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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK


The sidekick who struck back

Kara Noble, now fired from Heart, with her co-host Jonathan Coleman

London radio presenter Kara Noble, who took the controversial photograph of Sophie Rhys-Jones and Chris Tarrant, is no stranger to publicity.

Her actress mother Marianne Stone has appeared in more than 200 films, and her late father Peter Noble edited the movie trade journal Screen International. Hollywood star Shelley Winters is her godmother.

She first hit the headlines in 1971 aged 17 - she now claims to be 40 - when fighting broke out between Hell's Angels and porters at Covent Garden market at a press launch.

She was fined £5 after she admitted assaulting a policeman at Bow Street magistrates' court.

Big break at Capital

[ image: Posing for the cameras in 1981]
Posing for the cameras in 1981
A decade later she then re-appeared as one of London's first kissogram girls, posing for newspaper pictures in lingerie with her arms around a city broker. She was claiming to have invented the "suspendergram".

In 1985, she became an assistant at Capital Radio, and her big break came two years later when she joined Chris Tarrant's breakfast show, providing traffic and weather bulletins.

Listeners loved their partnership, and millions woke up each morning to hear Tarrant tease his sidekick. Noble became a personality in her own right, and her breathy tones brought her lucrative voiceover work.

The partnership lasted into the 1990s, but ended when she joined new station Heart FM in 1995.

Noble claimed that while working for Tarrant she was treated as part of his "harem", adding: "I was kept in my place. Sometimes I was allowed to have an opinion, but if he didn't like it, he wouldn't talk to me."

Ratings battle

[ image: Launching a Christmas helpline with Chris Tarrant in 1989]
Launching a Christmas helpline with Chris Tarrant in 1989
Noble's appointment, and her claims that Tarrant was "very selfish, rude and insensitive", brought a welcome publicity boost for Heart, which later signed other Capital DJs in a bitter ratings battle.

She also said Tarrant refused to congratulate her on her new job - and later claimed he tried to ban ads featuring her voice from his show.

Noble proved to be a success on Heart, and she was later joined by former Virgin DJ Jonathan Coleman. But the show never did beat Tarrant's long established high ratings on Capital.

As well as her radio work, she has also provided the voice for children's TV character Wizziwig.

But after being fired from Heart over the Sophie Rhys-Jones picture scandal and being condemned by both Chris Tarrant and Jonathan Coleman, she faces a struggle before she is heard on the UK's airwaves again.

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