Photographer: Nicky Johnston
ED WAS DUBBED ‘THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION’ AFTER THE EXTRAORDINARY PUBLIC RESPONSE TO HIS DANCE PERFORMANCES IN BBC’S STRICTLY COME DANCING. HIS MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE OF GANGNAM STYLE WITH PARTNER KATYA JONES WAS NOMINATED FOR THE 2017’S VIRGIN’S MUST SEE MOMENT BAFTA AWARD.
Ed has previously presented Ed Balls’ Dream Dinner Party for BBC Radio 4, bringing his heroes back from the grave and back to life through the wonders of radio archive. You can listen here. Ed has also previously hosted Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Ed Balls on Musical Theatre (BBC Radio 2) and Friday Night is Music Night (BBC Radio 2). This year he travelled to America for Travels in Trumpland with Ed Balls (BBC Two). Ed is now in the process of filming his second series where he will head across Europe, discovering how the divisions exposed by Brexit are reflected in the rest of the EU. Ed will visit the continent’s most volatile countries, exploring whether Europeans still share the same values as in previous eras. The documentary will air on BBC 2 later this year.
His book Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics was published in 2016 and was a Sunday Times Bestseller.
After leaving politics in 2015, Ed taught himself to play the piano, passing Grade 5, and also taught himself to cook, leading to an appearance on Sport Relief Bake Off. He has run the London Marathon three times, raising over £160,000 for WhizzKidz and the British Stammering Association and he recently returned from climbing Kilimanjaro, in aid of Comic Relief, which was shown in a special one hour documentary on BBC One.
Ed was a Labour MP for ten years, during which time he was Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, serving until the 2010 general election, in which Labour became the opposition party. He was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Education, followed by Shadow Home Secretary. He served in this role until 2011, when he was appointed as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, a role which he held until his defeat as an MP in the 2015 general election.
Following his election defeat, he became a Senior Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and a Visiting Professor to the Policy Institute at King's College London. He was appointed the chairman of Norwich City Football Club in December 2015.
Ed lives in London and Castleford with his wife, former Shadow Home Secretary and Labour MP Yvette Cooper. In 2007 they became the first married couple to serve together in the Cabinet. They have 3 children.
Ed is a Patron of the British Stammering Association and a member of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Board.
Self taught piano after losing his political seat and passed Grade 5.
Previously Secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families
FOOD & DRINK
Sport Relief Bake Off and keen cook.
Labour MP for 10 years, author.
Chairman of Norwich City Football Club, has run the London Marathon three times, contestant in Strictly Come Dancing.