BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2023
Birthdays are inevitably a time when we look back over our lives. Another year has passed. Another trip around the sun. How are we doing? As Michael celebrated his sixty-first this past week, he had to be proud of what he’s accomplished. He’s an icon in the West End, his velvety singing voice with the hypnotic vibrato continues to produce chills, he’s a successful author with 2 more books on the way, he hosts a highly popular radio show, and his reputation is sterling throughout the industry. The icing on the cake is that Michael has retained his age-defying good looks and boyish charm, his trademark throughout his career. The Fountain of Youth definitely loves him.
“Hello, my lovelies.” And we’re off on another magical trip down the Yellow Brick Road with our very own Wizard. He has a ton of energy today – How does he do it? – his enthusiasm palpable. Side note: Despite his high spirits, Michael’s voice sounds a bit scratchy and tired today. His brutal schedule has to be catching up with him. This man has more endurance than a five-year-old on Christmas morning!
One of the boasts MIchael reads is just enchanting. A husband is bringing his wife to London for her birthday. After high tea, they’ll see a West End Show. Michael’s enthusiasm was over-the-top for this idea, sounding like he’d give ANYTHING to do this himself.
On the Ball. First contestant is Kathryn, who’s an avid gardener, one of Michael’s passions. He’s doing sugar snap peas this year, which is rubbish, according to him – “You get three!” Kathryn is playing against her husband David – who speaks at a RAPID pace – I mean LIGHTNING SPEED! Whew! Michael has to fight to get a word in. WOW! You have to hear this for yourself. Lots & lots & lots of giggles here. Enjoy!
Orna. In person. Always the best. And she lists the problems at almost the same rapid pace as contestant David! They talk about Glastonbury, listing their favorites.
Michael’s first guest is Dan Gillespie Sells, the Ivor Novello award wining songwriter and front person of pop band The Feeling. His 20 year career has taken him (and his songs) into the worlds of dance, theatre, TV and film. Now he’s written songs for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, a new play with music now playing @sohoplace. Dan talks about the stage adaptation and how the music is such an important part of it. It’s based on the original novella and was developed from there, instead of using the well-known movie. What a charmer this man is! He piqued my interest immediately. It’s such a lovely interview, the 2 men connecting in a way that makes me feel like I’m eavesdropping on a private conversation.
Michael’s next guests are the 2 Mr Ps. Both work in the primary classroom, sharing their funny stories about school life in their special podcasts and books. These 2 are very funny, talking about the antics in the classroom (which drives them into the bars at night!). Michael cackles throughout this interview – literally cackles – remembering his own humorous school days and revealing a few hilarious moments of his youth. These 2 bring out his funny bone. It is SUCH a delight, this whole conversation! I haven’t heard Michael laugh this hard in a VERY long time.
Finally, for the 3rd annual “Thank You Day,” we have the live Sing-Along of “Thank You For Being a Friend.” This is done in honor of Tony Christie and those helping anyone suffering from dementia. Michael brings Tony onto the show, who speaks a little about his diagnosis. So touching. And a beautiful way to close another fabulous broadcast.
Michael Ball has never been one to run away from life. He always strides headfirst into his future and embraces it, come what may. Of course he’s had setbacks, but he’s always found the courage to overcome them. Settling for the status quo simply isn’t in his DNA. He has continuously challenged himself, climbing new mountains and testing his abilities. And as his blessings accumulated, he never forgot to give back, to help any and all in need. What did he ask for in lieu of birthday gifts? Donations to his favorite charities.
We only get one go-around in this life, and it’s up to us to make it count. Michael has certainly done that. He lives each day with a smile on his face, kindness in his heart and a giggle that he just can’t seem to contain. .
Michael Ball makes me want to be a better person. And for that I am eternally grateful.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball and the MBFC.