A MUCH-LOVED pianist and television presenter has been added to Portsmouth Guildhall’s Wall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the venue and the wider music industry.
Jools Holland was presented with the honour before his show at the venue on Saturday, which he played with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
Mr Holland became a patron for the Guildhall Trust’s Renaissance project earlier this year, lending his backing to plans to renovate the Guildhall.
The works will take place in two phases and see customer and backstage facilities boosted to create ‘dynamic' social and community spaces.
The Wall of Fame at Portsmouth Guildhall was introduced in 2014 to honour artists' great success and local or long-standing link with the venue.
Mr Holland now joins The Osmonds; Genesis’ Steve Hackett; Mark King of Level 42; Foreigner’s Mick Jones; musical director and keyboard player for Queen, Spike Edney; the Godfather of British Blues, John Mayall; Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones; Joe Jackson; Julia Fordham and bands Simon Dupree and The Big Sound and Gentle Giant on the wall.
He said of the gesture: ‘It’s a great honour to be put up against this wall.
‘I have been visiting Portsmouth since I was a small child and have always had wonderful moments when I’m there.
‘Many of my fondest memories of performing are at the times we’ve been at the Guildhall.’
Also a composer, Mr Holland, 61, was born in Blackheath, London and started out playing pubs in the East End.
He was an original member of the band Squeeze and has sold millions of records since going on to lead his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to the British music industry and has worked with an array of huge artists during his career.
These include Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Florence Welch, Paul Weller, Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Bono.
Mr Holland's BBC music show Later... with Jools Holland is in its 54th series and has a track record of featuring some of the world's biggest artists, spanning the genres.
His other TV credits include The Tube, Night Music, The Happening and Beat Route, and 26 of the BBC’s New Year's Eve Hootenanny shows.
He also hosts the weekly programme, Jools Holland, on BBC Radio 2 – which features a mix of live and recorded music and chats with studio guests and members of his orchestra.