"My Lessons From Life"

Actor and singer micahel Ball (49) tells howhe never takes his success for granted

~ Yours Magazine - 21/02/2011 ~

Never forget who gave you your success

My fans mean everything to me. I always make a point of signing autographs at the end of each show. I chat to them like friends, which many of them have become; It's why I don't surround myself with an entourage. I like direct access to the people who made me what I am - I know how important they are and I like to repay that loyalty.

Confidece and success are different

Although I tasted success almost fresh out of drama school, i was prone to bouts of depression in my 20s. I'm now convinced that a boy doesn't become a man, doesn't truly find himself, until he's heading for his 30s.

Live in the moment

I'm confident enough now not only to stop and smell the roses but really do appreciate them. I'm happy at home, happy at work, I never stop pinching myself, because it will change. Things do. So my mantra now couldn't be more simple: Relish the day.

This is one of the best times ever

My mum said to me not so long ago that I'd changed since winning the Olivier Award for Hairspray. And she's right. I've acquired an inner strength; there's no need for bravado anymore. I take nothing for granted and it could all end tomorrow, but, in truth, that doesn's seem very likely.

I found the love of a good woman

I knew Cathy McGowan as the presenter of Ready Steady go! But then she came to interview me for Newsroom South-East when I was appearing in Aspects of Love and a friendship developed. She made me feel fantastic, made me realise that I deserved what was happening to me. She showed me I was attractive for who I was, not for my public persona. she helped build up my confidence.

Ordinary People have taught me lots

My afternoon chat show was a real eye-opener, but it was the conversations with ordinary members of the public that stay with me. I won#t forget the determination and dignity of former model, Katie Piper, who'd had sulphuric acid thrown in her face. Or the humbling courage of David Rathband, the policeman blinded by Raoul Moat.

I'm learning to say 'no'

I love what i do, but I tend to take on too much. So, I'm trying to acquire the ability to switch off. We have a house in West Wittering and I like walking on the beach with the dogs and clearing my midn of anything to do with work.

Cooking is my therapy

When I moved into my first flat, my idea of a special meal was a Fray Bentos meat pie. I've come a long way since then! Now, after my Radio 2 Sunday Brunch show, there's nothing I like better than coming home to cook a Sunday roast. You should try my roast potatoes - you won't taste finer!

What made you who you are today?

Surrey Country Youth Theatre, run by Kay Dudeney. She asked whether I'd ever thought of going to drama school - I'd never considered making a career from acting. She got me an audition at the Guildford School of Acting. It changed my life forever.

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