Radio Recap – 26 November 2023

There are people in this world who make a difference. And because they don’t realize what a difference they make, they’re even more admirable. That’s Michael Ball. I’m not talking about how he affects the people he works with or those who people his everyday life. No, I’m talking about the thousands out there who’ve been touched by his music, by who he is, by the tireless work he does with such joy for any person or cause that crosses his path. I read stories every day about how Michael’s songs got someone through a depressing time in their life. How his music and his golden voice cheered them immensely when they lost their husband or child or dear friend. How a group of needy children were a lost cause until Michael Ball came their way. How an elderly woman sat alone feeling sorry for herself until Michael came on the telly, bringing with him his infectious giggle. And on Sunday morning, people around the globe tune into The Michael Ball Show on BBC Radio 2, knowing he will give them what they need to face a new week.
“Hello, my lovelies. Ohh, it’s chilly. Snuggle up. You’ve got me for the next 2 hours to keep you warm.” Sounds good, Michael. He plays the Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing,” following it up with, “They don’t feel like dancing? Well, I do. Because I’ve got you.” Michael is definitely in good spirits this morning! He’s a bundle of energy and in fine voice. The radio LOVES that mellifluous and rich voice.
On the Ball. The first contestant is Martin, who admits he’s very competitive with his wife Anna. Anna has been through a recent illness and Martin is taking care of her at home, along with their 3 children. When one of the questions deals with “Strictly” (Of course. Michael’s current passion!) Martin admits he doesn’t watch it. Michael’s droll response? “We have nothing in common.” During this segment, Michael reveals (He always reveals something during On the Ball!) that he’s addicted to the “Dr. Who” series. “I have no life!” he murmurs with a giggle. Anna is next with Michael, and he’s so sweet with her, knowing she’s dealing with a lot. Michael is definitely rooting for Anna to win – He’s positively devilish in his quest to see her win! Michael can be such a kid one minute, gloating with Anna at the end, and then the next minute be so loving to these 2 people he obviously adores. Such a lovely On the Ball today.
Orna. Michael greets her with, “It’s blooming freezing out there. We forget how cold it can get.” Michael tells her about watching 9 series of “Dr. Who.” She, too, is watching it. They talk Christmas decorations, Orna having her tree up already, Michael not being allowed to. “Rules of the house. It must be December.” When Orna returns, the giggles return with her. There’s nothing better than Michael & Orna when their humor connects and they finish each other’s sentences, their laughter sometimes making their words indistinguishable. And they’re planning to dress in interesting outfits for the Christmas Eve Michael Ball Radio Show. I CANNOT wait!
Sara Davies, Michael’s first guest, is a businesswoman, TV personality, founder of Crafter’s Companion and panelist on BBC’s “Dragon’s Den.” She also has a new BBC TV show called “Making It with Sara Davies.” The concept is about ordinary people who have innovative product ideas but don’t know how to make their dreams a reality. Michael begins their chat by bringing up “Strictly” because Sara was on it. The subject of “Strictly” is like catnip to a cat for Michael Ball! Sara goes into detail about what it was like to be a part of the show. And Michael is lapping up every word. He finally brings the two of them back to the subject at hand … “Craft Your Year” is Sara’s new book, something she’s wanted to write for a very long time. I loved listening to her talk about how much joy craftwork can be, making me wish I was better at it! This is a wonderfully informative interview, Michael always asking the right questions.
Michael pays tribute to the late, great Tina Turner on her birthday by playing “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” His admiration for this magnificent artist shines through in his lead-in to the song.
Julian Clary is an actor, comedian, novelist and presenter. He’s appeared in films, TV and on stage. In 2024, he’ll tour with “A Fistful of Clary,” his own show with a decidedly Western theme – which sounds like so much fun! They open by talking about balloons, of all things, Michael admitting he doesn’t like them. They also talk about Julian’s upcoming Panto show at the Palladium and all the marvelous characters he brings to the stage. Tons of giggles on both their parts, which is wonderful to listen to. And then they move on to discuss Julian’s tour next year – the one with the Western theme – and you can just imagine the conversation between these 2 hilarious men! And – Michael AGAIN brings up “Dr. Who,” setting off my own laughter. It’s a good thing no one can see or hear me, sitting at my laptop before dawn, wearing headphones and cackling into the ether!
And then … it’s over. How can 2 hours go by so fast? It’s another top-notch show, Michael signing off with, “I’m off home to put a chicken pie in the oven and wait for the finals of ‘Strictly.’” ‘Strictly’ & ‘Dr. Who.’ That’s REALLY what today’s show was about! Michael, you consistently make me smile.
Speaking of smiling … After working 6 days a week on my own writing project, on Sundays my alarm goes off at 4 AM. I grumble as I get up in the dark and try to work out the aches and pains of aging. I latch onto my coffee, hoping it jumpstarts my foggy brain. I sit down in front of my laptop, bundled up, and get ready to recap Michael’s radio show. My mood is always gloomy, and I long for a few hours more sleep. And then a miracle happens. Michael’s cheery voice sings out over the airwaves, and I start to feel better. I hear “Hello, my lovelies,” and my stiff joints don’t seem to hurt as much. I remember how lucky I am to be able to write about this extraordinary man. And by the end of the show I’m tapping my foot to the beat of the music, an enormous smile replacing my down-turned lips. Michael’s laughter, his joy of being on the radio, chatting with colleagues and talking to us, whom he refers to as his friends, infuses me with new energy. Like so many others, Michael has had an impact on both my life and my work. I can’t say that about many over the decades I traveled in the theatrical world. But then, very few were or are like Michael Ball.
Michael will go on making a difference in so many lives. His music, his velvety voice, his big heart touches thousands. Unbeknownst to him, he’s redefined ‘celebrity,’ He shows the world on a daily basis how to use talent for more than self-gratification. And because this gift isn’t on his radar screen, it just makes everyone love him more.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball & the MBFC.