Noel Edmonds, the sultan of ’90s light entertainment TV, is launching a radio station for your pets to listen to. It will be called Positively Pets and follows a recent development that saw Noel offer to call up strangers’ pets to give them life advice (seriously). The station will be part of Positivity Radio World, a network of 22 relentlessly positive niche radio stations with no news bulletins to kill the vibe. It already includes Positively Plants (“songs to improve plant growth”) and Positively Cascade (“water flow for relaxation”). There’s also one called Positively Talented, which plays new artists, and the yet-to-be-launched Positively Noel, on which he’s a bit vague. All of this raises some pretty serious questions. What kind of music do cats listen to? Does he keep in touch with Mr. Blobby? We called Noel to find out.
Hi Noel! What kind of music are you going to play on Positively Pets?
Oh, whatever the pet wants. It will have really fantastic music. We’ll do requests.
How… how is that going to work?
If people want to send messages to their pets they can upload them from their personal device and we will play them on-air. A lot of people go out during the day and leave their pets unattended. If they leave the radio on for them, there is a radio station dedicated just for pets. And pets go beyond cats and dogs, we hear about worms and lizards and snakes and the creatures people share their liVes with. It’s a world first; nobody has done it.
Do you have pets yourself, Noel?
I do, and I obviously discussed it with them. Mr. Chips is a Labrador, Ms. Fish is a Siamese cat with very strong views and Pie is French Bulldog with a very strong rear. I may put Pie’s parps on the radio.
That’ll get the listeners in. What do Mr. Chips, Ms. Fish and Pie like to listen to?
Almost exclusively classical music, though Mr. Chips recently has shown a lot more interest in soul music. He got into Ben E. King and we knew he liked Aretha Franklin, but I’m not sure that’s really the right sort of soul. When he was a puppy, he was into Motown and I think he sort of matured into soul, but I’d like to see him go into deep R&B.
How is Positivity Radio World funded?
Positivity Radio is funded by me. We have no news, no commercials. The slogan is: “News-free, commercial-free, listen free.” We will never charge the listener to be positive.
How do you get a return on your investment?
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Well, to a certain extent, I’m not bothered about that. There are a number of the stations that will never have any sort of revenue model – particularly our nine health and wellness stations. There are lot of people who can’t sleep and Positively Sleepy helps with insomnia. There are people who want to meditate; they have Positively Meditation and it makes meditation so much easier. You don’t do everything in life in order to make money.
Why should people listen to Positively Talented and what can they expect to hear on there?
Positively Talented is a blend of established artists and new, undiscovered, unsigned talent.
How do you find this talent?
They find us. Elles Bailey, for example, is brilliant. She’s in Nashville at the moment recording an album. The mix of artists and music on Positively Talented is really exciting. I mean, some of it is not to my taste – but hey, this is not a Noel project. It’s bigger than that.
Why is now a good time for Positively Talented?
Because of things like The X Factor, it’s not easy [to break through as new talent]. Those that do manage often it find themselves tied up in contracts which are very onerous. In many instances, we say to people: ‘We will play your music for free and you’re not obligated to us. If you make it to the big time one day, just remember that Positively Talented helped you.” I think there’s room for another more personal way to get people’s talent out there again.
Do you still keep in touch with Mr. Blobby?
He’s a broken man. He went to Marbella and opened a bar. It’s called Blobbies and like a lot of people who get into that, he consumed most of the profits. Mrs. Blobby left him. You can probably imagine what the state of the bar is now. But if you’ll go down there, he’ll talk to you about the good times and probably slag me off.
At least he’s got the royalties from the ‘Mr. Blobby’ song…
He doesn’t get them – I do. I bumped into Gary Barlow shortly after we knocked him off the number one slot at Christmas [in 1993] and he was not happy!
Yeah, gutted for him. Noel, do you ever worry that people might think you’ve gone a bit mad?
[Laughs] Look, I have previous. I spent a lot of Saturday night on BBC television, being chased around by yellow rubber balls. I’m the last person to claim that I’m sane. I like a joke and I’ve never had a problem taking the piss out of myself. I think too many people take life too seriously. I’m having a ball!