A simple high-yielding method for the preparation of a tetramethylcyclopentadienyl-NHC ligand is described. This ligand has been successfully coordinated to Rh and Ir. A related Cp*-NHC ligand with a -CH2CMePh-linker between the Cp* and the NHC is also described, together with its coordination to Rh and Ir. This latter ligand, affords the orthocyclometallation of the phenyl ring yielding a constrained structure in which the ligand is tridentate. All the complexes have been fully characterized and their crystal structures are described. Preliminary catalytic results on the beta-alkylation of secondary alcohols and N-alkylation of aniline with primary alcohols are also reported.