National Lottery stars now – sudden death, Phil Schofield feud and flashing fans
21st September 2022

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On this day in 1994, the nation excitedly gathered around their TV sets as the first episode of The National Lottery draws aired on the BBC.

Whether you tuned in for the gameshows, to see if Mystic Meg had predicted the right facts about the contestants, or simply to see if you had won in the big money draws, The National Lottery Show was a TV institution for nearly three decades.

While the TV show may be gone, millions of us continue to play the lottery – but oh how we wish the iconic programme would come back.

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On the anniversary of its first broadcast, Daily Star takes a look at where some of the stars of The National Lottery Draws are now.

Alan Dedicoat

You may not recognise the name, but Alan Dedicot's voice is one of the most iconic on TV.

Alan was "The Voice Of The Balls" and would let the presenters and viewers at home know when the numbers were ready to be announced on The National Lottery Draws.

It is his voice that has undoubtedly changed the lives of thousands of people across the country between 1995 and 2019 – but did you know he is also the voice of another popular BBC show?

If you ever listened to the phone numbers being read out on Strictly Come Dancing, then you would have heard Alan's voice, as he currently works as the show's announcer.

He also presented the news on BBC Radio 2 until 2015, and also works as the announcer on Dancing With The Stars in the US.

The star also paid tribute to the late Sir Terry Wogan, who hosted episodes of The National Lottery draws in the nineties, and gave Alan his famous "Voice Of The Balls" name.

Speaking to The Express following Sir Terry's death in 2016, Alan said: "There was no one quite like Terry. He will be a hard act to follow.

"He was a very gracious soul and I don’t think anyone will come near him."

Away from the limelight, it is reported that Alan is a London red bus enthusiast and owns multiple iterations of the famous vehicles, known as AEC Routemasters.

However, not much is known about Alan's personal life and whether the star is in a relationship.

Noel Edmonds

A few years after he launched the iconic Noels House Party, TV legend Noel Edmonds hosted the first ever episode of the National Lottery draws in 1994.

After rising to fame as a radio presenter, he landed presenting roles on Swap Shop and Top Of The Pops, as well as introducing the world to the iconic Mr Blobby in the nineties.

However in 2005, Noel Edmonds' entertainment company Unique Group collapsed, who among other smaller television production companies, also owned the rights to Mr Blobby.

Over twelve years later in 2017, the financiers involved with the company were jailed for a £245million loans scam, which saw the profits spent on luxury holidays and parties.

Noel revealed years later that the actions of the financiers and collapse of the company pushed him into a "a bottomless dark space" and that he almost took his own life.

The presenter later won a compensation deal with Lloyds Banking Group in 2019 following the case for an undisclosed amount.

He also became embroiled in a row with fellow National Lottery alumni Phillip Schofield in 2016, after Noel was questioned by the This Morning presenter over a tweet that Noel had sent to a cancer patient, where he asked if their "ill-health was a result of their negative attitude".

In his 2020 autobiography Life's What You Make It, Philip Schofield has since addressed the row, saying that Noel Edmonds was one of his TV inspirations, but "sadly, many years later, he and I would strongly disagree over an interview on This Morning when he suggested that ‘negative energy’ could cause cancer.

"I still take a different point of view to Noel, but I think it’s a terrible shame we fell out over it."

Years after his National Lottery days, Noel became the host of Deal Or No Deal in 2005, where he triumphed as the host of the successful Channel 4 series, which ran for more than 11 years.

It wasn't just success that he found when working on Deal or No Deal though – he found romance.

Noel began dating make-up artist Elizabeth Davies while working on the show, and the couple married in 2009.

Noel has been married three times – first to Gillian Slater from 1971-1981 and then to Helen Soby from 1986-2005, and also has four children – Lorna, Charlotte, Olivia and Alice.

The couple have since moved to New Zealand, where he is once again working as a radio DJ, but told The Mail on Sunday that he will have a less zany persona than he did in the UK.

He said: "Kiwis can rest easy. I'm not going to inflict myself upon this proud nation. I'm not bringing Mr Blobby over. I'm here to behave."

Mystic Meg

The National Lottery draws were not complete without an appearance from Mystic Meg.

Between 1994 to 2000, the astrologer – real name Margaret Anne Lake – would appear in a 45 second segment, which saw her try to predict facts about the future winner of the lottery.

She became an instant icon and has a legion of loyal fans – one of who reportedly streaked on the National Lottery set.

Speaking to The Mirror, Mystic Meg spoke about the revealing moment, saying: "My most vivid memory of the Lottery is when I was doing my prediction to camera, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a naked man running towards me.

