BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2023
Michael Ball’s history with radio is long and varied and loyal. It began in 2004 with a BBC RADIO 2 show called BALL OVER BROADWAY where he highlighted music from 6 Broadway shows and interviewed the leading actors. His first regular show on Radio 2 was MICHAEL BALL’S SUNDAY BRUNCH in 2008, airing on Sunday mornings between 11 & 1. After a short break he returned with SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MICHAEL BALL, airing between 7 & 9 PM. Then, with the death of Sir Terry Wogan, Michael began the radio show we listen to and love today on April 10, 2016. He is steadfastly loyal to BBC RADIO 2, to the people who work with him, and to his fans.
“Ahhh. I’m here,” Michael begins, “I knew you were here. Waiting for me.” Yes, we were. Waiting for our time with Michael and his witty comments, zany sense of humor and riveting interviews. And we can always count on a few cheeky slip-ups for a future Outtakes Hall of Fame. Those are the things we wait for! To say our loyalty to Michael runs deep would be an understatement.
Michael’s shout-outs today are fun and many (Happy Birthday, Marea). And his Family Album about Michelle and Martin Cook was lovely (I adored the songs chosen). I love when Michael reminds us it’s not HIS show but OUR show, and he proves it every week.
On the Ball. Rachel is the first contestant from South London who admits she’s obsessed with radio quizzes. She’s doing On the Ball for her friend Jess who adores Michael. She goes up on one of the questions and pleads with Michael to help her. He remains mum for the good of the show (You’ll understand when you listen to this. Hilarious!). Next up is Jess from East London. She’s literally sick to her stomach at the prospect of meeting and speaking with Michael. It’s adorable. And out of the segment this week comes Michael’s comment about his drink of choice: Flaming Sambuca! This particular On the Ball is an absolute delight for SO many reasons!
Orna’s in the studio today. Of course LOVE ISLAND comes up, one of Michael’s favorite shows. I have to admit I get a kick out of Michael’s apparent addiction to TV. It keeps him in the category of being a regular guy. Later, the 2 of them were rocking away to music when Michael pushed the wrong button, halting it abruptly. It startled Orna so much it knocked her glasses off. Oh, yes, they have the giggles. How I love these two!
Michael’s first guest is Mick Hucknall (SIMPLY RED), and Michael recalls hearing him sing for the first time when he was in LES MIS. His voice is often mistaken for being a black soul singer, and he discusses that influence on him as he grew up. He has a new album coming out with SIMPLY RED entitled “Time.” It grew out of doing some self-examination during lockdown which made him want to write about who he is, what makes him tick. Michael and Mick talk about the productivity of the lockdown period, and the good things that came out of it. Loved the song MIchael played from the album. Absolutely LOVED it! What a great interview.
Michael’s second guest, Dave Fishwick, has a hit show on Netflix called BANK OF DAVE. The movie is his story about setting up a bank for his community, and it’s caught on in a huge way. Dave gives the details of how it came about, how he helped lend to small businesses. People loved it and paid him back, making it a success. It’s a fairy tale story, a feel-good story. Michael absolutely loved the movie, making me want to see it. Also, the camaraderie between Michael and Dave was SO MUCH FUN.
So another Sunday radio show with Michael wraps. He’ll be back next week, you can be sure of it. Loyalty is important to Michael. He’s had the same personal assistant, Andrew Ross, since 2005. Gill Oakley & Maureen Wilkinson-Rouse have run his fan club for over 30 years, holding sway over tens of thousands of fans from all over the world. He recently celebrated 10 years with Ste Softley as the producer of his highly successful radio show. MIchael fiercely protects the privacy of his family and home, another example of his unyielding loyalty. He’ll joke about “Cath did this” or “Cath did that” like all husbands/partners do, or he’ll reveal some comedy/drama that took place at home – without breaching their privacy. Remarkable. Can Michael be grumpy or short-tempered with his loyal fans? Sure. He’s human after all. Michael has had fans rip pieces of clothing from him and try to cut snippets of his hair. A celebrity has to put up with a lot at times. But these are extremely rare occurrences. Michael knows he has some of the greatest fans in the world, and his loyalty to them is genuine and heartfelt. When he steps out of Wogan House every Sunday with his mind on getting home to his family and dogs and sees his fans waiting for him, he always stops and makes time for them. That’s who he is.
Loyalty. An underrated word. But not for Michael Ball. He knows its true meaning …