Time was when you could relax safe in the knowledge that Noel Edmonds's career had disappeared around the U-bend like a particularly troublesome turd. But no longer. Now, thanks to the teatime trauma of Deal or No Deal, a show about pretending there's something really important and magical about opening boxes ("We want it to be blue, it must be blue, Gerald open up box 15 and show us a blu...oh, it's the quarter of a million" - cue the sad tinkly music) he's resurfaced.
Not just on Channel 4, mind: he's resurrected the saccharine overdose of glurge that he used to present on BBC1 on Christmas Day, except it's on Sky, where he also does a pisspoor US gameshow that doesn't work and his latest project, Noel's HQ, where he aims to tackle 'Broken Britain' by getting people to volunteer in their communities and do good deeds.
Look, it's a laudable aim; I'm not denying that. But surely Edmonds could save a lot of people a lot of time and effort and just give them some money. He's a multimillionaire who's spent most of the last 30 years whizzing around in a helicopter - surely a few quid here and there aren't going to make much of a difference? He gets paid an absolute stonking fortune, riches beyond any normal person's wildest dreams, just to stand there in high-waisted jeans grinning at a man on the other end of a telephone. Surely there comes a time when you must begin to realise that you're a bit of a lucky bastard and that, perhaps, you're earning quite a considerable sum of money for doing not very much at all? No...?
That, I guess, is the point of Noel's HQ, our maestro's attempt to 'give something back' (while being paid handsomely for giving something back, naturally). Funny thing is, I see people volunteering all the time and doing stuff in their communities to try and make them better; and they don't need some grinning berk with a beard turning up to make them do it, either. There are thousands of real heroes every day who, through sheer altruism and compassion, want to make the places where they live better, and who work hard through volunteering or community groups to make that happen. They don't need Sky One coming down with a camera crew to make them do it; they don't need Aspartame Edmonds popping up like an unlanceable boil: they just get on with it, and they're the real heroes.
Coincidentally, and let's stress the coincidental nature of this please, Noel has chosen the exact time of the launch of his new programme to complain about the BBC licence fee. (Strange, isn't it, that when Edmonds was on the receiving end of millions of pounds of licence fee cash, and tactics were pretty much the same, on the whole, he kept quite shtum about the meanness of it all) I mean, let's not for a second try and imagine that the two things are linked in any way whatsoever - his need for publicity for his new show, and his Damascene conversion to seeing the evil of the BBC licence fee collection for what it really is. No, it's certainly not a cynical move to get in the papers when you've got a new TV show; it's certainly not that, and we'd be very wrong to suggest that. It's certainly not as if it would get really big coverage in the Murdoch press, linking Edmonds with his new show, is it?
For 30 years he was one the BBC’s star presenters, stitching up celebrities and subjecting guests on his show to the horrors of the gunge tank. But now Noel Edmonds himself could be in the line of fire, after he announced that he was leading a boycott of the television licence fee.
Noel’s HQ, screened last night on Sky One, was aimed at promoting a “fairer, more caring Britain”. Edmonds told viewers: “You clearly feel frustrated and at times angry at the tidal wave of new rules, regulations and laws that have been introduced in the name of health and safety, security or the environment. Well, the politicians have had their turn, and now it’s ours. It’s down to you, me and them, and to everyone who wants to live in a more caring society.”
Oh. Mea culpa. That's exactly what it fucking well was. Edmonds just sounds like a rather irate Daily Mail commenter - he's railed about wind farms in the past, as they spoil the views at his socking great mansion and estate in Devon - and now he's angry at 'health and safety'.
Noel Edmonds angry at 'health and safety'.
Two words, Edmonds: Michael Lush.
Cuddly Noel espouses the thoroughly specious bollocks of 'cosmic ordering', but I'm here to tell you that it doesn't work. Because since I was about six years and I first saw the pompadoured private-school prick on Saturday Swapshop, I've been asking the universe to get rid of the bastard for good so I never have to see his face again.
It still hasn't happened.