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Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 13:32 GMT
Ball's dream marriage that hit reality
The birth of Woody appeared to cement the marriage
DJ Zoe Ball and husband Norman Cook are back together after their marriage seemed to fall apart. Here is the story of how their ideal union went wrong.

Zoe Ball seemed to have it all - she was the high-profile celebrity who managed to juggle marriage, motherhood and a career.

Ball and husband Norman Cook - aka Fatboy Slim - were one of the nation's favourite celebrity couples.

Norman Cook and Zoe Ball
The couple wed in 1999
They partied with the best of them, such as DJ friends Sara Cox and Jon Carter, yet still enjoyed connubial bliss in their beachfront Brighton home with their two-year-old son Woody.

But the image that the nation loved so much came crashing down since the couple separated in the middle of January.

There has been speculation that the marriage broke down as Cook was "partying hard", downing bottles of vodka while DJing, as his young wife stayed at home to look after their son.

Woody Cook
Cook was there for Woody's birth
But Ball, 32, confessed to a liaison with Themroc drummer and club DJ Dan Peppe, and to another, earlier, affair.

She released a statement saying: "I left Norman at the beginning of December - there were problems in our marriage that had arisen and I had subsequently met someone else.

"My friendship with Daniel Peppe has developed since then.

"Being there for my son Woody is vital - he has been spending three days of the week with me in London and we have been doing all the usual mother and son stuff together."

So what, exactly, went wrong?

It all started so well. Ball and Cook met in the summer of 1998 during BBC Radio 1's week on Ibiza, where Cook was playing in clubs.

Just a year later the couple were married in a ceremony at Babington Hall in Somerset.

Friends and family dined on lobster and champagne as Ball's father, TV presenter Johnny Ball, serenaded them with Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat.

Having their baby boy was the next big milestone for the pair.

Zoe Ball and Norman Cook
The pair are living apart
Cook was by Ball's side as Woody, weighing 9lbs, was delivered by elective caesarean at London's exclusive Portland Hospital in December 2000.

Zoe has blamed everything from the desertion of her mother when Ball was just two to her career's downhill slide, from BBC Radio 1 to Xfm, for the split.

Or was it, as some have suggested, simply the pressure of being in the celebrity spotlight?

Despite it all, the pair maintained their mutual respect and always emphasised their hopes for a reconciliation throughout their split.

See also:

18 Jan 03 | Entertainment
24 Aug 99 | Entertainment
20 Dec 00 | Entertainment
16 Dec 00 | Entertainment
10 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


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