Zoë swaps the quiet life for £1.2m job

Her ca­reer is soar­ing – but it could come at a cost

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Zoë Ball sure is hav­ing a mo­ment. Last week, it was re­vealed that the 47 year old will re­place Chris Evans on BBC Ra­dio 2’s Break­fast Show in Jan­uary, mak­ing her the first fe­male pre­sen­ter to take its reins. Ap­pear­ing along­side Chris, Zoë told lis­ten­ers that she was, “A crazy mix of ela­tion, want­ing to burst into tears. I am thrilled.” But de­spite the mas­sive coup for the star, who’s set to be­come the BBC’S high­est-paid fe­male after ne­go­ti­at­ing a £1.2mil­lion pay packet, fans are wor­ried about what sac­ri­fices she’ll have to make in re­turn.

There’s no deny­ing that Zoë lives a very dif­fer­ent ex­is­tence to her former ladette days in the ’90s and early noughties, when she was known for par­ty­ing un­til dawn along­side fel­low Brit­pop pin-ups Sara Cox and Denise Van Outen. But in the last few years, she’s had a turn­around – prompted by the break­down of her mar­riage to Nor­man Cook, 48, and giv­ing up al­co­hol for the sec­ond time two years ago. Last year, the star was dev­as­tated by the death of her boyfriend Billy Yates, who trag­i­cally took his own life. Less than a year later, she upped sticks to Ditch­ling, Sus­sex, em­brac­ing quiet coun­try life with her two chil­dren, Woody, 17, and Nelly, eight, and has since found love again with con­struc­tion firm boss Michael Reed.

But now with her new job lur­ing her back to the cap­i­tal for sun­rise starts, cou­pled with her Strictly: It Takes Two pre­sent­ing com­mit­ments, there’s con­cern that the star could be tak­ing on too much too soon, and putting her idyl­lic, quiet life at risk.

Let’s hope she takes it in her stride and proves all the doubters wrong. n

Coun­try liv­ing “I’m hav­ing a ball”

Pre­sent­ing It Takes Two

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