‘Is it career suicide?’ Michael Ball talks tough decision over Eurovision offer from BBC

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Back in 1992, Michael Ball, 58, recalled being asked by BBC to perform at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but he had to make a difficult decision about accepting the opportunity. Despite loving the show itself, the singer worried it might damage his career rather than enhance it.

Is it a career move or is it career suicide?

Michael Ball

Chatting to Gaby Roslin on her self-titled podcast, he said: “The BBC came to me and said, ‘We’ve got this idea for Eurovision, we want to redo it, we want you to do all the songs, you’ll go on to Wogan every week and present them, and the nation will choose which one they want to go forward to represent.’

“This was ‘92, so I’m thinking, ‘Eurovision – is it a bit naff?’

“It’s fun, I mean, I love it… but is it a career move or is it career suicide?” he chuckled remembering the tough decision he had to make.

But thankfully, it all worked out for the best.

Michael performed One Step Out Of Time in the 1992 contest, and ended up coming in second place.

He tallied 139 points, narrowly missing out to winner Linda Martin, who represented Ireland with the song Why Me?.

While Michael and Gaby discussed his career in full flow, they also looked back at his days studying.

And the cheeky presenter made a startling admission, revealing he used to pull a fast one when he was at the Guildford School of Acting.

In order to skip his morning classes, he would make up some sort of serious excuse to get out of it, something he admitted was a cover up for being late.

“I made the best mates. I didn’t work terribly hard, if I’m honest…” he whispered.

“We always had that thing called ability in the morning… I invented a back injury and a heart condition, so I didn’t have to go!”

“It was at 9 o’clock in the morning, I’d been up late, I’m not going to make it, and I didn’t want to be expelled!”

He confessed that, at the time, he wasn’t sure whether he was going to go into the business of performing arts, but eventually found it was his “tribe”.

Crediting one of the team at the Surrey Youth Theatre as being responsible for his career, he said: “She said, ‘You should go to drama school, maybe that’s where your future lies’.

“And she got me a late audition at Guildford.

“I got in and literally from the day one, I knew I was with my tribe!” Michael beamed.

And indeed it was, as the jaunty, confident performer has gone on to have a hugely successful career as an actor, singer and a TV presenter, with his latest stint on BBC’s The One Show alongside Alex Jones.

Michael’s episode on That Gaby Roslin Podcast is available to listen to from Monday 10th May on all podcast streaming platforms.

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