My Best Life
I love opening a bottle of wine when I get home

~ Best Magazine - 25/08/2009 ~

Michael Ball, 47, taught himself to sing as a child, and has had an illustrious 20-year-stage and recording career in hits such as Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Hairspray. He lives with partner, former Ready, Steady, Go! presenter, Cathy McGowan, 66, and is stepfather to her daughter Emma.

* What is your best childhood memory?

Waling up to a white Christmas in 1969. We lived in Dartmoor and all the ponies had got into our garden and we had to chase them out before we could open presents. Mum was worried about the plants being trampled, but that didn't matter nearly as much as the fact that the garden was absolutely covered in snow.

* What do you like best about yourself?

I'm a good communicator. That's why I like my Radio 2 show. I get guests on, be they journalists talking about the papers, or coming on to plug something. I don't sweat over what line of questioning to take, I just sit and chat.

* What's the best part of your day?

Oh, I love opening that bottle of wine when I get home, sitting down and putting the telly on, while thinking, "That was a successful day."

* What's your best money-saving tip?

Learn to cook! It's so much cheaper than buying ready-meals. I love making comfort food like shepherd's pie and an English roast. Having gone to drama school in my late teens, I had to fend for myself and cook, and i really enjoyed it.

* What's the best bargain that you have found recently?

Last year, I went on holiday in the Cayman Islands with Cath, Emma, and her husband Dean, plus their kids, Grace and Connor. I paid for it before the exchange rate for the pound dropped, so it was cheaper. At the time, it was nearly two dollars to the pound and we paid in dollards. When we went, it was only about $1.40 to the pound.

* What's the best thing that someone could say of you?

"He never did no 'arm!" That I was a decent person who worked hard and gave stuff back.

* What's the best thing you have done to save the planet?

I down-sized cars, from a gas-guzzling Range Rover Sport to a Mini Cooper. I love it! It's big enough for my two dogs, because it's an estate so you can put down the back seats. It's so economical and looks beautiful

Michael's UK tour starts on 12 September. A new live DVD will be released in November. Michael Ball's Sunday Brunch is on Radio 2

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