back to listening to Radio 4.
Alan, UK

I feel Radio 2 would be most un-wise not to sign Noel to the drivetime permantly, or at least give him a show of his own. Talent like his is hard to find and this is a golden opportunity to cement Radio 2's place in the airwaves.
Martin Lawson, UK

I was disappointed by Noel's show, it was too forced. I love Johnnie's show and I have very much enjoyed it while Stuart Maconie has been standing in, but Noel was definitely a step backwards for Radio 2. I'll just have to find another station and hope Johnnie comes back soon!
Sara, England

I missed the programme yesterday but will, for sure, listen on my way home from work this evening. Can you ask Noel if he still has a house in Crinkley Bottom and will he try and fit in a slot from there one day?
Lynn Shaw, England

I've always loved Noel - welcome back. Obviously wishing Johnnie a speedy recovery, but surely there is a spot for him somewhere on the air.
Lorraine Martland, UK

The jury is still out for me on this one. He was ok but I will need to give it a little more time to see how he settles in. I love Johnny Walker so it is a very hard act to follow but Stuart Maconie did a great job and I am sorry he didn't stay longer.
Sue Kav, North Wales

quote here
name here
Noel was okay but why get rid of Stuart Maconie? Stuart's been doing a great job over the last few weeks bringing the drivetime slot up to date with an intelligent mix of humour, chat and music. Why replace this with another aged presenter whose humour is based on innuendo and who struggles to make interesting conversation with the guests and co-presenters?
Gareth, UK

Noel was truly awful. I don't know what is worse on our airwaves - some gobby northerner with a hip attitude but bad taste in music or some gobby southerner with a good taste in music bad taste in jumpers. The man was interviewing a man about trains, for Simes' sake. Why not just get Steve Coogan to be Alan Partridge for a couple of months and interview the son of the man who invented cat's eyes?! Awful.
Chris Higgins, England

Not lost his touch?! Well I suppose that's one way of expressing the fact he's exactly the same now as he was when he last blighted our airwaves. His forced breathless giggling and appalling telegraphed jokes brought back so many painful memories of the long years in which one could not turn on the TV without seeing Edmonds fronting another tawdry attempt to prolong the necessary death of "variety".

He produced awful programmes for fifteen years and took a huge cut of the profits for himself. I had assumed the BBC had learnt its lesson with regards to dealing with this man. I do not want my licence fee poured into his pockets yet again. Two months and then back to Devon forever please.
Mike Higgins, UK

When he was on the box, I always used to say he had a great face for radio...and I was right! Welcome back Noel.....
AJ, Scotland

A man who knows nothing about music, and cares less about broadcasting
Catherine Everett
Welcome back Noel. A true professional back in the rightful DJ chair. Do something right dear Auntie, and sign him up again! BTW, am I the only one who remembers Lucky Numbers, the show he presented on a Saturday evening before The Late Late Breakfast show came about?
Simon Hoare, UK

It's heartbreaking that Radio 2 seems intent to undo all the good work that they have done over the last few years - bringing the station into the modern age yet maintaining a happy balance between traditional and new and always upholding the highest quality - by reviving the career of a man responsible for some of the most vulgar output witnessed and heard.

A man who knows nothing about music, and cares less about broadcasting, with a sense of humour that makes Tony Blackburn sound like Chris Morris. Ah, yes, Chris Morris, that reminds me...
Catherine Everett, London

It was great to hear Noel on the radio last night. I don't remember his earlier radio days only TV but the man is a pure pro and it showed. He was a joy to listen to. Once Johnnie's back, Radio 2 will have to find him a permanent slot - you can't let talent like this be wasted.
Helen, UK

It's good to have you on board Mr Edmonds, long may it continue
Fiona, UK
Well done Noel, great job, a professional is back.
Gill, UK

Even better than Noel, was hearing Brian Perkins introduce the start of the show. Can we hear the version they did of The Girl Is Mine again?
Rob, UK

I thought Noel was dreadful although the music was good. His chats between the tracks were cringe-making, especially the hugely unfunny and embarrassing interlude about the dressed-up gorillas. Come back soon Johnnie.
Fiona , UK

It was great to hear Noel again. Cannot believe it's been 20-odd years. Where does the time go? Noel has been a fan, as I have, of Jonnie Walker, since the pirate days. It's good to have you on board Mr Edmonds, long may it continue. I wish Jonnie well and a speedy recovery, let us hope he is not too long away from the airwaves.

