BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2023
They say to whom much is given, much will be required. Michael seems to have lived by those words. Don’t get me wrong – It’s not that he owes something to society. I don’t think that’s how he looks at it, and it’s certainly not how I see him. No. It’s simply that when he comes across someone or something in need, he instinctively reaches out. That’s just who he is. He genuinely wants others to be as happy as he is. That’s why he so enjoys making people laugh. But beyond making others feel good … If Michael sees a child in pain or an aging actor not able to make a living in his golden years or a hospice that desperately needs to be funded, or a talented young artist who’s struggling, he’s the first one to offer help. Sometimes it’s financial, but often it’s with his music or his industry connections. Bottom line: He’ll do whatever is needed. Michael’s enormous heart is always on display, shining through on the stage, in everyday life, and on the radio …
Michael’s show began differently – with his playing Beth Nielsen Chapman’s ‘I Find Your Love.’ And then we hear his dulcet voice … “Hello, my lovelies. It’s Michael Ball here. And today is a very special day. We’re meeting the finalists for The Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award. Let’s make ourselves smile for the next 2 hours, shall we?”
On the Ball. The first contestant is Claire, who just won the Silver Award for Barbershop Chorus in Kentucky. She didn’t eat any fried chicken (Michael was aghast!) but she loved Louisville. ***Michael reveals that Barbara Streisand is going to be on his show in December!*** He says she’s the only one who could make him starstruck. Okay, put it out of your mind, Deborah. Back to the show … Claire’s playing against her daughter Ella, who describes just how musical her family is. Of course Michael is delighted and so encouraging. Ella goes blank through a whole series of questions about a famous person, setting Michael’s giggles off. I refuse to give it away. You’ll have to listen. Poor Ella really has a hard time of it. Michael ends up telling her she has to get out more! This is hilarious, Michael’s laughter bouncing off the walls. A good segment.
Orna’s in the house, making Michael happy. And they both reveal the show is moving to a new studio in December. Lots of news coming out of today’s broadcast. Proving that you shouldn’t miss a single show!
Michael’s first guest is Young Fundraiser Award finalist Tom and his mom Louise. Tom has a rare chromosome disease which creates mobility problems. He decided to do a tricycle trek (I believe it was 67 kilometers) through all types of inclement weather to raise funds for Children in Need. Unbelievable, considering Tom’s affliction. Bravo to him! Michael is utterly charming with him. Michael and children. Is there anything more heartwarming?
Next up is Joel, who’s 13, also his mum and dad. He cycled from his house in England to his grandparents’ home in Holland! It took him 6 days, his parents riding with him. Realizing he has a good life, Joel wanted to help other children who have a tougher life. When his friend Angel’s parents died suddenly, leaving her without anyone, it made him see how lucky he is. I think I’m falling in love with this boy!
And now we have Henry, 17 years old. Henry has raised money for many years, doing a tractor run (He’s always loved both tractors and animals). Then he gathered more people who bring their own tractor, and people donated money to them for Children in Need. Like Joel, Henry felt very lucky, living in the country, so he wanted to help other kids who don’t have it as well as he does. These kids are truly amazing!
BTW, I adore today’s music choices. They truly go with the outstanding accomplishments of these children. Well done, Ste Softley and Michael. Back to the finalists, they’re all so impressive! How will Michael ever be able to choose just one?
Michael’s generosity emerged in early adulthood. When Angela McGowan (his lifetime partner Cathy’s sister-in-law) went into the hospital for minor surgery in 1992, it was discovered she had ovarian cancer. The disease was relatively unknown, and the research facilities focusing on it were woefully underfunded. Angela played a pivotal role in Michael and Cathy’s relationship, and the 3 of them were close. When Angela died only 3 months later the entire family, including Michael, was devastated. Out of their grief came ROC, Research into Ovarian Cancer. Over the years, Michael raised a record-breaking amount of money for ROC. He devoted concerts to the cause, and in 1995 he recorded ‘The Rose’ with all proceeds going to ROC, which he heavily promoted on the airwaves. Thanks to Michael, the McGowan family and many others, there are now blood tests for early detection of ovarian cancer, making an enormous difference in saving lives.
ROC was just the beginning for Michael, but it was meaningful because it struck close to home. Over the years, Michael has gotten involved in dozens of other causes, such as the one he’s promoting today. As with all things, he jumps in with both feet, bringing his unique enthusiasm and joy to everything he touches. Next Sunday, Michael will announce the winner of The Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser Award, and I will continue to enumerate the impressive ways Michael’s generosity makes a difference in this world. Talent, intelligence, humor, looks and an intense desire to help others, these are the sum parts of a very good and decent man named Michael Ball.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball & the MBFC.