BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2023
There are 2 Michael Balls. The Star & the Regular Guy. The Star is revered by all in the UK and many around the world. The Regular Guy is the one who breezes into Wogan House each Sunday morning, greeting us with an endearing “Hello, my lovelies,” and spends the next 2 hours chatting with us, his friends, on the radio. “Want 2 hours of fun?” Michael teases. “If you do, I’m your man!” So let’s get on with it …
The show is auditioning new theme music, and Ste’s offering today is upbeat and whimsical. I rather like it. A lot!
Michael tells us he finally went to see ABBA Voyage with Cathy and friends and LOVED it. The music had him up on his feet dancing. He’s so generous with his recommendations, but he also won’t put his stamp of approval on anything unless he genuinely loves it. “I just had the BEST night,” he gushes in summation.
On the Ball is its usual fun with great questions and a high-scorer in the mix.
In the segment with Orna we learn that Michael accidentally left his phone at home. He’s bereft (as I would be!). He whines about not being able to call his dad after the show, about not being able to be reached by those who may need him, about not being able to … and then he decides it’s okay. He’ll survive. Oh – he and Orna have another of their giggle-fits. Just adore these 2 together! Orna, please continue coming to the studio – no more remotes!
Michael’s first guest is Paul Zerdin, comedian and ventriloquist, winner of America’s Got Talent among other competitions. He returned to the London Palladium last Christmas and is now out on tour again with his much-loved puppets. Paul talks about how he got into ventriloquism and about his history. A wonderfully quirky and infinitely interesting man. Also very funny! And the interview is incredibly detailed. One more thing – Michael plays with his voice for puppets, and of course he’s excellent.
Michael’s second interview is with Sara Cox, host of the BBC 2 Book show Between The Covers which returns in March for its 6th season. Each program features 4 famous guests discussing a new book they’re passionate about. Also, because Manchester is hosting Eurovision for Ukraine, each book must feature a country participating in the musical competition. Sara’s also a best seller in fiction with her novel called THROWN, which is now out in paperback. And she uses Michael in her book! This woman is so impressive.
American stars of Michael’s caliber have private jets, celebrity chefs, personal shoppers and a staff to care for their pets. They rarely get behind the wheel of their own vehicle and they dress with too much fuss and bother. Michael, OTOH, rolls out of bed each Sunday, walks his beloved dogs in all kinds of weather, throws on comfy clothes, allows his curly hair to take on a life of its own, and drives himself to Wogan House. He often tells us about his week, about the ups and downs and day-to-day problems he encounters, things we can relate to. He launches into detail about the TV shows he watches, ignoring his knowledge of the inner workings of the industry and allowing himself to just enjoy them like the rest of us do, to get involved in the action and anticipate what happens next. We get swept up in his enthusiasm and take his recommendations to heart.
After the radio broadcast he grabs his keys and heads outside, where Michael the Star encounters his fans and kindly chats for a moment or poses for photos.
He then heads home to cook a Sunday roast for his family where I’m sure there will be endless laughter, yummy stolen morsels for Wilbur & Danny, and hours of streaming TV.
Michael Ball, Regular Guy. He never fails to impress.