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Zoe Ball

Real name: Zoė Louise Ball
Birthdate: November 23, 1970
Status: Married
Partner: Norman Fatboy Slim' Cook'

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Zoƫ Louise Ball (born November 23, 1970 in Blackpool, Lancashire) is an English television and radio personality, most famous for becoming the first female host of the prestigious BBC Radio 1 breakfast show.

The daughter of children's TV presenter Johnny Ball, Zoƫ was educated at a convent school in Buckinghamshire. Her first TV appearance was as a child in the studio audience of Saturday morning children's show Saturday Superstore, on which her father was appearing as a guest.

She began her television career as a runner at Granada Television and researcher on BSkyB. She worked two years as a researcher for quiz shows.

Her presenting jobs have included hosting The Big Breakfast & The Priory on Channel 4, BBC One's Saturday morning children's programme Live & Kicking and pre-school programme Playdays.

Zoƫ left BBC Radio 1 in March 2000 to raise a family. Her final Breakfast show was on the 30 March 2000, and she was succeeded by her friend Sara Cox.

Zoƫ co-hosted the 2002 BRIT Awards with Frank Skinner but otherwise has not undertaken much work in recent years due to motherhood. She returned to radio in mid 2002 when she joined London's Rock Station XFM, where she presented the Weekday Drivetime show until December 2003 & then in January 2004 took over a Friday evening music show for the station. She also stood in for Ricky Gervais whilst he filmed the second series of The Office. She eventually left XFM at the end of 2004.

In 2005, after co-hosting the BBC reality show Strictly Dance Fever, became a contestant on its sister show Strictly Come Dancing, partnering Ian Waite (in which she ranked 3rd place), admitting during the programme that her husband was against the idea.

She has recently made brief appearances on radio presenting documentaries for BBC Radio 2, and also sat in for Dermot O'Leary for 3 weeks in February 2006.

Though regarded as professional, Zoƫ twice received a carpeting for swearing on the radio - firstly when she used the word "bastard" while being interviewed by Chris Evans during his spell on the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show (she was publicising her appointment to The Big Breakfast at the time); then, as host of the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show, for using the expression "fucking brilliant" to describe a night out she had.

In January 2007, Zoƫ presented the second series of ITV1's Soapstar Superstar, taking over from Fern Britton and Ben Shephard, who hosted the first series.

While at BBC Radio 1, she began a relationship with DJ and musician Norman Cook (a.k.a. "Fatboy Slim") and married him in August 1999. Before the wedding, Zoƫ was famously photographed outside her home in a cowboy hat, with a lit cigarette in her mouth and a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky in her hand. The photographs were memorable but she received criticism for supposedly "staging" the look, as if to show the "ladette" was being reluctantly brought in line.

She surprised commentators and journalists, however, by bringing her wedding at Babington House, Somerset forward in secret to avoid intrusion, and wore a traditional white dress. Her marriage ended her involvement in the "ladette" culture, though her friend and breakfast show successor Sara Cox briefly continued it.

Zoƫ left BBC Radio 1 in March 2000 to raise a family. Her final Breakfast show was on the 30 March 2000. The couple have one son, Woody (born December 2000), and they live in Hove.


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