What got Michael so excited to film Wonderful Wales With Michael Ball? Well, not many will know this but Michael Ball’s mum was born in the Cynon Valley, where his grandfather was a coal miner. That's why the world famous singer is more than delighted to head back to the country in this new four-part series coming to Channel 5.
In Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball, Michael receives ‘a welcome in the hillsides as he explores the historical traditions and treasures of Wales, its cultural heritage and Celtic pride, the Welsh language plus the stunning landscapes and scenery of Wales.
With a dramatic backdrop of majestic mountains and vast valleys, Michael not only discovers his own Welsh ancestry, but meets the people of Wales along the way to hear some untold stories of a country that’s full of myth and legend. Michael will also be performing with a choir at the end of every episode with the stunning Welsh landscape as backdrop.
What Michael reveals about his Wonderful Wales With Michael Ball series...
Michael Ball says: “I’m so excited about returning to the ‘land of song’, the land of my Fathers…well, actually my Mothers! Some of my fondest memories growing up were spent in the mining village of Mountain Ash with my gran. Some of the best audiences I’ve ever performed in front of, and some of my most memorable nights out, have been in Wales.
"Wales is a country of staggering beauty, extraordinary history and proud, passionate people. I can’t wait to see my family again, make new friends, visit places I’ve never been to before and share with everyone the glory of Wonderful Wales.
"I really went back to my roots and found the street where my gran lived and I had spent so much time as a kid. On a whim I rang the doorbell and out came Auntie Jean — 94 years old —and Auntie Nora, four doors down, who's 90. That was just wonderful."
Michael also appeared recently on The One Show to talk about his album We Are More Than One, but also revealed more about Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball. "Talk about come at the right time!" he told Alex Jones and Ronan Keating. "None of us had been away or able to anything at the right time and this opportunity arose because of my Welsh heritage. I'd only really know about the Valleys and the Cynon Valley in particular where my mum was from, but this was an opportunity to explore all those other areas of Wales I'd never been to and to meet amazing people. Plus I loved singing with a choir at the end of every show."
Wonderful Wales With Michael Ball start date...
Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball will start on Channel 5 on Friday July 9 at 8pm, and the remaining three episodes of the four-parter should run weekly from then. We don't yet know if the series will be shown worldwide but we'll update when we hear.
Wonderful Wales With Michael Ball behind the scenes...
Welsh independent company Wildflame Productions has been commissioned to make Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball for Channel 5.
Llinos Griffin-Williams, Executive Producer, Factual & International Co-Productions at Wildflame, says: “Michael Ball is the perfect star with which to travel through the ‘Land of Song.’ As well as explore the origins of all the things he thinks he knows about Wales – from castles to coal mines, daffodils to dragons, the valleys to the top of Snowdon – Michael will be uncovering surprising secrets and hidden history.
“Thanks to our strong existing relationships, we have special access to a wealth of Welsh institutions, landmarks and heritage sites which are perfect for this series. We’re proud to be bringing together a diverse, all-Welsh production team for this series and are very excited to be working with Michael. Pairing high-profile talent with the right kind of storytelling is what Wildflame does best. We hope that this series will be just as popular globally as it promises to be in the UK.”
Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball episode guide...
Here's a brief look at each episode of Wonderful Wales with Michael Ball, which we'll update with new information as soon as we can...
Episode One: Friday July 9, 8pm
Michael heads to south Wales to find out more about his own heritage and family history. His mother grew up in the Cynon Valley, and his grandfather and great-grandfather were both coal-miners. He visits the area that supplied coal, or ‘black gold’, to power the Titanic, heading deep underground before meeting one of the few survivors of the 1966 Aberfan disaster at the memorial site. He also stops at Mountain Ash, the home town of his beloved grandmother and where he spent many childhood holidays. He also goes down a mine, tries cockle picking in the Loughor Estuary and treads the boards at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre. He ends the episode by singing with the famous Treorchy Male Voice Choir.
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