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Noddy Holder Remembers Market Trader Freddie Mercury: ‘Freddie Used to Say: Darling, I’m Going to be a Big Pop Star Like You One Day’

“I said ‘Get off, Freddie’ - in more colorful language.”

freddie mercury noddy holder
Source: Gavin, Kent/Mirrorpix/Newscom / Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Newscom / The Mega Agency
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Slade singer Noddy Holder has recalled his relationship with late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury – and how he told the “Bohemian Rhapsody” legend: “You’re never going to be a pop star”.

Speaking on the TV show Sunday Brunch, Holder – whose 1973 hit “Merry Xmas Everybody” has sold over 1.3 million copies and is currently No. 33 in the UK Singles charts (and has reentered the Top 40 every December since 2007, when downloads were first included in the countdown) – described how he would frequent Kensington Market in London in search of colorful outfits to wear on stage. Among the stalls there was a clothes stand manned by Mercury and bandmate Roger Taylor.

It was at one such stall that Holder bought his famous mirror hat – but as he told the show, he did not purchase it from Mercury, as had been previously reported.

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slade
Source: Universal Archive/Universal Images Group/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Slade's 1973 hit 'Merry Xmas Everybody' is a fixture of the Christmas singles chart.

“I made the top hat with mirrors. I bought the hat in Kensington Market,” he said. “You know, people think I bought it off Freddie Mercury. But I went to Kenny Market [to get it]. Freddie used to have a stall there, him and Roger from Queen selling shirts and paraphernalia.

“I went down to Kenny Market because I used to buy shirts off him, and Freddie used to say to me, ‘Noddy darling I’m going to be a big pop star like you one day’.

“I said ‘Get off Freddie’ - in more colorful language. ‘Go on Freddie. You’re never going to be a pop star’… He showed me, didn’t he?”

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freddie mercury
Source: GDA Photo Service/Newscom/The Mega Agency

‘Go on Freddie. You’re never going to be a pop star.’

Holder and Mercury’s friendship continued after Queen’s subsequent success, and in 2022 the Slade singer recalled their final encounter before Mercury died of AIDS-related complications in 1991.

“The last time I saw Freddie was in the late ’80s when he was coming out of a club in Switzerland,” he said. “He hugged me and whispered to me: ‘Thank you for everything, Noddy.’ Those were the last words he ever said to me.”

In October Holder revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in 2018 and at the time had only been given six months to live.

“I asked, 'How long have I got?' and the consultant said, 'Six months',” he told the Daily Mail. “There was no hope of treatment, nothing at all. I said, 'OK then'.

“I'm very philosophical about my life. I thought – and I remember saying it to my wife Suzan – 'I've had a great life. I've achieved a lot, everything I ever wanted to, really. I'm not worried. If this is it, so be it'.”

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noddy holder
Source: Universal Archive/Universal Images Group/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Noddy's famous mirror hat was bought from a stall adjacent to Freddie's in Kensington Market.

After undergoing experimental treatment, the singer has defied that prognosis and five years later is now in a stable condition… and still has his mirrored hat.

“I've never really stopped wearing the hats and, as it turned out, they came in handy when I lost all my hair,” he said.

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