Noel has always loved singing and could apparently sing before he could speak properly. Noel’s Mum Claire once said ‘It was always there. He couldn't even say a sentence but he could sing and, more to the point, he enjoyed it. Some boys loved Football, Noel loved singing.’
From an early age he was surrounded by music; his grandmother Monique Samuel was a famous cellist for the Paris Philharmonic Orchestra. Noel said: ‘I grew up around musical instruments and I started playing the piano and singing when I was six.’
He was brought up by his mum, Claire, and stepfather, Christopher Hayes after his parents split up before he started school. Noel and his Mum have a very special relationship, Claire explains: ‘I was adopted and Noel's dad didn't really have anything to do with him so we stuck together.’ Noel adds: ‘My mum is amazing and we've got a brilliant relationship.’
When he was little Noel wanted to be an astronaut or a pilot.
Sadly Noel was no stranger to tragedy and heartache in his early years. Aged 6 his younger brother Dominic was a cot death victim and 3 years later his baby sister Alicia-Monique died of a brain tumour.
He went to school at the prestigious St John's College in Cardiff, the choir school to the Cardiff Cathedral. While studying there in 1991, Noel accompanied the choir to Paris where they sang at the world famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The audience of 2000 rose to their feet giving the choir a standing ovation. In the choir at the same time as Noel were Richard Morgan, ITV Wales presenter, Gruffydd Morgan, Commonwealth Bronze Medallist in shooting and Mark Chaundy, associate artist with The Welsh National Opera.
on to the Mary Immaculate Catholic High School, Cardiff. It’s said that it’s here where he first
appeared in front of an audience on stage. In 2001 he sent a good luck message to pupils working on stage production at the school. Teacher Sue Bradshaw said ‘Noel used to take part in school
productions himself and he hasn't forgotten his past. The pupils are delighted to have his support.’
Aged 14 Noel understudied for the Welsh National Opera inPelléas et Mélisande byClaude Debussy.
He studied A-level Media, English and Drama at St David’s Catholic Sixth Form College, Cardiff from 1997 to 2000. He was a star performer in the college’s musical theatre productions. Head of drama Richard Tunley said he was a charismatic performer destined for the big time. ‘He was thirsty for performance and always got very involved on the practical and social side of productions. Once he took quite a small part in a play, but was the one people were talking about afterwards.’
Aged 18 he toured America for two and a half months, singing in 44 venues across 27 states with the Black Mountain Male Chorus of Wales. Tour manager and conductor, Tim Rhys-Evans said of Noel: ‘He was with a group of lads and up for a good time. They all lived life to the full without their parents breathing down their necks. Noel's definitely not the mummy's boy people made him out to be.’Noel explains: ‘The choir taught me about harmonies and stuff and really set me up for all this. The experience has been invaluable when it comes to the band (hear'say).’
Noel worked with famous
drag artist Ceri Dupree in the ‘Around the World in 18 Dames show’ at Minsky’s Cabaret Bar in Cardiff. Part of the act required Noel to dress as a daffodil! Noel says of the time: ‘Someone said to
Ceri about my singing and I auditioned for the show. Ceri did Shirley Bassey and we had to represent Wales and I drew the short straw. I could have been a rugby player or a leek. But
actually the leak outfit was quite dodgy, even dodgier than the daffodil.’
He spent a summer in Ibiza singing at Dawn Allen's, Millennium Bar. Dawn said of Noel ‘He's the next Robbie Williams. He's got a great voice. He's brilliant at ballads. I used to say to the customers he'd go on to be a big star.’
A year before Popstars he spent another season in Ibiza working with his friend Kerry in a Black Light Theatre of Prague style show. Noel said: 'I was on stage dressed in black working under ultra violet light with something like 150 puppets. It was a really clever show.' After a while, it was time to move on. ‘I just woke up one morning and decided to come home and go for every audition I could.’
During this time Noel also worked as a videographer at a Spanish diving centre. Other previous jobs include being a waiter, barman, fishmonger and paperboy.
Suzanne is currently busy working away at several projects including her upcoming role in the comedy horror film Neighbours from Hell.
Kym has just celebrated 10 amazing years walking the cobbles on Coronation Street. Her character Michelle Conner has become a fond fixture on our screens. Here's to many more happy years with Corrie!
Johnny and his lovely wife Lisa are busy teaching at their very own Dubai Performing Arts Academy. For more info and class details see www.dubaiperformingarts.com
Huge congratulations to Danny and his gorgeous new wife Victoria who are now happily married! They are already busy touring all over the UK with their fantastic group The Big Soul Corporation. For dates see www.dannyfosteronline.com
Myleene is as busy as ever juggling numerous work projects and has just launched her fabulous 2016 swimwear range for Littlewoods.