His jour­ney from Cam­den indie idol to Bake Off pre­sen­ter is one no­body could have pre­dicted.

He might play the jester on the most clean-liv­ing show on TV, but pre- Bake Off, his com­edy was truly out there, es­pe­cially in com­par­i­son to for­mer hosts Mel and Sue’s in­no­cent jokes about soggy bot­toms (his sur­real solo shows in­volved char­ac­ters such as Roy Cir­cles, a choco­late fin­ger with shell shock, and Se­cret Peter, a man made out of melted Jelly Tots).

But that’s not the only sur­prise in Noel’s past. Like co­me­dian Rus­sell Brand, Noel, 45, is an ex-drug user, lead­ing one news­pa­per to jok­ingly call the re­vamped show The Great Bri­tish Coke Off.

Noel is also al­leged to have dated Bob Geldof’s third daugh­ter Pixie, now 28, while she was still at school – and re­port­edly counts a con­victed killer, cur­rently in jail, as a pal. Hard to imag­ine Noel is now one of the much-loved stars of the same show squeaky­clean Mary Berry reigned over be­fore it de­fected from the BBC to Chan­nel 4. Noel’s def­i­nitely hav­ing the last laugh.

Show­ing off his fem­i­nine side in 2009

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