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Zoe Ball and colleagues
Their farewell song on the Radio 1 breakfast show
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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 15:24 GMT
DJ Zoe's final breakfast
Zoe Ball leaves Radio 1
Leaving Broadcasting House - with a drink from Greg Dyke
Zoe Ball has signed off from BBC Radio 1's breakfast show for the last time after almost two-and-a-half years.

The 29-year-old, who is leaving the station to spend more time with husband Norman Cook, closed her last show with by singing So Long, Farewell, from The Sound of Music, with colleagues from the top-rated show.

The programme came from the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London to allow an invited audience of 200 listeners and celebrities in to watch the show go out.

They included Spice Girls singer Mel C, James frontman Tim Booth and chart stars Phats & Small.

BBC director-general Greg Dyke was also there and gave her a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey as a leaving present.

Zoe Ball and Sara Cox
Friends: Zoe with replacement Sara Cox
Also there was her friend Sara Cox, who fronts the station's new-look breakfast show from next month.

She embarrassed Ball on air by revealing all about a night she spent out with the show's researcher Zoe A - and how she was so unimpressed with the bar's topless dancers, she decided to give it a go herself.

Cox told a horrified Ball: "You ripped off your top and in front of a stunned audience gave a no-holds-barred erotic routine around the greasy pole centre stage."

Ball replied: "You can't tell this story - my husband doesn't even know this".

Norman Cook - also known as chart star Fatboy Slim - was in the audience for the show. The couple married last year, and she has spoken of her desire to start a family with him.

Zoe Ball and Norman Cook
Zoe Ball's wedding to Norman Cook in August 1999
But the musician said: "She will probably have a six-month break because she's looking forward to doing nothing for a while rather than waking up to a crying baby.

"Saying that, if it happens it would be lovely."

Cook said he had no plans to give up music to be with his wife, adding: "One of us has to make a living. I've got to work harder now if anything".

He said they would be going abroad for a "long weekend", he added.

She left the show for a champagne breakfast with friends and colleagues.

Ball rose to prominence presenting the BBC's Saturday morning children's show Live & Kicking, and joined Radio 1 in October 1997 to co-host the breakfast show with Kevin Greening. She took sole control just under a year later.

Recent ratings showed her programme had more than seven million listeners.

She is expected to continue with other commitments, including her Channel 4 show The Priory.

Early show presenter Scott Mills will stand in for three weeks until Sara Cox begins work on 3 April.

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See also:

20 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Cox lands Radio 1 breakfast job
15 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Ball 'stalked by obsessed fan'
28 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Hot summer for BBC Radio 1
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