The security guard caught him inches before he got in front of the camera.

"Painted on his back were the words 'Pick my balls'."

The star now writes a regularly astrology column for The Sun newspaper, and also hosts the game Mystic Meg's Wheel Of Destiny on Sun Bingo.

Away from the limelight, it is also reported that Mystic Meg is a racing enthusiast and owns a number of racehorses under the company name of Mystic Meg Ltd, with names such as Astrodonna, Astroangel and Astronova.

However, like her persona, Mystic Meg's private life is shrouded in mystery and it is not known if the star is in a relationship.

It is reported though that the star currently lives in Notting Hill with her seven cats.

Dale Winton

The National Lottery Draws became such an institution on Saturday night TV, that the BBC launched its own set of gameshows to run alongside it.

So who better to host one of these gameshows than Supermarket Sweep legend Dale Winton?

Between 2007 to 2019, Dale presented the popular In It To Win It, where contestants would wait for their chance to be called onto the stage in the hope of winning a huge cash prize.

At the height of his fame however, Dale opened up on Loose Women about his battle with depression and his mother's death from suicide, just days after his 21st birthday.

"I should have taken myself off the TV, but I didn't.

"There are worst things in the world, but I had health issues and I had the depression and I didn't realise.

"I always thought, get over yourself… I should have known, my mum died from it."

Along with In It To Win It, Dale hosted a number of gameshows including Hole In The Wall, Pets Win Prizes and The Other Half, as well as presenting Pick Of The Pops on BBC Radio 2.

He also made a cameo appearance as himself in the BBC comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme, written by Coronation Street writer Jonathan Harvey.

However, the star died suddenly at his home on April 18, 2018 at the age of 62 years old of natural causes.

It is reported that his entire £2.1 million fortune left to BBC Chief Creative Officer Mark Linsey, whose three children Dale Winton was godfather to.

His will also asked for his ashes to be interred alongside his mother, and speaking about his mother's death in his 2002 autobiography, the late star is quoted as saying: "I was heartbroken. That feeling has never fully gone away."

Anthea Turner

One of The National Lottery Draws' first regular presenters was Blue Peter star Anthea Turner.

Not only did Anthea present The National Lottery Draws, but she also presented one of its popular game shows – Big Ticket – in 1998, alongside Patrick Kielty.

Along with being one of the only people who built the famous Blue Peter Thunderbirds Tracey Island (for those of us who tried and failed), she also soared to new heights of fame as a presenter for GMTV between 1994 to 1996.

Since then, Anthea has appeared on a number of TV series including Celebrity Big Brother, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Hell's Kitchen, The Jump and Dancing On Ice.

She most recently appeared on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins in 2020 and The Real Dirty Dancing UK in 2022.

With all her TV appearances, it is no surprise that the star has an eye-watering estimated net worth of £15m.

Anthea is not the only famous star in her family however, as her sister is also the journalist and TV presenter Wendy Turner Webster.

Her love life was in the limelight, following a string of high profile romances with DJs including Bruno Brookes and her marriage to former DJ Peter Powell between 1990 to 1998.

In the same year as her divorce from Peter Powell, Anthea began dating Grant Bovey, with the couple marrying in 2000.

However their romance was not to last, and they split up in 2012 following allegations that Grant was having an affair.

Anthea is now happily engaged to businessman Mark Armstrong.

Nick Knowles

He may be Mr DIY SOS, but Nick Knowles is just as famous for his presenting duties on The National Lottery gameshows.

Between 2007 to 2016, Nick presented a number of Saturday night lottery gameshows including Who Dares Wins, Secret Fortune, Break The Safe and 5-Star Family Reunion.

After beginning his career as a runner in TV production, he has also presented a number of programmes including Wildest Dreams, Saving Planet Earth and even finished in sixth place on the 2018 series of I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.

He most recently presented the Channel 5 series Nick Knowles' Big House Clearout in 2021.

Nick is also a talented singer too, and performed the Robert Palmer track Addicted to Love for Children In Need 2008, as well as releasing an album called Every Kind Of People in 2017.

In his personal life, Nick was previously married during the nineties, before embarking on a co-star romance with City Hospital's Suzi Perry.

They dated for three years, before Nick met second wife Jessica Moor in 2009 – with the couple marrying three years later in 2012, but divorcing in 2016.

The presenter also has four children.

A source revealed to The Mirror in 2021 that Nick is currently dating Katie Dadzie, after the couple met in a restaurant in Bath.

They said: "They actually met through their youngest offspring and went on a few playdates as pals, before romance blossomed. Katie is a beautiful woman, fiercely independent and just Nick’s type."

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