Ok! My Week
~ November 2000~
Michael Ball, Britain's leading musical star, has enjoyed success with numerous stage productions. He has starrred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love and has just released his tenth album. He lives with former television presenter, Cathy McGowan, in London
"I'm three quarters of the way through a tour and I'm tired, but it's going really well. Early Monday morning I got back into London and went home for the first time in five weeks. I was very pleased to see Cathy and my dog and to have my first home-cooked mail in ages - bacon and eggs at two o'clock in the morning, it was lovely! When I do get a very rare day off, I'll completely chill out. I love watching telly and doing absolutely nothing - not even thinking.
Unfortunately, the ccoach comes to take me to my next venue that little bit too soon! Life really just revolves around being at home whenever I can, because I spend so much time on the road or in hotel rooms. For example, if I'm about to go and do a soundcheck, I'll have a bite to eat and hopefully put my head down on the sofa for a few hours to get some sleep. I have a ritual for preparing for a show, I'll shower, put my make-up on, do a physical warm-up and get ready for the curtain going up at 8pm.
When you come off stage, you're physically tired, but buzzing with adrenaline.
Normally, I'll invite some of my friends around for a party backstage, but because I've usually got a show the next day I can't party that hard, so we wrap it up at about midnight. then I'll go home and assess the day with Cathy and a single malt.
When you're on tour, your body clock gets turned upside down because you got to bed and don't wake up till midday. My life has always been like that, I got used o the weird hours from doing long runs in theatre but Cathy hates it! She is getting used to
it, after all we've been together nearly ten years. We're home birds really, but we do love the movies and try to see everything that comes out. If a friend's in a show we'll go to see it, but we're pretty low key and not premiere types. We'd rather be w
ith family and friends than out on the razzle - that's my job so I'd rather not do it in my spare time.
I have a house with a fantastic kitchen down by the south coast, so my idea od joy is going down there for the weekend and cooking roast lamb for everybody, drinking lots of beer and going for long walks. Most of the time it's just me, Cathy and the dog, but other times the house will be full. I've had the place for five years and it's perfect.
I love performing and have a great fan base, most of whom have been following my career for donkey's years - ever since Aspects of Love. They're a broad spectrum of people and I love meeting them all and having a chat after the show.
Michael's album, This Time ... It's Personal, is out now. His new single, Amazing Grace, will be released at Christmas in aid of Children in Need.