My Work Got Me Through Stormy Times – Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball

The 48-year-old broadcaster has been through a turbulent two years that saw her split from husband Norman Cook – the father of her children Woody, 18, and eight-year-old Nelly – before finding love again with Billy Yates, only for the cameraman to tragically take his own life seven months into their relationship, but she has always felt “looked after” by those who listened to her radio show and worked by her side.

She said: “I think the timing of everything has been really, really positive in many ways.

“I had certain jobs come up in the past that I might not have been able to deal with.

“I felt like the listeners and my audience and my family at work really looked after me through a lot of the stuff that happened.

“And my radio show on Saturday lifted my spirits so much in the toughest times.”

Zoe – who has also battled alcoholism – admitted she used to feel “anxious” ahead of going on air but developed a technique to banish negative thoughts that she’s found really helpful.

Speaking ahead of taking over from Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show next week, she told The Sun newspaper: “Back in the early days when I started doing ‘It Takes Two’ on TV, I would get anxious, especially if you let all the voices in your head tell you really negative things about yourself.

“Someone taught me this really lovely thing, which is when you’re panicking or thinking, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this,’ you just say, ‘Right. Hi, negative thoughts. Stop bothering me. If you just wait there, I’m going to do this job, then I’ll come back and talk to you later.’

“It’s actually a really good thing. I’ve done it before when they’ve been going, ‘You’re not very good.’

“Obviously that won’t stop me being terrified on Monday but we’ve got a great show that we’re excited for the listeners to hear.”

While Zoe has been working hard preparing for her show and is excited about what’s in store, she won’t enjoy listening back to it.

She admitted: “I can’t bear ­listening to my own voice. Honestly, I can’t stand it. It’s painful for me to hear. But as a team, we are so excited.”

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