BBC RADIO 2: THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2023
“Hello, my lovelies.” The words we wait for all week. This morning they were followed by, “I cherish these 2 hours together. I do.” So do we, Michael.
On the Ball. Michael has a lot of fun with the contestants and is especially hilarious with Vicki. He revels in what Justin will have to forfeit if she wins (Michael can be such a cheeky devil!). They also talk veggies (He advises not to grow Brussels sprouts, despite his passion for them). On the Ball never disappoints. Never.
Orna is at the studio in person and raves about Michael’s performance in The Piano Room. They joke about the danger of being in the same room together, easily able to ‘go off’ on a word or phrase or just about anything. In other words, it’s safer for them to be in 2 different places. Sorry, but there’s nothing better than Michael and Orna dissolving into a fit of giggles together. And they don’t disappoint today.
In an extremely rare occurrence, Michael plays “I Just Can’t Help Believing” from his performance at The Piano Room. I love when I can simply close my eyes and listen to that gorgeous pure rich voice. Am so glad the BBC gave their permission for this broadcast.
Matthew Kelly, Michael’s first guest, is the winner of the Olivier Award for his portrayal of Lennie in OF MICE AND MEN in 2004 and has a long list of accomplishments on both the stage and TV. He’s currently starring in in the 40th Anniversary production of Michael Frayn’s award-winning farce NOISES OFF in the West End (I’ve seen this play. It’s hilarious!). This is one of those interviews I’d rather not describe. You need to listen to the 2 of them, 2 actors speaking the same language, 2 actors who’ve known each other a long time. It’s absolute bliss. My favorite interviews are always when Michael talks to a fellow actor. It gives the audience a peek behind the scenes, a chance to see what makes actors tick. I loved, loved, loved this interview.
Michael’s second guest, Mike Dilger, is a wildlife expert and a reporter for THE ONE SHOW. His new book, “One Thousand Shades of Green,” was born out of the lockdown, and it took off from there. On his walks with his dog he decided to learn about the wildlife growing in his local environment, the violets and daffodils and flowers we see every day. He and Michael also get into the critters that can help or hinder your garden. I’m no gardener – not at all! – but Michael’s curiosity when interviewing someone always gets me interested in topics I might normally ignore.
What an extraordinary time this is for Michael. He’s working on his second novel and beginning rehearsals for ASPECTS OF LOVE. His stint at The Piano Room introduced Jamie Bogyo in such a stunning way with the 2 of them singing, “Love Changes Everything.” With all of that as background music he brought his joy to the radio today, just as he always does. Michael may only grace the airwaves once a week, but what he accomplishes in 2 short hours can make a difference in his listeners’ lives. His optimism and hilarity often turns this cranky old sourpuss into a purring feline in no time. And I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.
Thank you, Michael. Time for you to go home to your loved ones and enjoy your leg of lamb. You’ve earned it.