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Monday, February 15, 1999 Published at 22:24 GMT


Zoe's Fatboy fiancé

Zoe Ball: Norman Cook proposed to her at his Brighton home

DJ and TV presenter Zoe Ball has announced she is to marry her pop star boyfriend Norman Cook.

Zoe Ball announces her engagement
Ball, 28, revealed her plans at the end of her BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Monday morning.

Cook, 35, is better known as Fatboy Slim and had a number one hit earlier this year with Praise You.

'Completely sick'

She told listeners how he proposed to her on Valentine's Day at his home on the Brighton seafront, giving her an engagement ring she calls her "Brighton rock".

She said: "I've got a little something to tell, you. I was moaning to my boyfriend all yesterday on Valentine's Day that he hadn't got me a Valentine's present.

[ image: Norman Cook: Had a number one single earlier this year with Praise You]
Norman Cook: Had a number one single earlier this year with Praise You
"I went to sleep, and I woke up, and I am getting married! My boyfriend asked me to marry him yesterday and it is so exciting. I feel completely sick and my stomach's turning over."

A BBC Radio 1 spokesman said: "We are so happy for Zoe and Norman.

"We expect our presenters to love their music, but we didn't expect Zoe to take it quite so literally."

An excited Zoe said true love means being able to shed all her inhibitions.

"Love to me means being able to fart in front of somebody, to able to pick your nose in front of somebody, being able to persuade somebody to get up at 5.30am in the morning to make you a cup of tea and run a bath, get you dressed and ready for school. Yes, and being able to squeeze your lover's spots."

Cook nominated for Brits

The couple will appear together at Tuesday night's Brit Awards in London, with Cook nominated for two awards as best British male and best dance act.

Cook - whose real first name is Quentin - first found fame in Hull-based band the Housemartins in 1985. The group were best known for the hits Happy Hour and the 1986 Christmas No 1, Caravan of Love.

The group split in 1988 with Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway going on to form the Beautiful South. Cook became a dance DJ, and became the man behind Beats International's No 1 Dub be Good To Me in 1990.

After appearing under a variety of other guises, he emerged as Fatboy Slim, a leading light of the "big beat" dance scene in 1997, signed to tiny Brighton label Skint Records.

His second Fatboy Slim album, You've Come A Long Way Baby, is at No 2 in this week's chart, nearly four months after it was released.

Recently he rejoined Cook and Hemingway to produce the Beautiful South's most recent album Quench.

'Youth icon'

Ball, the daughter of television presenter Johnny, has become one of the highest-paid women in British broadcasting, recently signing a deals to develop a new prime-time show for Channel 4 and to work on new projects for BBC One.

She started work as a runner for Granada Television at the age of 19, becoming a researcher for the Big Breakfast, a show she would later present.

She moved into presentation with the BBC in 1993, and hosts Saturday morning show Live And Kicking, a job she is giving up at the end of the current series.

Since starting work on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show in October 1997 - first with Kevin Greening, now solo - ratings have gone up, prompting the station's controller Andy Parfitt to call her "the nation's number one youth icon".

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Internet Links

Zoe Ball's Breakfast Show: BBC Radio 1

Skint Records: Fatboy Slim's label

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