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Bob Holness

From Academic Kids

Bob Holness (born 1928) is a British actor and presenter. He was born in Ashford, Kent, where he worked for a printing company before emigrating to South Africa. In 1955 he got his first job as a radio presenter.

Holness was one of the first actors to portray James Bond, in a 1956 South African radio adaptation of Moonraker, and subsequently he presented a regular show on Radio Luxembourg, but he is perhaps better known as a British game show presenter.

In 1961 Holness became the host of UK game show Take a Letter, and in the 1980s and early 1990s he presented the British version of Blockbusters, for which he is probably most famous.

Between 1975 and 1985 he was co-presenter with Douglas Cameron of the AM Programme on London's LBC radio station. He originally joined the station as an airborne traffic reporter.

In autumn 1995 he hosted Yorkshire Television's big-budget gameshow flop Raise the Roof before becoming the chairman of a revived Call My Bluff on the BBC.

Holness was the subject of an urban myth, initiated by broadcaster Stuart Maconie, who while writing for the New Musical Express, claimed (untruthfully) that Holness played the saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's song Baker Street. The true performer was Rafael Ravenscroft. The story clearly appealed to Holness' sense of humour as he has often played along with the myth, and has also at various times jokingly claimed to be the lead guitarist on Derek and the Dominoes' Layla and the mysterious individual putting Elvis Presley off his stride on the (in)famous "laughing version" of Are You Lonesome Tonight?.

Holness now lives in Pinner, London, England.

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