BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 2023
As Tina Turner sang so beautifully: “You’re simply the best. Better than all the rest.” It’s certainly true for Michael Ball these days. As he continues to wow West End audiences in ASPECTS OF LOVE, he’s busy writing his much anticipated memoir. And, lucky us, his return to the radio continues as he charms us with another 2 hours of wit and giggles and chatty conversation.
“Yeah. Love these new jingles. Hello, my lovelies. Hope you’re well.” Michael is upbeat, despite the hint of fatigue in his voice. “I want to fill the show with good news. If it makes you smile, it makes me smile. It’s not my show. It’s our show.” Yes, he says it every week. But he means it every week. It comes from his heart, that great big heart he so generously shares with his fans.
He starts the Sunday boasts with a “Happy Birthday” to our own Gill Oakley. Happy Birthday, Gill, from all of us. Like Michael, you’re simply the best.
On the Ball. First contestant is Susan who admits to putting her dress on backwards because she was so nervous! Michael’s excitement bubbles over because he’s filming with Mary Berry this week – they’ll be cooking together. How Michael loves to cook! I wonder where this bit of film will turn up? I’ve always thought Michael should have his own cooking show. This is followed by Michael doing (sorry, Michael) a not-so-great imitation of Al Pacino – “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” Apparently, someone in the BBC studio agrees with me because Michael becomes comically defensive. Susan’s brother, Martin, is the other competitor. Martin tells a funny, funny story about a particular time when he was in Berlin, which has Michael howling with laughter. Martin in general is hilarious and keeps Michael in stitches. And, ONCE AGAIN, Michael complains about watching rom-coms! This “On the Ball” is one of the funniest in months & months! BTW, the little tidbit we learn about Michael this week? He can’t handle pain. Hmm. What man CAN?
In comes Orna, the “ray of sunshine” as Michael calls her. The word “ramathon” gets them laughing. Orna isn’t in the studio, but they still manage to have a giggle fest. These 2 should hire a director and take their act on the road! Michael becomes a big kid around Orna, and who doesn’t enjoy the little boy in Michael?
Side note: I notice that Michael’s delivery is slower these last 2 weeks. His speech is precise and crisp. Maybe because of being back onstage and having to enunciate each word? Whatever the reason, I love and admire it.
Brenda Edwards, Michael’s first guest, will play the part of Killer Queen in We Will Rock You this summer. (Brenda is also well known for “Loose Women.”) She previously played the role in both the UK tour and the record-breaking Dominion Theatre run. Michael admits to never having seen it and promises he’ll be there soon. Brenda goes into great detail about the show (Wish I could see it -It sounds incredible!). They commiserate about the exhausting schedule of doing a West End musical. And she talks about her start on the X Factor. There’s something about this woman that gets your energy pumping, and Michael obviously adores her. This is an absolutely magnificent interview, which ends with a song from her show – “Killer Queen.”
Michael’s second interview is with Sharleen Spiteri, a Scottish singer and guitarist, the lead singer of the rock band Texas. It’s been 34 years since they recorded ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ which reached Number Eight in the charts. Texas has gone on to produce ten studio albums. Their newest, “Texas: The Very Best of 1989-2023,” is out June 16th as they simultaneously appear at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. She discusses how they chose the songs for the album and what it’s like to have been at it for so long. She considers herself lucky, to which Michael responds, “You make your own luck.” It’s an interesting interview, very honest and open on both their parts.
Well, he’s done it again. Michael has given us another lovely show, 2 hours of his precious time on a Sunday morning. We can now face the coming week with his kindness and laughter ringing in our ears.
Michael Ball has the “it” factor, an indescribable “something” you come across every once in a while. When Michael walks into a room, your eyes automatically go to him, not just because he’s a good looking man, but because he has an aura that sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Michael has had “it” from the very beginning of his career. It’s why the greats like Andrew Lloyd Webber & Stephen Sondheim were drawn to him. They knew how powerful his presence and talent would be both on and off a stage. But I think as time has passed, Michael relishes his Sundays, a day when he can throw on comfy clothes and just be himself. When his personality and outlook on life is what matters, not his recognizable name or what he’s accomplished. When he can nestle down in front of the BBC Radio 2 microphone and chat with his friends. The “it” factor can be exhausting!
Michael Ball is simply the best. Better than all the rest.
On the stage.
And on the radio.
*CopyrightDeborahFezelle2023* This material is the exclusive property of Deborah Fezelle and the MBFC.