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Ball at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
Zoë Louise Ball|
23 November 1970
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Residence||Ditchling, East Sussex, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
(m. 1999; separated 2016)
Julia Ball (née Anderson)
Zoë Louise Ball (born 23 November 1970) is an English television and radio personality, best known as the first female host of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, as well as for presenting the 1990s children's show Live & Kicking.
Ball was a contestant in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing. Following this she replaced Claudia Winkleman in 2011 as host of the BBC Two spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two. Ball also hosted the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in 2011 and 2015.
Ball was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, and grew up in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire. She attended Holy Cross Convent School in Chalfont St. Peter, and also attended the Young Theatre at Beaconsfield where she trained as an actress. Her first TV appearance was as a child in the studio audience of the 1980s Saturday morning children's show, Saturday Superstore, on which her father, Johnny Ball, was appearing as a guest.
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She began her television career as a runner at Granada Television and researcher on BSkyB. She worked as a researcher for quiz shows for two years. Her presenting jobs have included hosting The Big Breakfast and The Priory on Channel 4, BBC One's Saturday morning children's programme Live & Kicking, and the pre-school programme Playdays. In 1994, Zoë Ball presented SMart with Mark Speight and Jay Burridge until she left in 1996. Between 1996 and 1998, she was a regular presenter on Top of the Pops, usually alternating with fellow presenters and DJs Jayne Middlemiss and Jo Whiley.
Ball co-hosted the 2002 BRIT Awards with Frank Skinner, following which motherhood meant that she took less television work. In 2005, she co-hosted the BBC reality show Strictly Dance Fever. In 2006, Ball co-hosted the ITV programme Extinct, alongside Trevor McDonald.
In January 2007, she presented the second series of ITV's Soapstar Superstar, taking over from Fern Britton and Ben Shephard, who hosted the first series. In March 2007, she hosted the ITV talent search Grease Is the Word.
In November 2013, she co-hosted the BBC One Children in Need telethon, alongside Terry Wogan, Fearne Cotton, Nick Grimshaw and Tess Daly. In 2014, Ball presented a BBC Two spin-off from The Voice UK called The Voice: Louder on Two. The show aired for one series lasting for ten episodes.
She also narrated 2 ITV Specials, The Nation's Favourite '70s Number One and The Nation's Favourite '80s Number One as well as the BBC One series of Don't Tell the Bride. In 2016, Ball co-presented Can't Touch This, a Saturday night game show for BBC One, alongside Ashley Banjo. She also narrated The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song.
Strictly Come Dancing
In October 2005, Ball became a contestant on the third series of the BBC One talent show Strictly Come Dancing, where she was partnered by Ian Waite. Ball and Waite were ranked in third place; they also scored 38/40 (including two tens) for three dances in the series and one in the Christmas special.
In 2011, she took over from Claudia Winkleman as the host of Strictly Come Dancing's sister show It Takes Two, airing every weeknight on BBC Two and in 2014, co-hosted the main show whilst Winkleman was on leave following serious burn injuries to her daughter.
In July 2017, her salary as a BBC presenter, for the financial year 2016–2017, was revealed to be between £250,000 and £299,999.
- Strictly Come Dancing 2005 performances
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' scores||Result|
|1||Waltz / "Take It to the Limit"||35 (8,9,9,9)||Safe|
|2||Rumba / "One Moment in Time"||32 (7,8,8,9)|
|3||Jive / "Part-Time Lover"||29 (7,6,8,8)|
|4||Foxtrot / "Isn't She Lovely"||36 (9,9,9,9)|
|5||Samba / "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"||35 (8,9,9,9)|
|6||Quickstep / "Almost Like Being in Love"||36 (8,9,9,10)|
|7||Tango / "Tango Argentino"||38 (9,10,9,10)|
|8||Cha-Cha-Cha / "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"||32 (8,7,8,9)||Bottom two|
|American Smooth / "Passing Strangers"||36 (9,9,9,9)|
|9||Viennese Waltz / "Always and Forever"||36 (9,9,9,9)||Bottom two|
|Paso Doble / "Manolita"||33 (8,8,8,9)|
|10||Tango / "Tango Argentino"||38 (9,10,9,10)||Third place|
|Samba / "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"||38 (9,9,10,10)|
|Showdance / "America"||N/A|
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Although known primarily for her TV work, Ball first worked in radio, after she became co-host of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1 in October 1997 with Kevin Greening. She became the sole host, the first female DJ to do so. At this time, her hard-drinking, hard-partying lifestyle contributed to the identification of the so-called "ladette culture" of the late 1990s. She was twice warned by the BBC for swearing on the radio.
Ball returned to radio in mid-2002 when she joined London rock station XFM, where she presented the weekday drivetime show until December 2003, and then in January 2004 took over a Friday evening music show for the station. She also stood in for Ricky Gervais while he filmed the second series of The Office. She left XFM at the end of 2004.
Since 2006, she has provided relief presenting duties for BBC Radio 2, fronted specialist documentaries, sat in for Dermot O'Leary for three weeks in February 2006 and co-presented, with Danny Baker, the hastily conceived replacement for Jonathan Ross' Saturday morning show, in the wake of Ross's suspension due to Sachsgate in 2008.
