Zoe Ball: I’m embracing all of life and its adventures in my 50s

·3 min read

Zoe Ball has said she is “embracing all of life and its adventures” now she is in her 50s.

The 51-year-old has had a varied career presenting TV and radio programmes and has hosted the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 since 2019.

Speaking to the PA news agency about her latest project – presenting More4’s Garden Of The Year – Ball suggested she was open to trying new things, saying: “Well I did Masked Dancer as a llama, which was an absolute hoot, and that was something I’d never thought would crop up for me.

“I’m embracing all of life and its adventures in my 50s!”

Ball competed in the first series of the ITV mystery dancing competition in 2021 and was the sixth celebrity to be unmasked.

In 2005 she was a contestant on the third series of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, where she was partnered with Ian Waite and came third.

Sharing her excitement over the recently revealed 2022 Strictly line-up, Ball said: “At Radio 2 we are cock-a-hoop that our Richie Anderson has been signed up and will be dancing with a male partner.

“We’re so proud of him. He’s going to smash it.

“Have to say, loving the line up this year.”

Anderson, 34 – who works alongside Ball on Radio 2 presenting the morning travel bulletins – was announced as a Strictly celebrity earlier this month.

After competing on the programme, Ball became the host of its spin-off, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, for 10 years before announcing her departure in May last year.

She will lead the UK-wide hunt for the Garden Of The Year, joined by garden designer Manoj Malde and former young horticulturalist of the year Lachlan Rae.

Ball told PA: “I have such lovely memories of my grandad Fred growing tomatoes and cucumbers in his greenhouse, tending them with love and care, and the wonderful smell of the greenhouse.

“So when I moved to a house with a greenhouse I started to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.”

The show will follow the trio across the UK, visiting a variety of impressive entries, from classic English country gardens to the coolest contemporary designs and urban green spaces.

Split into regions, each episode will feature four contrasting gardens that represent the best of garden design in the area, which the judges will score out of 10.

The winning gardens from each episode will go head-to-head in the grand finale, where one will be crowned Garden Of The Year.

Ball, who regularly shares pictures and videos of her garden with her Instagram followers, also revealed that gardening brought her solace during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“In lockdown I, like many others, found being outside, pottering in the garden, nurturing, pruning plants and watching nature, a great escape from the constant news stream and indeed a great comfort,” she said.

“You can feel the benefits immediately. When I’ve had a hectic day, whatever the weather, I’ll try grab some time in the garden, (it’s) so good to calm the day’s anxieties and clear my busy head.”

The first episode of Garden Of The Year will air on More4 on August 22 at 9pm.