Jools Holland

Julian Miles "Jools" Holland OBE, DL (born 24 January 1958) is an English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer, and television presenter. He was a founder of the band Squeeze, and his work has involved him with many artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, The Who, David Gilmour and Bono.

Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music. He currently hosts Later... with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2.


Life and career

Holland was a founding member of the British pop band, Squeeze, formed in March 1974. Holland played keyboards with Squeeze till 1981, after which he pursued a solo career. His first studio session was with Wayne County & the Electric Chairs in 1976.

Holland began issuing solo records in 1978, his first EP being Boogie Woogie '78. He continued his solo career through the early 1980s, releasing an album and several singles between 1981 and 1984. He branched out into TV, co-presenting the Newcastle-based TV music show The Tube with Paula Yates. Holland achieved notoriety by inadvertently using the phrase "groovy fuckers" in a live, early evening TV trailer for the show, causing it to be suspended for three weeks. He referred to this in his sitcom "The Groovy Fellers" with Rowland Rivron.

In 1983 Holland played an extended piano solo on The The's re-recording of "Uncertain Smile" for the album Soul Mining. In 1985, Squeeze (which had continued in Holland's absence through to 1982) unexpectedly regrouped. Holland was again the keyboard player for the band until 1990. At that point, he again departed Squeeze on amicable terms to resume his solo career as a musician and a TV host.

In 1987, Holland formed The Jools Holland Big Band which consisted of himself and Gilson Lavis from Squeeze. This gradually became his 18-piece Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.[1]

Between 1988 and 1990 he performed and co-hosted along with David Sanborn during the two seasons of the music performance program Sunday Night on NBC late-night television.[2] Since 1992 he has presented the eclectic music program Later... with Jools Holland, plus an annual New Year's Eve "Hootenanny".

In 1996 Holland signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records[1] and his records are now marketed through Rhino Records.

Holland has a touring band, The Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, which often includes singers Sam Brown and Ruby Turner. In January 2005 Holland and his band performed with Eric Clapton as the headline act of the Tsunami Relief Cardiff. He also headlined the Skegness SO Festival in July 2010.


Holland is a fan of the 1960s TV series The Prisoner.[3] He owns costumes and props from the series, and occasionally appears wearing the trademark brown-with-white-pipe blazer featured in the series. Holland lives in the Westcombe Park area of Blackheath in southeast London, where he had his studio, Helicon Mountain built to his design, heavily inspired by Portmeirion, the setting for The Prisoner.[3] In 1987, Holland demonstrated his love of the series and starred in a spoof documentary, The Laughing Prisoner, with Stephen Fry, Terence Alexander and Hugh Laurie.[3] Much of it was shot on location in Portmeirion, with archive footage of Patrick McGoohan, and featuring musical numbers from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Magnum and XTC. Holland performed a number towards the end of the program.

Holland was an interviewer for The Beatles Anthology TV project, and appeared in the 1997 film Spiceworld as a musical director.

He received an OBE in 2003 in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, for services to the British music industry as a television presenter and musician. In September 2006 Holland was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Kent.[4] He is also known for his charity work: in June 2006 he performed in Southend for HIV / AIDS charity Mildmay,[5] and in early 2007 he performed at Wells and Rochester Cathedrals to raise money for maintaining cathedral buildings.[6] He is also patron of the Drake Music Project[7] and has raised many thousands of pounds for the charity.

Jools Holland was appointed an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University at a ceremony held at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 January 2009.[8]

On 29 August 2005 Holland married Christabel McEwen, his girlfriend of 15 years. The wedding at St James's Church, Cooling near Rochester, was attended by many celebrities, including Ringo Starr, Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fry, Lenny Henry, Noel Gallagher, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.[9]


His 2007 autobiography, Barefaced Lies and Boogie Woogie Boasts was BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week" in the week beginning 8 October 2007 and was read by Holland. He is the author or joint author of four other books.


  • 1978 "Boogie Woogie '78" (EP)
  • 1981 Jools Holland and His Millionaires
  • 1984 Jools Holland Meets Rock 'A' Boogie Billy (U.S. release only)
  • 1990 World Of His Own
  • 1991 The Full Complement
  • 1992 "Together Again" (single with Sam Brown)
  • 1992 The A-Z Geographer's Guide To The Piano
  • 1994 Solo Piano
  • 1994 Live Performance
  • 1996 Sex & Jazz & Rock & Roll
  • 1997 Lift The Lid
  • 1998 Best Of
  • 1999 Sunset Over London
  • 2000 Hop The Wag
  • 2001 Small World Big Band
  • 2002 SWBB Volume Two: More Friends
  • 2003 Jack O The Green (SWBB Friends 3)
  • 2004 Tom Jones & Jools Holland
  • 2005 Beatroute
  • 2005 Swinging the Blues, Dancing the Ska
  • 2006 Moving Out To The Country
  • 2007 Best of Friends
  • 2008 The Collection
  • 2008 The Informer (With Ruby Turner)
  • 2008 "The Informer" (single with Ruby Turner)
  • 2009 "I Went By" (single with Louise Marshall)
  • 2010 Rockinghorse

Film and television

  • 1981 Urgh! A Music War
  • 1982 Police: Around the World
  • 1982 - 1987 The Tube (Host for 121 editions)
  • 1983 Rebellious Jukebox: Compere
  • 1984 The Young Ones: Punk (Episode entitled "Summer Holiday")
  • 1985 Walking To New Orleans (Jools Holland in New Orleans)
  • 1987 Eat the Rich: Sun Reporter
  • 1987 Filthy Rich & Catflap: Strip Show Pianist (Episode #1.3)
  • 1987 The Laughing Prisoner: No. 7
  • 1987 French and Saunders (Episode 1.5)
  • 1988 Sunday Night: Host (unknown episodes)
  • 1989 Juke Box Jury: Host (unknown episodes)
  • 1989 The Groovy Fellers Himself, 6 episodes
  • 1991 Mr Roadrunner (Jools Holland in Memphis)
  • 1994 There's No Business: Pianist
  • 1994 - 1995 Don't Forget Your Toothbrush
  • 1995 The Beatles Anthology
  • 1997 Spice World: Musical Director
  • 1997 Name That Tune: Host and Pianist
  • 2003 Jool's History of the Piano : Presenter
  • 2007 Fairport@Forty: Interview
  • 2007 Top Gear: Star in a reasonably priced car.
  • 2009 Chop Shop Rover Concept: The Jet 1 Car : Customer

Current television programmes


  • "Rolling Stones": A Life on the Road, (with Dora Loewenstein), Viking/Allen Lane (1998), (ISBN 0-670-88051-5)
  • Beat Route: Journeys Through Six Counties, Weidenfeld & Nicholson (1998), (ISBN 0-575-06700-4)
  • Ray Charles: Man and Music, (with Michael Lydon), Payback Press (1999), (ISBN 0-86241-929-8)
  • Hand That Changed Its Mind , International Music Publications (2007), (ISBN 1-84328-645-9)
  • Barefaced Lies and Boogie-woogie Boasts , Michael Joseph Ltd (2007), (ISBN 0-7181-4915-7)