OVER two decades since she found fame hosting Live & Kicking but Zoe Ball is still as popular as ever.
The It Takes Two presenter is back with a brand new presenting gig on the BBC, The Big Family Cooking Showdown. We’ve got the lowdown on her…
Who is Zoe Ball?
Zoe Ball is a 46-year-old TV presenter and radio star, having become the first female host of The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1998.
She also co-hosted the classic Saturday morning kids TV show, Live & Kicking, with Jamie Theakston from 1996 until 1999.
She appeared on series three of Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, finishing in third place, and took over the spin-off show – It Takes Two – in 2011.
Her dad is popular TV star Johnny Ball, who was a regular fixture in the 1970s and 80s on shows including Think of a Number and Play School.
Zoe was married to Norman Cook – aka Fatboy Slim – from 1999 until they separated last year.
They have two children together, son Woody, 17 and daughter Nelly, seven.
Why did Zoe’s marriage to Norman Cook end?
The couple’s marriage was rocked in 2003 when Zoe admitted she had had an affair with one of her husband’s close friends, DJ Dan Peppe, but they later reconciled.
Zoe then hit the headlines again in 2015 when she was pictured snogging boyband member Tay Tay Starhz, 22, at a Christmas party.
The couple battled on but in September last year they announced their separation after 18 years of marriage.
What happened to Zoe’s relationship with Billy Yates?
Zoe found love with a new man, Antiques Roadshow crew member, Billy Yates last September.
However, the cameraman, 40, was tragically found dead in his Putney home on May 4, leaving Zoe overcome with grief.
She was known to have been head over heels with Billy, with her dad Johnny previously saying that his daughter was “very happy” which he described as “lovely”.
Following the news, Zoe took a break from her BBC Radio 2 show, with Kate Thornton stepping in and sending the star her thoughts.
Zoe shared a picture of a pink flower on her Instagram account following Billy’s death and wrote: “My sweet love x”.
The grieving star pulled out of filming the final of The Big Family Showdown.
A source said: “Everyone understands Zoe’s predicament and there’s real sympathy for her.
“But her absence in the final is a blow for the debut series.”
What is The Big Family Cooking Showdown?
The Big Family Cooking Showdown is a replacement show for The Great British Bake Off, which has moved to Channel 4.
Hosted by Zoe and Nadiya Hussain, sixteen families welcome the BBC into their own kitchens to whip up dishes using their favourite family recipes.
Challenges are set by Giorgio Locatelli and fellow judge Rosemary Shrager in both the studio kitchen and home kitchens up and down the country during each hour-long show, whittling down the teams of cooks through a series of challenges.
A TV insider told The Sun: “The gloves are off. This is going to be a proper battle.”
The show kicked off on August 15 at 8pm on BBC Two and continues on Tuesday evenings for 12 weeks.