Johnny is still working at every opportunity in his 84th Year, and to great effect.
Johnny’s “WONDERS BEYOND NUMBERS” Show
Played The Lighthouse Theatre, Poole 14th Sept
There was cheering at the end, and book signing lasted 90 minutes.
JB became a professional comedian aged 24. At 29 he entered Television through Playschool and wrote adult comedy shows and sketches. At 39 he wrote his first maths and science based TV show, Think of a Number. In all he wrote 20 TV Factual Information Series, and wrote and produced 7 Theatre Productions (not counting Pantomimes) and has written 9 books with more to follow.
Today he is healthy, energetic, fit and as eager as ever to take on new challenges. His speaking successes continue and he has lost none of his youthful exuberance. In fact his long experience counts for so much. His One Man Theatre Show, Wonders Beyond Numbers will be touring again in 2022.
He happily works with many agencies, but has not used a sole agent for the last 25 years.
So you (or absolutely anyone) can get in touch with him Directly – Anytime – Here at www.johnnyball.co.uk.
Johnny’s tragic schooling realised just 2 O-levels, but he scored 100% in Maths? He joined the Aircraft Industry in 1954, and gained 3 more O-levels on his own. He forsook Industrial Accountancy for three years in the RAF from 1957 to 1959 – his University, which qualified him to enter Air Traffic Control – however, he had clear and definite goals. From 1960 to 1962 he was a Butlin Redcoat at Pwllheli, North Wales and The Metropole Hotel, Blackpool and performed as a drummer in Liverpool in 60/61. In 62/3 he worked for Social Security in Liverpool – and education in itself. Johnny was a successful stand-up comedian from 1964 – 1976, mostly in Northern Clubs, appearing often on Radio, in the Val Doonican and Harry Secombe TV shows and compering the 90 minute 1967 ITV Christmas Night Spectacular.
Also in 1967 he joined BBC’s Playschool, where he learnt Television. He wrote a comedy sketch show, Cabbages and Kings, (3 series) most of the comedy for Playaway and Star Turn as well as for BBC Adult TV shows. In 1978 Johnny wrote and presented Think of a Number for the BBC, winning a BAFTA. Think Again followed and won two World TV Awards and an International Emmy Nomination and Johnny’s shows over the next 10 years, including Think It, Do It for the BBC and Johnny Ball Reveals All for ITV, 1989-94, (20 series in all) inspired a whole generation of children towards careers in mathematics, science, engineering and teaching. In 1986 he wrote/presented the BISFA “Sales Video of the Year” for a Tractor and received the “ITVA Craft Award” as Presenter of the Year, for a video on the Water Industry. From 1993 to 2003 he forsook Television, as the Corporate World beat a path to his door. He worked for National Grid for 6 years, writing their brochures and presenting 3 videos. He delivered the British Gas Lectures for 3 years, a Engineering Council National Lecture Tour, 4 years of BAE Systems tours, and wrote and produced many Technology Based Videos including 8 – 30 minute shows on Cutting Edge Materials for the DTI and How Is It Made? – a UK-wide schools package for Rover. He wrote and presented the Launch Video for Torness Nuclear Power Station and became very knowledgeable regarding the energy industry and the science involved. He promoted Energy from Waste Plants, whose stringent controls make them safe and highly beneficial, saving huge swathes of land fill. He was asked to speak on Carbon by both Toyota Lexus and Volvo Motors, putting the technology and environmental dangers into true perspective, and predicting electric cars. He assisted the Outer Hebrides in fighting a wind farm, which other energy firms had rejected as not viable – in terms of the costs in getting the power to the mainland. But Johnny also maintained his lighter, educational activities. He set up The Living History of Science, a historic character agency and between 1993 and 2003 wrote, produced and starred in 5 Educational Stage Musicals, selling some 160,000 tickets per year in the UK’s major provincial theatres. The Michael Faraday ALL ELECTRIC Roadshow and Let the Force be with You, both ran for three years. Energy Champions, for Norweb toured the North West. Then for HM Dept Of Educ from 2000/03, he toured Tales of Maths and Legends and Tales of Blooming Science. His Mind Zone Live Show for BAE Systems, “With Your Mind and Tomorrow’s Technology, Anything is Possible,” was a Total Sell Out in the Millennium Dome for the entire Year of 2000. He has been an Ambassador for British