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Michael Ball: 'You won't get me in a banana suit!'

Michael Ball: 'You won't get me in a banana suit!'
Michael Ball: 'You won't get me in a banana suit!' (Image credit: Ken McKay)

West End star Michael Ball (opens in new tab) brightens up weekday afternoons with his brand-new chat show at 3pm Monday-Friday... How do you feel about hosting your own teatime chat show? "I'm excited, but also really nervous. Hosting This Morning and other shows gave me an idea of how telly works and that’s given me the confidence to do this. Doing five shows a week for a six-week run is going be a steep learning curve, but I'm looking forward to the challenge." You're best known for your theatre work. Will this be a part of the show? "There's been a huge resurgence in the musical theatre genre thanks to shows like Glee. Throughout the series, there will be items on musical theatre and I'll certainly be singing myself. But it’s not a musical theatre show at all." So, what else can viewers expect from the show? "It'll be a real afternoon treat with celebrities, music, cooking and topical discussion. We'll be meeting some interesting people – not just celebrities, but Britain’s unsung heroes; real people with stories to tell. An endless stream of celebrities plugging their next project is not the most exciting telly for me." Who would your ideal guest be? "It would be easy to say Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie, but I think my ideal guest would be Camilla Parker Bowles. She's had a fascinating life and I'd have so many questions. I think she’d be really funny, too!" We hear there are going to be some challenges... "Both my guests and I will take part in challenges, a bit like The Generation Game. I'll have a go at most things, but I don't like pain. Playing Edna in Hairspray means I love dressing up – but you won't get me in a banana suit!" You recently appeared as a guest judge on Dancing on Ice. Would you ever be a contestant on a reality show? "I think shows like Dancing on Ice, X Factor and Britain's Got Talent make great telly, but I'd never want to be contestant; I'm far too insecure and competitive. Also, working in theatre, you're being judged all the time – and I'd rather not be told I'm awful in front of millions of people!" *The Michael Ball Show can be seen weekdays at 3pm on ITV1

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.