Noel Edmonds writes:
You know, I’ve been out and about playing with my chopper today. And for once, I don’t mean my penis. I’m talking, of course, about my helicopter, or “Whirlybird”, as I like to call it.
The helicopter was really just a wheeze dreamt up by me and the utterly mad- but absolutely innocent- DLT, as a way of visiting children’s hospitals and the like for that TV show I used to do when I visited kids in hospital on Christmas morning. Although, TV scheduling being what it is, we actually filmed in July and the kids were really juvenile actors from various stage schools.
Statistically, I am sure that many of them have since died of cancer and so what might have seemed genuine at the time, and then later really rather cynical, is actually quite genuine and heart-warming after all.
I can imagine a good number of these former child stars- some of whom went on to appear in Grange Hill, or later the Bill, or Casualty- looking back on their televisual careers and realising that, yes- their highlight as a performer really was when I sprang from my chopper and dropped off a copy of KerPlunk to help them with cope with the misery of imaginary leukaemia.
That helicopter has been preying on my mind recently, however. It’s become a whirlybird of prey, if you like.
Because although it looks suspiciously like I only bought the thing to provide me with easy access to, and a fast getaway from, children’s hospitals, I have to stress this:
For. The. Record.
There was never once so much as a whiff of the Saviles about even one shred of an iota of anything in my long and fabulous career as a BBC man to the bitter core (until they fired me, obviously; since which I have done nothing but slag them off endlessly and threaten to buy them out with the money I have saved on taxi fares by actually owning a taxi).
That is a fucking fact and you can take it to the bank and cash it.
I will go you one further- not only am I not now, nor have ever been a paedophile, I can’t actually stand kids in the slightest.
Not even my own.
How I got away with being a children’s TV host for so many years- despite being positively ALLERGIC to the obnoxious little germ bags- is just one of those things from the eighties we will never truly understand; like how to solve the Rubik’s Cube without cheating; or why Bowie and Jagger thought it was a good idea to make the following:
Perhaps it was simply due to the scheduling of Swap Shop– it being on in the morning and all, when most British parents were nursing their hangovers and letting the kids just get on with it- that my open contempt for the Youth of Britain who appeared on the show never managed to become a burning issue.
But, let’s face it, Jimmy Savile was raping and strangling the kids that went on his show without anyone at the Beeb batting an eyelid. And he was on prime time TV.
Surely someone must have heard the shriekings from his dressing room…
I myself didn’t, of course, because I was down the bloody pub by then, sipping a coca cola or ten while me old mate DLT got hammered on literally pints of booze. These were, quite simply, legendary sessions which would sometimes get a bit saucy with the lady researchers and barmaids.
And okay, this “modern” world might call it “sexual harassment” but what does that actually mean?
For DLT, it was all meant in good fun. And really, who wouldn’t love to get their tits felt up in a bit of bona fide boozy broadcaster bonhomie?
Lesbians, that’s who.
And bitter old trouts with an axe to grind some 40 years later.
Which brings me on to my favourite number on Deal or No Deal:
The number 40.
Yes, when people tell me ’40,’ what I always imagine they’re really meaning is my apparent age, which I have remained at since my mature and sensible, yet fun-loving crazy self (think youth activity centre manager) kept it wholesome on Swap Shop at a time when ITV were unleashing an unbridled torrent of filth that forever corrupted the kids. I’m talking TISWAS.
If anything, TISWAS was even worse than Jimmy Savile’s furtive scrabbles.
The ‘host’ was Chris Tarrant, who succesfully mind fucked an entire generation into loutish behaviour, which they would then carry with them for the rest of their lives; forever taking potshots at us Baby Boomers out of spite or jealousy or something.
By contrast, ok, Savile did rape and strangle about 500 or so kids. But he was a gentleman pedo about it, tending to make sure they were either too traumatised or dead after he had his way to go pooping other people’s parties.
As for Tarrant.
We kept ignoring TISWAS of course, plugging away at the Swap Shop roadshows and releasing that Brown Sauce record. We thought such depravity would just all blow over.
But then the necessary restructuring of society on a more modern, corporate basis that Britain’s Greatest Prime Minister, Margaret Dame Hilda Thatcher unleashed, led to a bewildering maelstrom of entrepreuneralism and coke mirrors, the high point of which was, for me at least, witnessing on a pub TV in London the good old British Bobby cracking the heads of subversive elements Somewhere up North.
Our biggest companies and their lowliest employees were now freed from the tyranny of trade union practices, revolution and wage inflation.
Somehow though, TISWAS slipped off the agenda. But not mine.
Oh no. You’re a dead man, Tarrant! Dead!
EDIT OR REAL:
In Noel Edmond’s defence, he did say he never had time for Savile and went on to blame both the “Royal” Family and Thatcher for his getting away with it in this link here.
The Noel Edmonds that appears on this site is fictional satire as I am legally obliged to point out should certain short-arsed cosmic orderers get all snippy.