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4 December 2018, 12:31
Here’s everything you need to know about the musical theatre star Michael Ball, from his partner and family to how he met his musical 'partner-in-crime', Alfie Boe.
Michael Ball is a 56-year-old actor, singer and broadcaster from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
He is also known for singing the UK Top 40 single ‘Love Changes Everything’ from the musical Aspects of Love, which featured on his 1992 album Michael Ball.
When he was younger, Michael Ball joined a youth theatre group before earning a place to study at the Guildford School of Acting.
While his first role was in Godspell in Aberystwyth, his major break was in Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance in Manchester.
Aged 23, he made his West End debut playing Marius in Les Misérables in 1985.
He later played Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera and appeared in stage productions of Hairspray and Sweeney Todd, before representing the UK in the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest. He finished in second place with the song ‘One Step Out Of Time’, which appeared on his 1992 self-titled album.
In July 2018, he hosted an episode of ITV's This Morning with Sara Cox, as the pair stood in for Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.
Michael Ball has a net worth of $15 million (£11.5 million).
Michael lives with his partner Cathy McGowan, 75, the former presenter of Ready Steady Go!.
They met in 1989 when Cathy was an entertainment reporter for the BBC, and she interviewed him during rehearsals for the musical Aspects of Love.
They have lived together since 1992. In 2002, Cathy saved Michael’s life by dragging him out of a house fire.
Michael Ball is the son of Tony and Ruth Ball. He has a sister, Katherine Ball and a brother, Kevin Ball.
In 1999, Michael revealed he is unable to have children, after suffering terrible internal injuries during a charity parachute jump when he was young.
“I was going to earth at four times the speed I was meant to and got dragged along the floor,” he told the Daily Mirror. Aged just 18, Michael suffered a ruptured groin and internal bleeding that tragically left him impotent.
Ball met Boe, 45, when they were co-stars in a production of the musical Kismet in London.
In 2017 Alfie teamed up with Michael Ball to produce one of the year’s most successful classical albums, Together. The album featured some of the best-known songs from the musicals.
After Together went double platinum, the pair recorded a follow-up called Together Again.