BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2023
Michael Ball is about to face a different kind of opening night when his long-awaited memoir debuts on October 12th. Michael has already proven his writing chops with his novel, THE EMPIRE, which was released to great acclaim in late 2022. Now he’s written DIFFERENT ASPECTS, a far different type of book which falls into a different category. Writing any type of autobiography, whether it encompasses a lifetime or a specific period in your life, isn’t easy. As opposed to a novel, where the author can hide behind his characters, a memoir is personal. It’s about YOU, your thoughts and impressions, your victories and heartaches, and about those who have peopled your life. Those you have loved and still love. You want to give extensive details, but you don’t want to bore your reader. You want to tell the truth, but you don’t want to hurt anyone. You want to let people see the mistakes you made, but you also want to retain a modicum of privacy. In other words, you’re walking a tightrope without a net. If anyone can do this with aplomb and finesse, it’s Michael Ball.
“Oh, hello, my lovelies. How much fun was last weekend? Well, so’s this weekend going to be.” Yes, Michael’s back in the studio and behind the microphone for 2 glorious hours. So great to hear his catchphrases again: “If it makes you smile, it makes me smile.” & “It’s not my show, it’s OUR show.” He’s in a great mood, already laughing and telling himself to calm down. Oh, Michael, I implore you – NEVER calm down! We need your exuberant spirit on Sunday mornings. On any morning. The world needs more people like you.
Michael relives a bit of last weekend, talking about what a long day Sunday was (but a fabulous one!) and admitting there are moments he doesn’t remember (Sounds like he had a VERY good time! Well, why not?) He also sheepishly adds he ended up having a “nanno-nap” at one point. You have to love a man who can own up to things like this to thousands of radio listeners. A great example of Michael just being himself on the radio, something he’s never afraid to do.
On the Ball. The first contestant is Jeanette, also known as “Netti Spaghetti.” Michael laughs a great deal during this segment because he accidentally gives away some answers. Oh, that giggle, that magnificent giggle!The second contestant is Michelle, Jeanette’s sister, also known as “Mushy Peas.” A discussion of Zumba classes ensues, Michael admitting he tried it once but didn’t like it when he wasn’t given any instructions. Honesty is DEFINITELY Michael’s policy this morning. Then he’s appalled (an understatement!) when Michelle picks ‘the middle one’ on the first question, and it was all downhill from there, sprinkled with gales of his laughter. And I do mean GALES!
Orna is in the studio. She admits it’s taken her a week to recover from Leicester. Michael says he’s never taken more selfies in his entire life. “Carnage” was how he described the weekend. They discuss in hilarious detail some things that happened. I won’t give any of it away. You have to hear it for yourself. And Michael finishes by admitting he didn’t get home until 3:30 AM! Well, we all need a blow-out every once in a while. When Orna returns he shoves honey toast at her (a gift from Mark Wogan) and then shoves some in his own mouth as she gives the traffic update. These 2 are at their very best today.
Michael pays tribute to Roger Whittaker who passed recently by playing Roger singing “The Last Farewell,” one of Michael’s favorites from his childhood. Such a moving song.
Danny Cipriani, Michael’s first guest, is one of England’s greatest rugby talents. In 2019 he was voted Player of the Year by the Rugby Association. He’s here to talk about his autobiography entitled “Who Am I?” which just debuted. He’s written it to show how you can get through the rough times in your life and how you can change and adapt. Danny broke out in rugby at quite a young age (15 or 16 years old), and he talks about youthful ego and how it inspires certain behavior. He admits he was a loner for many years without a proper support system until he met a mentor when he was 24, and his life began to change. His honesty (there’s that word again) is impressive. The pressure of media scrutiny is discussed (something Michael knows all about). This interview is rich with information and detail, which is a prelude for what he most likely reveals in his book. Michael asks all the right questions, and Danny tells us all we want to know. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous!
Michael’s next guest is Mark Wogan, son of Sir Terry, who studied at London’s elite Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and is the proud owner of the UK’s Homeslice Pizza. He’s here to talk about the Sir Terry Wogan Young Fundraiser of the Year Award for Children in Need 2023. The search is on to find this year’s winner. It’s not about how much is raised, it’s about the ingenuity employed to draw attention to the cause. Michael and Mark talk about Terry and all he did for this charity, and Mark compliments Michael on keeping Terry’s dream alive. Dante, last year’s winner, and his mum Frances call in. Dante is such an inspiration! And Michael is so charming with children. Possibly because Michael has retained his childlike awe into adulthood. He closes the show with Mariah Carey’s “Hero” and Heather Small’s “Search for the Hero.” Perfect.
And that’s a wrap. Another jam-packed 2 hours have flown by. Michael is off next week, but he’ll be back in 2 weeks to interview Lea Salonga, something I CANNOT wait for!
It was so appropriate for Michael to interview Danny Cipriani today who, like Michael, has written an autobiography. I’m sure Michael spent many hours staring into space, agonizing over how much he should reveal in DIFFERENT ASPECTS. In the end, I know he made wise decisions, because that’s who he is. Michael Ball is a smart man who’s spent his life protecting both his family and his privacy. He will tell only as much as he chooses to tell, and that will be enough. The public and his fans will be thrilled to get a peek backstage, to know a little more about the man who inspires cheers and tears, who walks onstage wearing his heart on his sleeve. And who greets his BBC RADIO listeners every Sunday morning in that rich voice with a warm “Hello, my lovelies.”
Bravo, Michael, for the fortitude it took to write DIFFERENT ASPECTS. My admiration is unbound. You’re a remarkable man who’s leading a remarkable life. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself in a memoir I’m sure will be an instant best-seller.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball & the MBFC.