My Week: Zoe Ball Presenter of Radio 1's Breakfast Show

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The Independent Culture

I have breakfast by the pool with Mickey Rourke, Gabriel Byrne and members of the band Aerosmith at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. Then it's off to get my hair done at Vidal Sassoon (God, I sound like Meg Matthews). The Oscars seem to go on for ever; everyone thinks Gwyneth's speech is too long. I think Jennifer Lopez and Raquel Welch look stunning; so does Gwyneth Paltrow, except she's too skinny. I don't think the Oscars are as exciting this year. I'm doing a live broadcast from an after-show party tonight to launch the Radio 1 Millennium Movie Awards. I decide to wear a DKNY full black skirt and backless Gucci top. As I walk past the crowds outside the Vanity Fair party and Elton John party, I'm worried about who will come to ours. But we have the real stars; Cherie Lunghi from the Gold Blend adverts, Mickey Dolenz from The Monkeys, and Tamara Beckwith.


Me and the rest of the breakfast team decide against going to Elton John's party and instead go back to my hotel room. We are jet-lagged and carry on drinking champagne and running around for another 12 hours. Every one is very drunk but somehow we manage not to embarrass Radio 1.

We watch some of the American TV channels. They are so incredibly bitchy about the women at the Oscars. It's very different from Vanessa; everyone is shouting and being rude. I don't think that we'd get away with this on British television or radio.


Monica Lewinsky is on the same flight as me. She looks like a frightened bunny. She keeps standing up and looking around, trying to get noticed. I think: "What are you doing missus? Keep your head down if you don't want to get recognised." I feel quite sorry for her. I crash out on the plane and manage to sleep for the whole journey home.

In the evening I go to see Shakespeare in Love with my fella. I enjoy it, but am not sure if it should have won Best Movie award. I think it's frustrating to get Americans to play English parts. But I love Geoffrey Rush and Mark Williams. I go to bed absolutely knackered.


I'm late to work today. My driver John usually rings the door at 5.30am, but he's away. During my show I'm told that I'm being mouthy and aggressive; I think it's the influence of American TV. I have been asked to listen to Geri Halliwell's new single but am a bit worried about how good it will be. I know she's really nervous about it. It's good though, a kind of summer commercial tune. She sounds like a modern Shirley Bassey - very different from The Spice Girls.

I go to my favourite restaurant, Odettes, with some friends who are over from New York.


We find out that the breakfast show has been nominated for a Sony award, and celebrate by jumping up and down, but everyone is too busy or too tired to go out for drinks. The jet lag is really starting to set in. I go to the Duke of Edinburgh dinner at the Hyatt hotel in the evening. I sit with Prince Edward, James Major and Emma Noble. We spend most of the evening discussing weddings and honeymoons. I have a good chat with Prince Edward about newspapers and where you draw the line.


I do the show in the morning. I'm feeling very tired after my busy week. I have a meeting with Channel 4 about a show that is starting in November. Then it's off to Television Centre for rehearsals for Live and Kicking. I decide on an early night as I have a hectic weekend ahead. As well as Live and Kicking, I'm recording a sketch with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.