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Wednesday, January 6, 1999 Published at 16:33 GMT


Zoe leaving for a lie-in

Friday nights are alright for Zoe Ball, now she has Saturdays off

TV-presenter-turned radio DJ Zoe Ball is to leave childrens' TV show Live & Kicking at the end of its current series, the BBC has confirmed.

Ball, who shot to fame as co-host of the programme with Jamie Theakston, has been working to a gruelling schedule since combining the job with presenting BBC Radio 1's breakfast show in October 1997.

"Zoe Ball will leave Live & Kicking at the end of the current run in April, but no plans for any other television work have been finalised," a BBC spokeswoman said.

Since Live & Kicking started in September 1996 Ball and Theakston have become two of the BBC's most valuable presenters, with Theakston following his colleague into working in radio instead of TV.

[ image: Jamie Theakston: Live & Kicking's co-host]
Jamie Theakston: Live & Kicking's co-host
It has not yet been announced whether Live & Kicking - which follows in a long tradition of Saturday morning shows starting with Swap Shop in the 1970s - will be recommissioned for a fourth series without her.

In 1997 she was chosen to co-present the Radio 1 breakfast show with Kevin Greening - despite the fact that she had little radio experience.

But the partnership was a success with the pair managing to reverse a decline in listening figures. Since last September Ball has presented the breakfast show on her own.

Success had its drawbacks though - with her having to get up early six days a week for most of the year, with the breakfast show each weekday and Live & Kicking every Saturday for eight months each year.

But Ball - the daughter of TV presenter Johnny Ball - is following a well-trodden route to greater success.

Noel Edmonds and Mike Read were both Radio 1 DJs and hosts of Saturday morning TV shows before moving onto success in 'adult' broadcasting.

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