Local cinemas: from 17 October 2020
On Stage: Hairspray at the Coliseum
Michael Ashley Ball was born on 27th June 1962 in Bromsgrove, West Midlands. He grew up with his older brother Kevin and his younger sister Katherine near Stratford-upon-Avon. As his mother comes from Wales Michael regards himself as being Welsh rather than English, although he has never lived there.
Michael has never been married nor has he any children, but for more than a decade he has been together with Cathy McGowan. Cathy is a TV-presenter in Great Britain and she was famous for her show "Ready, Steady, Go!" that she presented between 1963 and 1966. Cathy's sister-in-law, Angela McGowan, persuaded Cathy to interview Michael Ball for a show. Finally she did and as Michael stated it: We have been together ever since!
In March 1992 they moved together in their own house. This was not the only reason why that day changed their life until today. On the very same day Michael got the news that Angela McGowan was suffering from ovarian cancer. He had to break the bad news, that there was not much hope for Angela, to Cathy.
As the cancer was diagnosed in a late state Angela died within four months on 19th July 1992. During this time the whole family tried to find out as much as possible about the cancer and possible ways to treat it, but what they discovered was rather depressing. Ovarian Cancer is very curable if detected early enough, but in a late state there is almost no hope. What was even more astonishing for the family was that they never heard of that kind of cancer although it is one of the most spread kind of cancers affecting women. Furthermore there were no screening tests. To channel their emotions and try to prevent other women from this mortal disease ROC (Research into Ovarian Cancer) was founded by Michael, the McGowan family and others. His single "The Rose" was released to raise money for ROC.
A very positive highlight of Michael’s private life took place on 28th April 1999. On that day Cathy's then 26 years old daughter Emma gave birth to little baby-boy Connor. At that time Emma and her husband lived together with Michael and Cathy. So Michael was very involved in caring for Connor. Furthermore Michael is Connor's godfather.
The year 2000 did not end as good for him as it should. Shortly before Christmas there was a fire in Michael's and Cathy's London home. It broke out in the early morning hours just two days before Christmas. For God's sake Cathy woke up and rescued her and Michael's life. All the Christmas presents, his gold discs and memorabilia burnt that night, but luckily no one was severely hurt.
Of course life improved, when they found a new house and moved in at the end of 2001. There were still two big changes up for Cathy and Michael as Connor got a baby-sister Grace Catherine on 30th October 2001. The happy news some sad followed, when their Tibetan Terrier Yogi had to be put to sleep shortly before Michael started his Christmas tourette. Yogi will for sure be in many fans' minds forever, being it just for getting on stage during an Open Air concert in 1997, where he was the big star of the evening.
In the meantime Cathy and Michael did get a new dog, Freddie, again a cute, though much taller Tibetan Terrier. He seems to love the spotlight just as much as Yogi did and tends to get a strong fanbase.
During his Kismet run in 2007, we learned that Cathy and Michael now own a second Tibetan Terrier who is black and white and is called Ollie.
On 20 September 2013 the Plymouth University awarded Michael with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts.
On 14 March 2017 Michael and Cathy had to say goodbye to their beloved Freddie due to serious illness. Two months later, on 14 May 2017, Michael introduces new family member Dylan (an 8 years old Tibetan Terrier) to the nation in his radio show.
On 17 September 2018 Michael and Cathy lost Ollie (also serious illness), as revealed by Michael's tweet a day later: "Yesterday we said goodbye to my handsome, noble, soppy, daft, loyal, loving and most beloved best friend. RIP Ollie"
On 5 October 2018 Michael and Cathy welcome Tibetan Terrier puppy Danny into their family.