Slade's Noddy Holder says cancer treatment has 'been a hard road' at Manchester's Christie Hospital

  • Slade's Noddy Holder sat down with ITV Entertainment Correspondent Caroline Whitmore

Slade frontman Noddy Holder says he has 'learnt a new way to breathe' after being diagnosed with cancer five years ago and undergoing treatment.

The singer was 72 when he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2018 and initially given six months to live.

He underwent an experimental chemotherapy treatment at The Christie Hospital in Manchester which he has "responded to brilliantly" says wife Suzan.

Noddy said: "Looking back now over the last five years and as you see me now, it wasn't how it looks - like I sailed through it.

"You know, it was a hard road, but I fought it like I do everything else.

"It's worked for the time-being, you're never told with any cancer that you're cured, it's ongoing."

The rock n roll singer was the frontman for Slade. Credit: PA Images

The 'Merry Xmas Everybody' singer recalled the past five years, fighting cancer and trying to be thankful for his life.

"I mean, even if the worst came to the worst. I'd had a great life," he said.

"I've achieved everything in my life that I wanted to do and I've had some fun along the way. What more can I ask for?"

Noddy spent time at The Christie for his treatment, a centre which specialises in cancer care, research and education.

"I lost my hair, so people didn't instantly recognise me.

"I was wearing a Covid mask, of course, a lot of the time. So I didn't actually get recognised that much within the hospital.

"And they [hospital patients] are all in the same boat so they're not on the lookout for a celeb walking down the halls."

  • Professor Mansoor from The Christie Hospital

Professor Mansoor has overseen Noddy's care since he was diagnosed and says he is "really pleased" that the singer has decided to share his story.

And, for fans who might be wondering if the frontman can still perform, Holder says his singing voice is going strong.

Speaking about the effect that cancer has had on his voice, he explained: "With the cancer, it didn't effect my throat or the sound of my voice but it did affect my breathing so I've had to find a different way to breathe.

"That's been the biggest stumbling block.

"I was never a trained singer anyway, I'm a rock n roll singer.

"You have got to sing in your own way that's why I sound the way I do and I've got my own style.

"So I have to learn the breathing technique to get a song across."

The singer treated ITV News Granada Entertainment Correspondent to his iconic "Merry Christmas" shout, something he gets asked about a lot around the festive period.

He said: "I must get shouted that when I'm out and about, my catch phrase, every day of the year."But in December, 20, 30, 40 times a day."

This Christmas marks 50 years since Slade released their biggest hit the 1973 Christmas number one "Merry Xmas Everybody".