Zoë swaps the quiet life for £1.2m job
Her career is soaring – but it could come at a cost
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