Michael Ball 'nervous' to succeed BBC DJ Steve Wright

Michael Ball smiling
Michael Ball has been a presenter on BBC Radio 2 since 2005 [BBC]

Michael Ball has admitted he is "nervous" about taking over the late Steve Wright's BBC Radio 2 Love Songs show.

The Sunday request slot was hosted by Wright from 1996 until the week before his death in February, aged 69.

Singer Ball, who is English by birth and with family hailing from south Wales who inspired him to sing, will take over the programme in June.

"I hope (Steve) will be pleased," said the 61-year-old.

Originally called Sunday Love Songs, the long-running show features dedicated listeners, personal stories and classic romantic numbers.

"You'd get up, make coffee, have breakfast and you'd put Steve on," Ball told BBC Breakfast.

"And you'd listen to those incredible songs and the heart-warming messages that would come through."

Ball said he loved listening to the show and relished the opportunity to "sort of try" to carry on Wright's legacy.

"I love interacting with with the listener and chatting to them and getting to know people, getting to know their story, " he said.

"So I hope there's a place for me to continue to do that."

Ball, who still has strong links to the town of Mountain Ash in Rhondda Cynon Taf, added that having hosted the show which aired directly after Sunday Love Songs meant he got to catch his predecessor's "magic in action".

Steve Wright BBC DJ seen in 2005
Steve Wright joined the BBC in the 1970s and went on to host afternoon shows on Radio 1 and Radio 2 [PA Media]

He went on to say how Wright was "absolutely fanatical" about getting it right and would always pop into the studio afterwards with recommendations for songs he should play.

"You copy from the master, so I want people to tune in a on a Sunday and go, 'Yeah, this isn't Steve but it's nice to listen to'."

"I am nervous about it though."

Ball, who found fame treading the boards in hit theatre shows like Les Miserables, fondly remembers his Welsh grandmother Agnes Parry and her inspirational role in his musical career.

"People looked up to her and would always go to her for advice and help," he said.

In fact, Michael even took to wearing Agnes's wedding ring on a chain round his neck.

"It was very sad, she died five days before coming to see me in my first big starring role," he revealed in a previous interview.