In the spirit of compromise, I have today found myself listening to Zoe Ball’s Radio Two Breakfast Show. At the beginning of 2019, Ball took over from Chris Evans who has moved to the obscurity at Rupert Murdoch’s Virgin radio. Evans’ Radio Two show was tired, formulaic and, not for the first time in his career, he escaped just in time so that people would remember just what a good show he once hosted. On the basis of what I have heard this morning, Ball’s date of departure can’t come quick enough.
Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Zoe Ball. Her frantic, breathless broadcasting delivery hides a lack of depth and quality. The Friday show includes guest ‘celebrities’ who today include Jimmy Carr, with whom Ball had a terminally dull and self-indulgent discussion about his expensive new teeth, Spice Girl Emma Bunton who proved yet again that she can’t sing, despite using a bizarre faux American accent, and the former politician and Strictly dancer Ed Balls. Balls, to be fair, is an excellent guest on any format but even he struggled in the forced laughter and grim self-congratulatory nature of the show. It was unlistenable.
My dislike of Ball the broadcaster is nothing of a personal nature. How could it be since I have never met her and, in all likelihood, never will? I have always seen her as a supremely confident individual whose ‘bubbly personality’, as they call it, covers a multitude of inadequacies. In a world where TV presenters with limited talent and ability are the stars, Ball is queen.
As soon as I was able to turn it off, I did. If Ball’s frantic presentational skills are not enough to drive a man to just about anywhere else in radio land, then the dismal choice of music certainly is. The first note of Queen’s A Kind of Magic saw me break the world record for tuning to another station.
Terrible presenter, terrible music. Goodbye Radio Two, hello BBC 6 Music.