Radio Recap – 5 May 2024

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2024
“I play roles, but when I’m off stage, I always try to be myself.” Michael Ball.
I sensed an air of sadness in Michael’s broadcast last Sunday … “Welcome to The Michael Ball Show,” he said right out of the gate, something he’s never said before. “I’m really going to miss you, Orna,” he murmured a little while later … And then, with a huge sigh, his voice a bit emotional, he admitted, “I’m going to miss On the Ball.” This magnificent show, created from scratch by Michael and Ste Softley, is quickly drawing to a close. We all feel a bit sad, and we’re nervous about his new venture. Listening to Michael’s radio show is always a breath of fresh air, a jump-start to our week. He makes us laugh, he makes us think, and he gives us insight into so many professions through his remarkable gift as an interviewer. We want it to go on forever …
“How are you, my lovelies? All right, I hope. Because I want to be the only one you listen to.” And Michael plays “I Want to be the Only One” by Eternal. Michael, you have ALWAYS been – and will ALWAYS be – the only one for your BBC listeners.
Good music today. A great beat, the kind to get your blood pumping. Who needs coffee when you have Michael Ball & Ste Softley picking out your morning music? And now they’re playing “Hey, Mambo” which has me laughing out loud. Great job, guys! “Well, that’s not camp at all, is it?” Michael asks afterwards with a giggle.
On the Ball. The first contestant is Nick. Michael reveals he’ll be seeing family later today for a big Sunday dinner down near where Nick lives. The 2 men share their love of cooking, but Nick is not a fan of musicals (to Michael’s horror). As Nick goes into detail about WHY he doesn’t like musicals, it sets off Michael’s hysterical laughter. Nick’s answers to some of the questions keeps Michael laughing (oh, that giggle!), and at one point he flat-out tells Nick his answers were REALLY BAD. Enjoy this duo, everyone, because it’s truly a “Michael Ball giggle-fest!” Next is Marie, Nick’s wife. They laugh about Nick’s forfeit – which is Marie making him go to a musical. Michael suggests LES MIS because it’s long and all singing, which is what drives Nick crazy. Marie is a charmer, and her questions are fun. Okay, I’m going to give away who wins because Michael sings several lines of “One Day More” when it’s revealed. Ah, poor Nick. 😂 Great segment! Lots and lots and lots of giggles. But Michael closes on a sad note by saying that the next time they play On the Ball, it will be the final time and he wants to do something special for it.
Orna and Michael talk about a “Picky Tea,” which is just pulling out of the fridge whatever’s available for a tea party. Michael calls it a “Fridge Dump,” then wishes he could take it back as they laugh at his poor choice of words! These 2 always think alike. Then, when Orna’s reading her Traffic Report, the phrase “Moby Dick” is in there, which again sets them off. Michael screams “There she blows!!” Which is the perfect ending to this hilarious segment as Orna tries (and fails) not to laugh throughout the rest of her report. Oh, how I’m going to miss the banter between these two. Orna always brings out the little kid in Michael, and it’s just fabulous. When she comes back for her second segment, Michael brings up the fact that THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW is coming to an end. “Only one more show together.” Sweet Orna says she doesn’t want to think about it yet. The two of them brought tears to my eyes. I, too, don’t want to think about it yet.
LeAnn Rimes is an international multi-platinum selling singer and songwriter. She’s won 2 Grammy Awards (the youngest soloist to ever win), 12 Billboard Music Awards & 3 Academy of Country Music Awards, among many others. In 2022, LeAnn was given the ASCAP Golden Note Award, a special award presented to genre-spanning songwriters, composers and artists for their extraordinary achievements. On May 8th, Leann will be performing a concert at the 02 Arena in London, a show which will tell the story of her own personal journey. “I’m a proper big admirer,” Michael says at the start of the interview, admitting he LOVES country music. The two discuss how to handle things when they go wrong during a concert. Leann says she actually fell on stage at one time, and they both laugh about it, saying the audience doesn’t mind and actually likes being in on those unusual moments. Next she talks about being a judge on “The Voice” in both Australia and the UK (Australia has already filmed). They also discuss “The Masked Singer” which Michael confesses is one of his favorite shows. Leann talks about growing up, where she lived and her early years. Michael closes the segment with Leann’s “Spaceship,” which she says she can’t get through without crying. This was an all-around lovely interview.
The Fizz is a British pop group formed in 2004. They’re a spin-off of the original group, Bucks Fizz, created in 1981 specifically for the Eurovision contest, which they ultimately won with the song “Making Your Mind Up.” The group of 4 vocalists, Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, achieved great success in the 1980s before they began to splinter. This is where my research on them got confusing, and I lost track of the group’s various names and who came or who went over the years! Michael starts the segment by playing “Making Your Mind Up.” Wow, the song is definitely early 80s! The group talks about what it was like back then, that they were a “created” group for Eurovision. It’s incredibly interesting how they were put together for this event, and they go into great detail about it. “Let’s Party Like It’s 1981” is a concert they’ll be doing in June at the Indigo. Michael muses with them about getting older, yet never feeling the years onstage. And they compare notes on what it was like to compete in Eurovision. At the end of the segment, Mike Nolan announces he’ll soon be leaving the Fizz for personal reasons, and they all reflect on their years together. Michael and the group are refreshingly honest throughout this entire interview. As always, Michael Ball knows how to do it.
And that’s it for this week. Michael is off the next 2 Sundays as he’s busy with other things. He’ll be back on May 26th, which will be his final show.
Change is scary, even for Michael Ball. Yet he always takes the high road and embraces it. He runs headlong into new endeavors, tackling them with gusto and joy. Michael will always be Michael, our lovable Energizer Bunny, a combination of legendary star and regular guy, a man with remarkable intelligence and endless curiosity, a guy with rib-tickling humor, sometimes bawdy, sometimes self-deprecating and always just plain hilarious. Right now with the finale of THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW approaching, we feel like we’re losing a friend, someone we’re comfy with, someone who is always there on a Sunday morning with a ready smile and a big hug. We’re NOT losing our friend. Michael will still be right there on the air, simply enchanting us in a new way. His personality is bigger than the framework of a new show. Contain Michael Ball? I don’t think so. He is who he is, and nothing will ever change him.