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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August 2003, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Edmonds admits part in TV decline
Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby
Edmonds brought Mr Blobby to our TV screens
Presenter Noel Edmonds has said he is partly responsible for a slide in British TV standards.

The broadcaster, who has kept a low profile since BBC One's Saturday night show Noel's House Party was dropped in 1999, said the programme went downhill after budgets were cut, affecting other shows.

He told Radio Times: "In the final three years, we had 10% cuts, year on year. Production standards dropped and we got into a downward spiral of 'when in doubt, gunge someone'."

"We tried our damnedest to make it special entertainment but I'll admit I'm a contributor to the decline in TV standards," he said.

"I'm guilty as charged for certain things. I don't say that with pride, but I'm not quite so guilty as others."

Noel's House Party was screened throughout the 1990s, featuring a mixture of stunts where celebrities were humiliated by Edmonds' Mr Blobby character or doused in gunge.

But ratings fell during the end of its run and Edmonds quit the BBC in 1999, branding its programmes "boring".

She's coarse and unpleasant - very 'yesterday'
Edmonds on Sara Cox
Since then he has concentrated on his business interests - his Unique Group is Europe's biggest independent radio production company - but he recently returned to broadcasting to present BBC Radio 2's drivetime show.

He is covering for regular presenter Johnnie Walker, who is being treated for colon cancer.

It is his first radio role since he left Radio 1, where he hosted the station's breakfast show, in 1983.

He took a swipe at Radio 1's current breakfast presenter Sara Cox for her "crude" language.

"She talks about 'shagging', a word I wouldn't dream of using in public," he said.

"She's coarse and unpleasant - very 'yesterday'."

He added: "I do the school run and we joke my kids can listen to Radio 1 until she says something crude. Usually I haven't got into fourth gear before that happens."

Edmonds, 54, said of his Radio 2 role: "The offer came at the right moment and is a welcome diversion from my routine. I hope it might be the beginning of something - it's a lot of fun for me."

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