Engineering since 1995. He staged DofEduc Exhibition Maths Stands, National STEM Projects and still gives Keynote speeches at many educational and public awareness projects. He received the RAE Medal for the Promotion of Engineering to the General Public in 2007. Johnny was Lord Rector of Glasgow University 1993/6 and has Seven Honourary Degrees or Fellowships from Glasgow, Salford, Sheffield Hallam, Liverpool John Moores, Bishop Grossteste Lincoln/Leicester, Brighton and The Institute of Teaching. In 2012, at 74, he became the oldest ever contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Today at 84, Johnny is fit and still working. His One Man Family Maths Show, “Wonders Beyond Numbers”, is still touring. Johnny presented “A History of Blackpool Comedy” at Blackpool Tower June 2022. In Feb 2023 with daughter Zoe, they presented, “Johnny Ball – My previous life in Comedy,” to great acclaim and another version will follow soon. Johnny also contributes to Numberphile on You Tube, where many of his old shows can still be found. He lives in South Bucks with wife Di and dog Holly. Daughter Zoe presents BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show and BBC2’s It Takes Two. Son Nick’s film, The Trip was 2nd on Netflix. He has a new project with Universal. Son Dan runs Centre Space Design (Structural Engineers) in Henley. Johnny’s book, Wonders Beyond Numbers – A History of all things Mathematical, sells well worldwide, and All About Numbers and All About Maths, were both be released by DK in 2019.
Successful shows at Nottiningam Playhoused, 18/1/20 and Wycombe Swan 15/2/20.
The show is based on his 2017 book, “Wonders Beyond Numbers – A Brief History of all things Mathematical” which gained 18 5* reviews on Amazon. Sold in China, Russia, Japan, Spain, Italy plus USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
His recent talks at UK Book Festivals gathered 8 Sell Out Shows in the last 10 Events.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
Johnnny has been entertaining for 60 years. 12 in Stand Up, 51 in TV, 38 in education. They overlap! He is not 101!
He began his TV career in Playschool, but is best known for his award winning TV shows, of which he wrote and presented 20 Series including Think of a Number, Think Again – BBC TV, Johnny Ball Reveals All – ITV which inspired a generation towards confidence in mathematics, science and technology.
After his BBC days around 1988, the Corporate World beat a path to his door and he wrote and produced many award winning videos and educational projects. He worked for National Grid (6 yrs), BAE Systems (4 yrs), British Gas Lectures, (3 yrs), Engineering Council UK Tour, BT Lectures, 8 x 30min videos on Material Technology for DTI, etc.
Johnny wrote/produced & starred in 5 educational stage musicals between 1993 and 2003, with “Tales of Maths and Legends”, sponsored by the DOE for Maths Year 2000, being the most successfull, reaching 160,000 in 2000.
Also in 2000 his Millenium Dome, Mind Zone Live Show, “With Your Mind and Tomorrows Technology, Anything is Possible,” sponsored by BAE Systems, played to Rave Reviews and SOLD OUT completely for the year.
In 2012 he was the oldest ever Contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, at 74.
He wrote two Awards winning DK Books, “Think of a Number” 2005 won the USA Blue ribbon, (“Go Figure” – US) placing it in every library in the US as well as the Chicago Depository of Great Books. “Mathmagicians” 2009 (“Why Pi?” in the USA) was in 2018 placed Number 1 in a Californian list of most readable and educational children’s books. Wonders Beyond Numbers (2017) has sold in Russia, China, Japan, Spain and Italy plus USA, Australia, etc. The Paperback has just been released.
Think of a Number and Mathmagicians are so successful they are to be re-released as
All About Number – and – All About Maths on 3rd Deember, 2020.
JOHNNY BALL TODAY
Johnny is still strong and healthy and working all the time. He is available for Educational/Corporate Conferences, Maths and Science Inset Training, Special School events, Awards Ceremonies, Promotional Work, Media Days, Commercials, Voice Overs, etc.
Johnny has not had a personal agent for 25 years, but is still Always Working !!!
NB> Understanding the desperate shortage of finance in the UK Education System, today, Johnny’s educational speaking fees are as low as is feasable. (No pun intended) with regard to any projects you might have in mind. SO DO AT LEAST CONTACT HIM AND “ASK!”
Retiring is not an option! He still skis and is thankfully very fit and loves nothing more than working!