Noel's grouse party: Edmonds attacks fellow DJs

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The Independent Online

While the spoof DJs Smashey and Nicey always managed to put aside their differences to call each other "mate", even if it was through gritted teeth, an ugly bout of public name-calling has broken out among real-life Radio 1 DJs old and new.

First it was reported that Noel Edmonds, who is enjoying a revival in his career courtesy of his Bafta-nominated Deal Or No Deal afternoon quiz show, had launched a "scathing attack" on the breakfast show incumbent Chris Moyles, accusing him of being coarse and offensive.

Then it was reported that Edmonds, 57, had also revealed his distaste for the man who succeeded him on the early morning slot way a quarter of a century ago, Mike Read. According to Edmonds, Read, whose Oscar Wilde musical closed last year after just one night, is a "wanker". He told this month's Q magazine: "If it was an Olympic sport, he would have won more medals than Steve Redgrave."

The source of the broadcasters' feud can be traced to Read's appearance in a Channel Five documentary, The Curse of Noel Edmonds. Yesterday Read, 55, declared himself "staggered and disappointed" by his former colleague's opinion of him. He said: "I always thought Noel and I got on well together and I honestly could not be more delighted that his comeback has turned out to be so successful. "The fact that things are going so well for him makes his comments all the more bizarre. I would never do anything like that."

Perhaps even more galling for Read, Edmonds appears to have forgiven Tony Blackburn who also appeared in the Channel Five "tribute", excusing him on grounds of age. "Poor old Tony's got a big memory problem. I always wondered whether he realised that Capital Gold is actually an Oldies station," he said.

Age appears no barrier to the ire of Edmonds, In the same interview, conceded that Chris Moyles was talented, but went on to say: "I find a lot of what he says offensive and I don't think it's my age, I just think it's not appropriate, particularly on the BBC."

At the height of his popularity on Radio 1, Edmonds commanded an audience of 12 million, double that enjoyed by Moyles. He later moved to television, fronting The Late Late Breakfast Show and then Noel's House Party, which gave the world the plastic monster Mr Blobby.

Despite attracting big audiences, Edmonds fell out of favour with the corporation bosses and his television career appeared consigned to history. After five years in the wilderness he returned with Deal or No Deal on Channel 4, which pulls in 4 million viewers and, along with its Bafta nomination, has picked up a Royal Television Society Award.

Read also branched into television after radio, presenting Saturday Superstore, Pop Quiz and Top of the Pops. After disappearing from the screen he returned in 2004 only to be the first voted off I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. He claims to have written six successful musicals and has published 27 books, including the Guinness Book of Hit Singles, compiled with Tim Rice.

Pop pickers

MIKE READ

Age: 55

Radio 1: 1978-1991

TV Career: Saturday Superstore, Pop Quiz, Top of the Pops, I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here

Current status: Author and musical impresario

NOEL EDMONDS

Age: 57

Radio 1: 1969-1983

TV Career: Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Late, Late Breakfast Show, Noel's House Party

Current status: Multimillionaire, presenter of Deal Or No Deal

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