In 2009 Ball became the usual relief presenter for Ken Bruce's weekday mid-morning show on BBC Radio 2. She also began hosting the Saturday breakfast show from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on the network from 6 June 2009 as part of a shake-up of weekend programming at Radio 2. Ball left the Saturday breakfast show on Radio 2; her last show was broadcast on Saturday 28 January 2012. Her replacement in that slot was Anneka Rice. Ball continued on Radio 2 as Ken Bruce's cover.
Since 4 March 2017, Ball has presented her own BBC Radio 2 show on Saturday afternoons, from 3–6pm, taking over from Dermot O'Leary. Zoë took a 4-week break following the death of her boyfriend, Billy Yates. She returned 3 June 2017 opening her show with a tribute to his memory.
The daughter of the children's TV presenter Johnny Ball and his wife Julia (née Anderson, divorced when Zoë was two), Ball was educated at Heston Junior School in west London between 1975 and 1978. Her family then moved to Farnham Common in Buckinghamshire. She attended Farnham Common First School and Farnham Common Middle School before moving to Holy Cross Convent School in Chalfont St Peter and Amersham College of Art and Technology.
While at BBC Radio 1, Ball began a relationship with the DJ and musician Norman Cook (also known as Fatboy Slim). The couple married at Babington House in Somerset, in August 1999. In 2003, the couple split up when Ball revealed that she had had an affair with a close friend of Cook, fellow DJ Dan Peppe. Ball and Cook were later reconciled.
On 24 September 2016, the couple announced their separation after 18 years together.
More recently, Ball was reported to have been in a relationship with BBC cameraman Billy Yates for several months. On 4 May 2017, Yates was found dead at his home in south London. It is understood that Yates died by suicide, and was depressed after falling victim to a financial scammer.
In March 2018, Ball took part in the 'Hardest Ride Home' challenge, which saw her cycling from Blackpool to Brighton for Sport Relief and mental health awareness. She set off on 5 March for five days. Highlights of the challenge were broadcast in a one-off documentary, airing on 21 March 2018 on BBC One.
|1996–1998||Top of the Pops||Co-presenter|
|1996||The Big Breakfast||Co-presenter|
|1996–1999||Live & Kicking||Co-presenter|
|1999–2001||The Priory||Co-presenter||With Jamie Theakston|
|2002||BRIT Awards||Co-presenter||With Frank Skinner|
|2005||Strictly Dance Fever||Co-presenter|
|Strictly Come Dancing||Contestant||Series 3|
|2006||Extinct||Co-presenter||1 series; with Trevor McDonald|
|2007||Soapstar Superstar||Co-presenter||1 series; with Ben Shephard|
|Grease Is the Word||Presenter||1 series|
|2009||Britain's Best Brain||Co-presenter||1 series; with Jamie Theakston|
|2011—||Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two||Presenter||7 series|
|2012–2013, 2016–2017||The One Show||Guest presenter||6 episodes|
|2013||Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor||Presenter||One-off episode|
|Children in Need||Co-presenter|
|The Nation's Favourite Elvis Song||Narrator||One-off episode|
|2014||The Voice: Louder on Two||Presenter||1 series|
|Strictly Come Dancing||Stand-in presenter||6 episodes|
|2015||EastEnders: Backstage Live||Presenter||One-off episode|
|The Nation's Favourite '70s Number One||Narrator||One-off episode|
|BBC Young Dancer||Co-presenter||Grand final; with Darcey Bussell and Clemency Burton-Hill|
|Hacker's Birthday Bash: 30 Years of Children's BBC||Herself||One-off episode|
|Don't Tell the Bride||Narrator||1 series|
|The Nation's Favourite '80s Number One||Narrator||One-off episode|
|2016||Can't Touch This||Co-presenter||1 series; with Ashley Banjo|
|The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song||Narrator||One-off episode|
|Film 2016||Guest presenter||1 episode|
|2017||Saturday Mash-Up!||Guest||1 episode|
|2017—||The Big Family Cooking Showdown||Co-presenter||1 series; with Nadiya Hussain|
|2018||Zoë Ball's Hardest Road Home||One-off|
|2018 —||Zoe Ball on...||Presenter|
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- "Zoe Ball". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
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- "Radio report slams swearing". bbc.co.uk. 24 July 2000. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
- Whitehead, Jennifer (21 August 2002). "Xfm promotes Zoe Ball's new show with London poster campaign". campaignlive.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
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- "BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans loses voice on air". BBC News. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "Zoe Ball thanks her fans in first radio show since the death of boyfriend Billy Yates". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- Hannah Stephenson , "Johnny Ball: Children's TV and the lost years of daughter Zoe Ball", Chester Chronicle, 29 June 2009
- Births registered in March 1971, starting with B, ref: 1971B1-B-0071, via freeBMD.org.uk
- Sale, Jonathan (18 December 1997). "Education: Passed/Failed Zoe Ball". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Williams, Gill (6 February 2005). "Holidays: Bed and bawd". Sunday Mirror.
- "Zoe Ball admits to new love". BBC News. 28 January 2003.
- "Zoe Ball regrets her 'mad period'". Daily Mail. London. 26 June 2006.
- "BBC Presenter Ball is pregnant". BBC News. 11 July 2009.
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- "Zoe Ball's boyfriend fell victim to conman accountant before his death". 8 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
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- "CBBC offers life-line to Gordon The Gopher as stars reunite to celebrate 30 years of live Children's BBC Presentation". www.bbc.co.uk.
- Furness, Hannah (3 March 2017). "'I just don't sleep': Nadiya Hussain set for new family challenge ahead of Bake Off battle". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2017.