Start a family – you’ll never have to go out again

Zoë Ball says having her two children was the best thing ever to happen to her

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The Independent Online

Thank you to Zoë Ball, the talented television and radio presenter, for shamelessly voicing what all of us with children are afraid to admit: that our little sprogs might be formidable drains on our bank balances, but they do offer extremely convenient excuses to avoid some very tedious nights out.

Times have changed for Ball, 44, whom those of you of a certain vintage will fondly recall as the original ladette of that Nineties phenomenon. Remember her returning home to get ready for her wedding after pulling an all-nighter, sporting a cowboy hat, cradling a bottle of Jack D and with a fag clamped between her lips? I most certainly do.

Ball has two kids with Norman Cook, 51, aka DJ Fatboy Slim. Woody, 14, and Nelly, five, unwittingly provide those all-important Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free cards. Ball said: “In the beginning, it’s like ‘What do you mean I’m never going to go out anymore?’ But now it’s such a joy. It’s such a great excuse to be like, ‘No, I’m with the kids,’ so you don’t have to go out anymore.”

All those dull dinner parties, awkward dances, pretentious book launches. All wiped out. Much better to stay in and watch some mind-numbing TV. No wonder they invented New Tricks.

Ball, to be fair, was rather more positive in embracing this life: her kids, she said, rather upliftingly, were the best thing that had ever happened to her. Me too, Zoë. Now you must excuse me. I have a rare evening out. Watching my younger daughter playing football. Bliss.