BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2023
One of the things I most admire about Michael Ball is the way he embraces life. No matter where he is or what he’s doing, Michael’s exuberance shines through. On the nights when he puts on his finest attire, has his hair coiffed to perfection and is driven to his destination, he looks in the mirror and is satisfied with his reflection. He’s ready to face the public. But he’s equally happy when he stays home and lives what most people call a ‘normal’ life. He cooks. Gardens. Watches the Telly. Reads. “I work so much and so hard that I love the idea of being around family, friends and my animals quietly at home, just chilling out,” Michael has said. And he adores his Sunday mornings when he’s able to roll out of bed and grab his comfy clothes, the ones that are old and soft. He ignores the mirror altogether, allowing his wayward curls to do their own dance. He walks his dogs and drives himself to Wogan House for his radio show. And afterwards he wades into a cluster of fans waiting outside, not caring that they’re seeing the real Michael, the scruffy guy, the one who cleans up after his dogs in the mud and the snow and who spills coffee down his T-shirt.
“Hello, my lovelies. Let’s live it up, shall we?” Michael is definitely in a fabulous mood and brimming with energy. Michael whoops with joy when he hears the theme song today is from “Bonanza!” And then he imitates the instrumentals! Repeatedly. What a hoot! Why do I picture him galloping an imaginary horse around the studio? He seems to especially love all the music this morning. When he plays Kenny & Dolly singing “Islands in the Sun” you can hear it in his voice as he declares, “Cracking!”
On the Ball. First contestant is Corine (Not sure about the spelling). Michael’s jealous because she lives next to a jam factory. He’d love the smell! Michael’s giggle is the star of this segment. He even gets a little cheeky. If Corine wins, the forfeit is forcing the loser to do the washing up, which Michael commiserates with. He said he’ll be doing the cooking later today but NOT the washing up! And as he feeds Corine the questions, there’s a section when Michael completely loses it. COMPLETELY! You can hear him giggling uncontrollably in the background. When she finishes, Michael declares through his laughter, “That was rubbish!” The second contestant is Jen, Corine’s daughter, a certified bat handler. Michael confesses he loves bats, they’re among his favorite creatures! Ooooh-kay. Moving on … They discuss rugby, and Michael gets a chance to brag about Grace, his granddaughter. The segment is a great deal of fun because of Michael’s complete enjoyment of these 2 women.
Orna’s in the studio. Michael finally confesses he’s tired – his way of explaining his “hysterical behavior” today. Now we know why all the giggles. Well, of course he’s tired. How can he not be? He’s going to need that upcoming vacation. Michael and Orna are so much fun, and Michael’s giggles once again fill the rafters. One of their best segments in a long, long time.
Michael’s first guest is Jenny Ryan, a singer and TV personality, best known as playing the “Vixen” on the popular ITV quiz show “The Chase.” And where did that name come from? Because of her penchant for wearing leopard, the producers thought “Vixen” was the perfect handle. Jenny is about to star in her very own live Cabaret show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. In the show, she’s reflective about her past, and she sings, something she loves to do, and she uses show tunes to illustrate bits of her life. Jenny and Michael have a long discussion about “The Chase,” and she gives a great “behind the scenes” perspective. She calls being on the show “my dream job. I absolutely love it!” She’s a fascinating lady, and of course Michael asks all the right questions.
Michael’s next guest is Ashley Blaker, an Orthodox Jewish comedian and an international phenomenon, having performed on 5 continents. Now he’s written a book about bringing up children with special needs. In “Normal Schmormal” he describes what it’s like to raise 6 kids, 3 with special needs. He’ll also tour a show with the same title and based on the book, debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe. Ashley says his book is a ‘how to’ manuscript, but it’s also laced with his signature humor and compassion and positive attitude. This interview, of course, is hilarious at times, Ashley’s humor a sheer delight. He’s also doing a show on BBC RADIO 4 where he again uses his humor and insight into raising children with special needs. This is a classic Michael interview, so interesting.
“See you next week, God willing and a fair wind. God bless,” Michael says in closing. “You stay safe. Stay positive. And always, alway be kind.” Wishing you some much needed rest, Michael, and another joyful week in AOL.
To be honest, I wasn’t in the best of moods when I crawled out of bed in the darkness this morning to write this recap, but Michael pulled me out of it. He has a knack for doing that. If I’m not feeling well, or am tired or down or mad at the world, listening to Michael’s laughter chases the clouds away.
Michael Ball is a man comfortable in his own skin, a guy who loves life and knows how to live it to its fullest. He’s found a way to have a normal existence while maintaining his celebrity. And whether he’s dressed in a tuxedo or in a T-shirt & jeans, whether all his curls are arranged perfectly or they look like they just did battle with his pillow, he will always draw your attention. It’s not the clothes that make the man, it’s the soul. Michael Ball the Superstar AND Sunday Morning Scruffy Michael are both class acts. And both are the real thing.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle, Michael Ball and the MBFC.