What's eating Noel Edmonds?

He's refusing to pay his TV licence, wants a blanket ban on immigration, and believes that orbs containing the souls of his dead parents are his constant companions

Noel Edmonds used to be a chirpy chappy whose reassuringly opinion-free personality helped draw vast television and radio audiences for almost 40 years. But, in late middle age, the presenter has developed a lot of views on a lot of subjects. Some are what you would call forthright; others might be consigned to that section of his television show charmingly known as "Bonkers Britain".

Take the orbs. There are two, about the size of melons, which accompany Edmonds wherever he goes – or so he says. One sits on his arm, the other around the right shoulder. They are invisible to the naked eye, but show up, glowing, on digital photographs. They are, he explains, the souls of his father, Dudley, who died in 1990, and his mother, Lydia, who died in 2004.

Edmonds, 59, first noticed the orbs after his girlfriend, Liz Davies, 22 years his junior, introduced him to the theory of Cosmic Ordering. He claims to have loads of digital photographs of Mum and Dad, orbing.

The presenter worked for the BBC for 30 years, and is a multimillionaire, but refuses to pay his television licence fee, saying that he had would rather be prosecuted. He describes himself as "tolerant" and is leading a campaign for a society in which "people care a bit more". He wants a complete ban on immigration.

A sudden stream of announcements from Edmonds all coincided with the need to publicise a one-off television programme called Noel's HQ, which he hosted on Sky at the weekend. It is an updated version of that old favourite Jim'll Fix It, in which the former disc jockey Jimmy Savile went about granting viewers' wishes.

An Essex couple whose honeymoon plans had been ruined by the collapse of the travel firm XL found Edmonds knocking on their door to present them with a replacement five-day break in Malta. The prospective bride cried with gratitude. It was an example of how Edmonds proposes to create a society where people care more and blame one another less. "The politicians – and I'm talking about Gordon Brown – have had their day," he said. "They've had their chance to do it and look at the mess we're now in."

He went on BBC's Breakfast programme to denounce his old employers and let everyone know that he is breaking the law by refusing to stump up £139.50 for a licence – a protest against BBC advertisements warning people they are liable to be caught and prosecuted if they evade the fee. Too many organisations think it is OK to "badger, hector and threaten people," Edmonds said, adding, of course, that the BBC was not like that in his day.

In another promotional interview, Edmonds claimed that the time had come to say "enough is enough" and bar immigrants from coming to Britain. "I'm very straightforward on immigration. The bus is full," he said. "We haven't got enough energy, we haven't got enough electricity, we haven't got enough of a health service."

But perhaps most startling of all was the revelation he made when talking to the Sunday Mirror, about those orbs. "Orbs are little bundles of positive energy and they think they can move between 500 and 1,000 miles per hour," he said. "They look like little round planets, but they come in all shapes and sizes. Conventional photography can't pick them up, but digital cameras can.

"My belief is that these are something to do with some form of spiritual energy. And possibly because I miss my parents like mad, I like to think they are them. I've got loads of photos of me at home with two orbs that visit me. The two that I have are about the size of melons. One sits on my arm and the other is usually in the back of the shot, sitting just over my right shoulder. They like very happy occasions and positive environments, so if you are a positive person you will undoubtedly have orbs around you."

The son of a headmaster, Noel Ernest Edmonds began his career as a 19-year-old newsreader on Radio Luxembourg, before moving to the BBC as its youngest Radio 1 disc jockey in 1969. Later, he hosted the perennial television show Noel's House Party featuring Mr Blobby, who only ever said "Blobby!" and yet had a Christmas No 1 in 1993.

But when the show was taken off the air in 1999, Edmonds' career went through a rough patch, hitting rock bottom in 2004 with the break-up of his marriage reported in humiliating detail in the tabloid newspapers. In November 2004, Channel Five transmitted a tongue-in-cheek review of his career, entitled The Curse of Noel Edmonds.

But the following year he made a spectacular comeback hosting Channel 4's Deal or No Deal, which copied the format of a successful US show, allowing one of 22 contestants to beat the "banker" and win £250,000. It turned him into one of the country's highest-paid television celebrities. Last year, Sky appointed him to host Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old?.

This exposure would seem like very good news for Cosmic Ordering, since it gives Edmonds the opening to publicise this branch of New Age theory in the same way that the former goalkeeper and sports commentator David Icke has drawn our attention to the previously overlooked activities of Fourth Dimension reptilian extra-terrestrial humanoids.

But the television host is not yet ready for a role as a New Age apostle. "I'm a very tolerant person and I'm open to new ideas; I'm not an evangelist," he said. "I don't go round telling people, 'You must try this'. But I don't pour scorn on any idea either."

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

Voices
The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
    Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

    Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

    David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
    Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

    Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

    A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
    10 best DSLRs

    Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

    Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash