I am a professional performer in musical theatre and have been in productions with Michael Ball and know him reasonably well. I make no comment on his private life, that is entirely his own affair. But you need to spend about 60 seconds in the company of Mike and Cathy to see that they are clearly, and genuinely, devoted to each other and make each other very happy. He is a wonderful step-father and step-grandfather and his family all adore him. There is nothing ‘artificial’ about his home life.
On a professional level, here I do feel moved to defend him. He is a superb company leader and is always generous with his time and advice. Indeed the younger members of the company tend to follow him around like besotted sheep. I have never heard a ‘me me me’ type phrase in all the years I’ve known him, well not one meant seriously anyway. He is wonderfully tactile but never in a sleazy way and he always shows complete respect for the women in the company. He does enjoy kissing women and he does have a wicked sense of humour.
The one comment that I must take issue with is “I believe he's a bit of a diva too - he refuses to speak for hours before concerts to 'preserve his voice', and makes dismissive hand gestures if anyone tries to communicate verbally with him.”
This is complete and utter nonsense. In 2009 he invited cameras backstage to film the buildup to his Royal Albert Hall concert, the minutes, and indeed seconds, before going on. He was his usual funny and supportive self. In fact he seeks out people to talk to in the moments before performing on any stage as a counter to nerves. He is the least precious person vocally I know, and believe me I know some who would easily fit the description in quotation marks.
It is very easy to fire barbs at people you don’t know, we are all guilty of it. But this one doesn’t deserve it. If I needed to depend on a colleague for help during a performance, a kind word or an understanding wink or someone to fill in a forgotten line, I would choose Michael Ball over any other person in musical theatre. He is kindness and talent and grace and patience personified.
As I was the one who made that comment I ought to reveal where I got this info from. A radio DJ (whose Mum is a big fan of Michaels) had backstage access to one of his shows and was desperate to get a photograph and autograph for his Mum back in Ireland. He was that shocked and disappointed with Michaels diva-ish behaviour and attitude, he spent 30 mins moaning about it on his show. This is going back to around 2001/2002, so maybe this was before you worked with him?
I wouldn't 'fire out barbs' for no good reason. I see no reason why this DJ, (who worked on Radio City in Liverpool) would make something like that up, especially as he'd been going on about how much he was looking forward to meeting him.
As for the 'sleazy' comment I made, that is my personal opinion based on what I have seen of him on the TV, which I'm perfectly entitled to.