BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2023
Michael Ball was born with the creative gene. It’s part of his DNA. And like most artists, his talent is diverse. He’s an actor, singer, songwriter, presenter and radio host, excelling at all. Recently he added another skill to his repertory – author. It was a natural path to follow, the bridge between acting and writing a short trip. The professions use many of the same muscles. Onstage, an actor crawls inside the head of a character, bringing him to vibrant life. He decides how this person walks and talks. He feels all the emotions the character feels, fear, joy, sorrow, often leaving the actor emotionally drained. A writer does exactly the same thing, literally becoming each character and once again tapping into his emotions. Otherwise, they become cardboard creations no one cares about. Michael has successfully taken his lifelong talent on the stage and transferred it seamlessly to the page. And he wisely followed sage advice that’s been around since the Stone Age: Write what you know. Michael writes about the theater, a world he knows better than most.
“Hello. Got me for another couple of hours. You can put up with it, can’t you?” He giggles. “You’ve got no choice.” We wouldn’t have it any other way, Michael.
Promoting the BBC, Michael begins, “This month we’re celebrating jazz” – then adds with a gravelly voice, “yeah, baby” – A pause and a giggle – “What was that?” he asks himself. Michael seems to be in a kind of “anything goes” mood today. Should be fun!
On the Ball. First contestant is Julie. She was on a long time ago and “was rubbish” according to Michael. She playfully blames Michael (“You asked terrible questions.”). During this segment, Michael admits he hates getting up in the morning “It all hurts.” He also admits “I’d rather watch paint dry than watch cricket.” He’s convinced he’ll get into trouble for saying that out loud! Yep. Michael’s in an “anything goes” mood! Which usually happens when you’re REALLY tired. Which I’m sure he is. The second contestant is Anne. Both Julie and Anne are Alfie Boe fans, which is how they met. Michael says he loves the lifelong friendships that emerge from the fan clubs. This is a very special “On the Ball” in that Michael seems to really get to know the contestants. It’s a great deal of fun!
“Hello, heart face,” Michael begins with Orna before telling her his latest saga at home. “Wilbur was booked for a special surgery tomorrow” (snip-snip, I presume) “but he managed to eat something, so it’s put off.” Michael thinks he did it intentionally! Smart dog, like his dad. And when Orna returns … you guessed it … the 2 of them have a serious giggle fit, both struggling to regain their composure, continuing through her traffic report and afterwards. This is classic Michael/Orna, not to be missed! Another one for the record books.
Michael’s guest today is Joe Pasquale, who’s returning to stand-up with a tour entitled “The New Normal – 40 Years of Cack.” He is also a horror author, his latest book, “Of Mice and Wolfmen,” published on June 16th. Michael and Joe almost do their own version of a “stand-up” about Zoom calling and how they hate it. Joe does a lovely thing, attributing Michael with jump-starting his career by putting him in one of his earliest tours. Michael says he remembers Joe dying out on stage while Michael and his crew were backstage howling with laughter! Joe credits Michael with teaching him everything about how to work a theater. This is a FABULOUS conversation between the 2 men! And hilarious!! “You are WEIRD, Joe,” Michael jokes at one point as Joe describes his new book. Joe Pasquale is the BEST at telling stories. There were times I was laughing hysterically. And Michael’s fabulous giggle punctuates most of this delightful chat. They say to always leave them wanting more. Well, I want more!
Michael Ball’s fans have much to look forward to. Yes, the curtain will ring down on AOL soon. Despite rave reviews personally for Michael, the show struggled. Maybe the economy, the rail strikes and the material itself were all working against it from the beginning. But Michael has come out of it strong, his star still shining bright. After a much-deserved vacation, his fans can look forward to the debut of his second book. After displaying his impressive writing chops with his fictional THE EMPIRE, now he will prove he can also write non-fiction with DIFFERENT ASPECTS, a memoir about his experiences with both productions of AOL. This will forever cement Michael Ball’s reputation as a writer, proving (as we’ve always known) that he can do anything. I, for one, can’t wait to read it!
Side note: There was supposed to be a 2nd guest on today’s show. That changed at the last minute, which meant Ste Softley and Michael had to scramble to fill the time. Bravo to both!
A magnificent show today on so many levels! One of my favorites.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball and the MBFC.