Neville “Noddy” Holder MBE, 76, is the musician who rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead singer of Slade. The group had 13 UK Top 40 albums and 24 UK Top 40 singles, including six No. 1 hits, among them Coz I Luv You, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Cum on Feel the Noize and millionaire salesman Merry Xmas Everybody.
Since leaving Slade in 1992, he has branched out into acting and radio presenting. He lives in Cheshire with his wife, Suzan.
How did your childhood influence your attitude towards money?
I grew up in Walsall, Black Country, in a terraced house where three families shared a toilet in the back. My mother was a cleaner at school, my father a window cleaner. The barter continued: to clean the butcher’s windows, he received pieces of meat. I would help during the holidays.
My uncle built me a puppet theatre. At seven years old, quite an entrepreneur, I put on puppet shows and charged the kids a penny to watch them, then kept them to buy records. My parents never had a bank account. I had a piggy bank and they bought me £2 worth of premium bonds, which I still have.
My father had a greenhouse and sold tomatoes and potatoes near the bus stop. So making money in any way was instilled in me. In bands, I would comb through everything, budgeting for tours to keep my head above water.
Before Slade (in the late 1960s the band was called the ‘N Betweens), we didn’t have a business manager. We didn’t earn much by making clubs; after paying for gas or new tires for the van, we split the rest into four. We toured for five years like that before having a hit. When we started selling records, we had to hire managers, accountants, lawyers; you would lose control. So it’s too big and you go around the world.