"Johnny Ball's ability to make the obscure understandable has already been well proven" - The Sunday Times
Johnny is a popularizer of science and maths, writing and presenting 23 Solo Television series, with "Think of a Number", "Think Again", etc (BBC), and "Johnny Ball Reveals All" (ITV). His TV shows and videos won 12 awards, including a BAFTA., a New York International Emmy nomination, and the ITVA "Presenter of the Year" Craft Award. In 2012 he was the oldest ever contestant on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
8 Books include- "Think of a Number" or "Go Figure" in the USA (Blue Ribbon Award), for DK - sales in over 30 countries, including China, Japan, Russia, Korea. It explains the many branches of Maths. "Mathmagicians" published July 2009. "Ball of Confusion" Maths Puzzles - Icon Books, 2011. Johnny Ball's Think Box, Second Thinks and Plays for Laughs all for Puffin in the 80's can be found on the Web.
Recent TV includes the recent BBC "Icons" Celebration of 80 years of the BBC TV, "Bang Goes the Theory", How to count London Taxis. Chelsea Flower Show, "The Mathematics of Plant Growth", Horizon Report - "Immortal - an exploration of why we age." Radio - Puzzles for Jack FM, Ball of Confusion for Zoe's Saturday morning BBC2 show, 3 years. Johnny was the oldest ever contestant on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in autumn 2012.
He wrote and produced five educational stage musicals. “Tales of Maths and Legends” launched Maths Year 2000, and packed major theatres (160,000) followed by “Tales of Blooming Science” for DFES Science Year. Previous productions were "Think of a Number" Roadshow (13 years), "Michael Faraday’s All Electric Roadshow", "Let the Force be with You!" (250,000) and “Energy Champions”. His British Aerospace “Mind Zone” Live Show SOLD OUT FOR ALL SHOWS at the Millennium Dome throughout 2000.
Enthusing on prospects for science and technology, addresses include the Oxford Union (twice), RAF Cranwell, I.Mec.E, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Airbus UK, Dyson, Bae, Rolls Royce, 100 years of the Electron for Sheffield Univs, Chinese Science for a Beijing Exhibition in Manchester, Histories of Shipping & Medical Science, lectures on Einstein, Darwin, Dalton, Priestley and Brunel, and Maths master classes for Southampton, Warwick, Imperial, Lincoln, John Moores Univs, Actuaries, etc. He once made 40 speeches in two weeks. He is in the fourth year of TV and radio Ads for "Help Link" which offer the most economic condesing boiler deals in the UK. His Voice-Over clients include BBC, BT, National Express, Nat Space Centre, Fiat Punto, One Tel, Innocent Smoothies, Gortex, Chedds and in vision for Help Link Home. Represented the DFES on social issues - Life Long Learning, BECTA, Hand Held Learning, Learn Direct, and currently The Lord Mayors Fund for London on Maths Education, Etc.
As an Ambassador for British Engineering, he hosted presentations for National Grid (9 yrs) and all branches of Engineering. At the Tomorrow’s World Live Exhibition, he delivered 7 new lectures for Young Engineers and ran the DFES “Future Maths” stand. He wrote, produced and presented “Structures”, a highly inter-active CD ROM for the Gatsby Technology Program. Johnny enlivens many educational or corporate events and dinners - IET Awards, Plastics Industry dinner, and speaks on Waste Management, Nuclear Energy, Climate Change, on many things Scientific and all things Educational.
As a late 60's comedian, he appeared in Val Doonican and Harry Secombe TV Shows, compered ITV's 1967 90 minute Christmas Night Spectacular, compered the first Rolling Stones Tour, Dusty Springfield and Seekers tours and a Theatre Tour of South Africa, starred in Sadlers Wells Opera, featured in Playschool for 17 years, wrote Playaway and adult TV comedy (Dawson Watch, Battle of the Sexes, etc) before turning to factual information. He took up drumming again (after 40 years) and represented Roland Drums for "Keep Music Live" at Birmingham NEC.
Johnny was Lord Rector of Glasgow University 1994/6; President Nat Assoc for Gifted Children 1991/7; Has four honorary doctorates in Science from Glasgow (1997), Sheffield Hallam (1998), Salford (2001) and Brighton (2012) Universities, one in Laws from Bishop Grossteste, Lincoln (2007) and is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University (2006) and the Institute of Teachers (2010). He received the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for the Public Promotion of Engineering (2007). JB devised GET SET which put 300 girls through 24 projects at Imperial College annually, opened the Science Museum's Launch Pad and hosted its 10th Anniversary. Recent education campaigns include Maths for ASDA, BAE’s “Engineering our Future” & Hewlett Packard's "Invent" campaigns. He features frequently on radio and TV as a Maths, Science, Educational and Parental pundit.
Johnny is President of the Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Theatre Company; President of Farnham Common Community Library and board member of Lynch Hill Free Secondary Enterprise Academy, Slough, opening in Sept 2014. He is a Patron of The Royal Latin School, Buckingham and SKIDZ of High Wycombe, a charity helping wayward teenagers into Automotive Engineering. He is a proud Honorary Member of the Magic Circle where he recently spoke on the Mathematics of Magic and an Honororary Freeman of the Actuaries Livery Company.
Famous daughter Zoe presents Take Two for BBC TV and on BBC Radio 2 while husband Norman aka Fat Boy Slim’s amazing concerts continue worldwide. Son Nick’s first film (director) won a World Award and second script (co-writer) was filmed in California. Son Dan is a design/structural engineer in Bix, Henley. Johnny’s hobbies are writing, research, gazebo building, drums, golf and our six grandchildren, Woody, Ronnie, Albie, Nelly May, Louis and Juno. Wife Di keeps Johnny "On the Ball" at their home in South Bucks.