Noel Talbot, who died on September 8th, was born at Craig y Nos (the one-time home of opera star Adelina Patti). By the 1930s the diva’s former castle had become a hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis, and Noel’s mother had contracted TB during her pregnancy. He spent his early years in Swansea, and was encouraged to perform by a music and dance teacher from Port Talbot. When Noel began his career as an entertainer he took the name Talbot by way of tribute (his family surname was Blood).
His first professional engagements were in 1949 (making him around 16 years old?) when he appeared as a young eccentric dancer in the “Once in a Blue Moon” revue. By the end of 1949 and through 1950 he was touring in the revue “Joie de Vivre”
He appeared in a series of pantos in the early Fifties: in 1952 at Swindon Empire as the Wicked Henchman in “Babes in the Wood”, followed by Simple Simon at the Newcastle Palace in “Little Miss Muffett” with Billy Wells as Dame (1953) and the same pantomime the following year at Hackney Empire.
Other pantomimes in his sixty year career ranged from a Wishee Washee with Reg Dixon at Swansea Grand in 1971, to Sergeant Bluey in an “Aladdin” at Southport Theatre in the year 2000.
Noel with Reg “Confidentially” Dixon, Nicky Stevens , Barry Hopkins and The Foremost: Swansea Grand
Noel & Reg Dixon
He had an extensive and successful career in summer seasons, cabaret and eventually in the clubs and in the 1970s moved to Australia. Following his great success as Herod in the 1978 production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with Marcia Hines and Jon English he became a regular part of the Mike Walsh TV show – and with frequent appearances on Australian TV in such shows as Celebrity Squares, the Ernie Sigley Show, and the Don Lane Show, Noel Talbot became one of Australia’s favourite entertainers.
To get some idea of his range of talents, his show-reel on YouTube and extracts from his Jupiter’s Casino performance are well worth a look. It is thought that he was around 80 years old. Although based in Australia for the past forty years or more, Noel made regular trips back home to Wales. Our sympathy to his family, to his brother Peter, and to his friends in the UK and Down Under.