Zoe Ball's Biography

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Who is Zoe Ball?

Zoë Ball was born on 23rd November 1970 in Blackpool.

Zoe's father is former children's television presenter Johnny Ball (who in 2012 became a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing) and her husband was Norman Cook (formerly of The Housemartins) also known as Fatboy Slim.

Zoe Ball told listeners to her Radio 1 show how Cook proposed to her on Valentine's Day:

"I've got a little something to tell you. I was moaning to my boyfriend all yesterday on Valentine's Day that he hadn't got me a Valentine's present ... I went to sleep, and I woke up and ...I am getting married. My boyfriend asked me to marry him yesterday and it is so exciting. I feel completely sick and my stomach's turning over."

Zoe Ball started in TV in 1989 as a runner at Granada TV in Manchester. She was quickly promoted to researcher.

In 1992 Zoe worked as an assistant producer on The Big Breakfast.

Zoe Ball then followed in her father's footsteps by presenting for children's television.

In 1996 Zoe replaced Gaby Roslin on The Big Breakfast but soon departed and then hosted Live and Kicking with Jamie Theakston for three years. She also worked with Theakston on several series of The Priory.

Zoe was also a co-host on radio where she joined forces with Kevin Greening on Radio 1's Breakfast Show - soon after she hosted the show alone - and went on to win a Sony Gold Award.

Zoe Ball was the first female DJ to present the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show.

Zoe Ball has presented numerous other TV programmes. Appropriately enough for a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, Zoe presented the BBC Three Saturday night coverage of Graham Norton's Strictly Dance Fever.

In the 2005 Strictly Come Dancing series Zoe Ball partnered Ian Waite.

In the first week of the show Zoe Ball danced so well that it inspired one of the Strictly Come Dancing judges, Arlene Phillips to say of Zoe: "the little beach donkey has turned into a gazelle".

Although being one of the favourites, it wasn't enough and Zoe and Ian finished third, with Zoe saying that she had already signed up to flamenco classes.

At the end of 2006, Zoe Ball together with Sir Trevor McDonald presented ITV's show, Extinct.

In 2007 Zoe Ball presented another ITV series, Soapstar Superstar. This was followed in April 2007 with presenting Grease is the Word.

In September Zoe Ball went to India with Oxfam to compare her experience of giving birth with that of Indian women in Uttar Pradesh.

In May 2009, the BBC announced that Zoe Ball will present the Saturday early breakfast show from 6 June 2009.

In the autumn of 2009, Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston reunited as a presenting team for the first time in ten years for an eight-part series on Channel Five, Britain's Best Brain.

In January 2010, Zoe Ball gave birth to a girl, Nelly May Lois Cook, who weighed 8lbs.

In July 2011, it was announced that Zoe Ball was taking over from Claudia Winkleman as the presenter of BBC Two's Strictly Come Dancing – It Takes Two.

In 2016, the BBC announced that Zoe Ball and Ashley Banjo would present the BBC1 show Can't Touch This.

In September 2016, Zoe Ball and Norman Cook announced their separation, saying they remained "good friends".

In November 2016, the BBC announced that Zoe Ball would present the first programme in the Film 2016 series.

In 2017, the BBC announced that Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain would present The Big Family Cooking Showdown with chefs Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager judging the best family of cooks.

In May 2017, the BBC reported that Zoe Ball would not host her live Saturday afternoon BBC Radio 2 show for a couple of weeks following the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates, who was a cameraman on the Antiques Roadshow.

In July 2017, the BBC revealed that Zoe Ball earned over £250,000 from the licence fee in the financial year 2016/7.

In October 2018 it was announced that Zoe Ball would take over from Chris Evans as host of Radio 2's breakfast show.

In September 2020, the BBC revealed that Zoe Ball was their second highest paid presenter, earning around £1.36 million a year.

In May 2021, Zoe Ball announced that she was stepping down as presenter of Strictly: It Takes Two.

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