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Celebrity profile.

ARE you hanging up your stocking on your wall? It's the time that every Santa has a ball ... name that tune?

Merry Christmas Everybody, by Slade. Too easy. So why are you torturing us with terrible songs when we hear them every time we step into high street shops?

Terrible? Surely not. There have been some utterly dreadful Crimbo tunes out there - Mariah Carey anyone? - so leave Slade alone. At least their offering had a bit of festive fizz about it. Heck, it still hasn't gone flat after all these years.

Incredibly popular, weren't they?

Too right. They split in the mid-'90s, when Noddy Holder tired of more than 20 years of wasting time at airports or on tour buses taking his big hair and big noise around the world to fans of glam rock. But they're very fondly remembered for their rocky, poppy, football- chanty songs. Then again, so are Status Quo.

But Slade are cool. Oasis cover their songs...

So they do. Noel Gallagher and his numpty of a brother covered Slade's Cum On Feel The Noize. Wonder if they'll still be about in 20 years' time, all gumsy grimaces and fights down the working men's club? Old fools they'll be. Not like Noddy Holder. He's hanging together rather well, for a 56- year-old. He's even played a teacher in BBC's The Grimleys, a few years ago.

Noddy isn't his real name, is it?

Surprisingly, no. It's Neville John Holder, MBE, actually. He received the gong in 1999 for services to music. But no matter how devoted his huge fanbase, there are fans out there who don't know their stuff as well as they should.

Talk about getting lyrics wrong: "Are you happy love, beside you on the wall," is how one fansite lists the opening line of Slade's best remembered track. Too much sherry in that Christmas pudding, we think.

l Noddy Holder appears in Diners Ep, recalling his drinking days with Ozzy Osbourne, on BBC Choice, 11.20pm, Sunday.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 14, 2002
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