Noel should replace the fly-by-nights in a permanent slot. Get rid of Steve Wright or Jonathon Ross. There! Two slots already!!
Neil Ockenden, UK

Just play the records Noel
David Connor, England
I'm sorry, are we really to believe that a man who runs his own media company doesn't know how to operate the equipment in a radio studio? I found Noel's "effortless" style just a tad too forced, as were his attempts at humour.

And he nearly got started to have a rant about the countryside - that reminded me about the good old days when the likes of Noel, the Hairy Cornflake and Simon Bates thought it was the job of DJs to put the world to rights, or at least the bit of the world that had annoyed them recently. Just play the records Noel, and we'll get home just fine thanks.
David Connor, England

Hurrah for Noel. I think he did a great job, especially as he has such big shoes to step into. I certainly will be tuned into Radio 2 at Drivetime now - no more station switching. When does Noel get his permanent radio slot?
Laura Smith, England

It was good to hear him back, and he did a good show (and he was more pleasant than Johnny Walker in a way), but I prefered Stuart Maconie who's been doing to the show for the past six weeks.
Ian Robinson, Chorley, England

Great show and happy memories of Sunday mornings long ago. After a couple of shows I reckon he will be totally relaxed and in full swing.
Richard Gosling, UK

Fab to hear him on the radio - better than all these one hit wonders, Noel is a true pro. Great to have you back Noel! Now all the BBC have to do is give him is own show, and not just have him as a replacement!
Martha S, England

I always thought Noel Edmonds was a fantastic entertainer on both radio and television and would love it if he came back to our screens.
Stephanie Beaney, England

Listening to him was like putting on a comfortable old pair of slippers
Mark, UK
Noel did a terrific job yesterday. I'll be listening again today. A great radio voice and super music - much like Johnnie Walker.
The Doctor, UK

It was an excellent Drivetime show today. Noel Edmonds is the perfect radio personality to fill in for Johnnie Walker. Listening to him was like putting on a comfortable old pair of slippers. Welcome back, Noel. Let's hope BBC find you a new slot when Johnnie gets well!
Mark, UK

Hearing him reminded me of listening to him on Radio 1 in the 70s on a Sunday morning with Martin Wainwright and Brian Perkins - long before he became "annoying man in a sweater" on TV!
Mark Morton, Leeds, UK

I am too young to have heard Noel on radio first time around but remember the Multi Coloured Swap Shop with great affection. Last night's show was great and I'm looking forward to the next two months.
Gordon Mullan, UK

It was great to hear Noel back again. He has been gone too long and is an excellent replacement in Johnnie's absence. It would be really nice if the BBC could update their listeners on Johnnie's progress!! Keep going Noel!
Nick Conway, UK

We were huddled round the radio in our office for Noel's return
Mark M, UK
I thought it was great to hear Noel again - I am struggling to believe that it is 25 years since his last radio broadcast. He's not lost his touch, even down to the point where he "lost it" - giggling about the gorillas being dressed up in clown suits!!!!
Debs, Scotland

We were huddled round the radio in our office for Noel's return, admittedly it was now a digital radio connected to a computer(!), but great to hear him back on the radio after so many years. Technology may have moved on a bit, but a good broadcaster will always shine through. Welcome home Noel!
Mark M, UK

It was great to hear Noel once again. I, like many others grew up listening to him on R1 and his various TV progs and feel that such a quality broadcaster should be tied to the chair for five days a week in a regular slot.
John Shires, England




SEE ALSO:
Edmonds makes BBC radio return
04 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Edmonds comes back to Auntie
04 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
DJ Johnnie Walker in cancer battle
05 Jun 03  |  Entertainment
Noel Edmonds to leave BBC
08 Aug 99  |  Entertainment


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