Interview with The One Show's Alex Jones
At 7pm tonight Alex Jones takes over as co-host of BBC One's The One Show with Jason Manford. You can read Alex's thoughts about her whirlwind past few weeks on the BBC TV blog. You can also read about Alex on the BBC News website.
As the Ammanford-born presenter prepared to take her place on the green sofa, we asked her about moving to London, her dream guests, and why it's never a good idea to go shopping in your pyjamas...
Is it true that the producers spotted you on YouTube and the producers hadn't actually heard you speak English before you audition?
They were laughing and said: "We looked at your showreel and the whole office was in stitches because it was like Christine Bleakley but in Welsh. Initially we got you in for a laugh." [sarcastically] Loveeeeely. [laughs] But after five minutes they were like, "Hang on, maybe there's something in this".
So, yeah, we had a really lovely initial meeting and we clicked straight away and then obviously they got me back. And, you know, when you know somebody really wants you to do well... Sandy the editor and Gareth the deputy editor were like mum and dad in the background doing thumbs up signs when I'd done well! They were lovely, but initially it was all a bit of a joke.
Are there any Welsh guests you'd love to get onto the show?
Ruth Jones has just been on and she would have been great. I really like Joanna Page as well - I think she's a fantastic actress. But it will be nice to get the odd Welsh guest on just so that I feel a bit more at home, maybe. Welsh seems to be trendy all of a sudden! I'm sure at some point between now and Christmas we'll have our fair share, which will be nice.
The whole of Wales seems to be backing you - will that help ease the nerves or will you be worried that the whole country's watching you?
Well it kind of buzzed it up now and they've been so, so, so supportive. I've been bowled over by the amount of messages and everything. I know Wales On Sunday is publishing a massive good luck special with messages from all my colleagues and everything, which is fantastic.
The pressure then, to perform on Monday is pretty hairy, to get it right when everybody's going "You'll be great, you'll be great." So, oh gosh, touch wood it goes well, but they'll still forgive me if I do make a mess of it, I'm sure.
What are you going to miss about living in Wales?
Mostly I'll miss my friends and my family, although they think it's great because they want to come up here for weekends! Already I'm booked up until November because everybody's asking, "Which weekend can we come?" So it'll be fun. I think the people make a place, really, and if my friends and my family are here often it'll be fine, and I'm sure I'll make new friends.
Cardiff is where I've lived for 10 years and I think it's a fantastic city. It's small and manageable and London's going to be a completely new world! Of course I'll miss it but I think for a job like this you've got to commit and if it means moving to a new city, that's what I've got to do.
You've said in the past that being on network TV didn't bother you. Did that all change when the call came through?
Well there was something in the Western Mail, but if a Welsh paper asks if you would move to London at the drop of the hat, well no. Because I wouldn't. But that was misquoted a little bit because what I meant was that I've put in a lot of energy and committed to every job I've done, so a job in London would mean the same amount of commitment and energy.
Obviously having the One Show job is the icing on the cake to any regional presenter. It's a huge job and I'm so amazed that they've given it to me, and I'll give it my all! But the training and the apprenticeship I've had in Wales is what's given me this opportunity. Without them it wouldn't have happened, so I owe it to them to do a good job.
When are you going to get back to Cardiff, or is it all going to be a bit of a whirlwind?
Well I'm back and forth; I'm going back tonight [Friday] so I can pack tomorrow and see friends, and then I'll come back on Sunday. I think it'll be like that at the beginning because I've only seen one flat in London and haven't really looked for anywhere to live yet. But I think it'll all sort itself out. I'll just concentrate on getting the words right on the sofa - and then I'll look for somewhere to live.
What's been the best or funniest moment you've had so far since you've had that call?
Well... probably an unfortunate moment. I'm a bit like Bridget Jones really, in that I attract unfortunate things to happen to me. The other day I was locked out of my house in my pyjamas. I know! My mother had told me, "Don't be going out in your pyjamas any more, Alex," but I thought I'd just nip to the shops. I bought make-up wipes and the Radio Times, just to see what Jason and I looked like on the cover.
Anyway, I looked like Alice Cooper at this point because I didn't have anything to take my make-up off with from the night before, so the only thing I had was a set of spare keys to my friend's house who lives opposite. I didn't even have a mobile phone to ring anybody. So I had to go into his house to use his phone before his burglar alarm went off. But of course, the alarm went off and all the neighbours ran over to see what all the commotion was about.
So there was me in a hoodie with 'jamas and I was like, "Don't worry, I'm not breaking in! It is me, I'm on the cover of the Radio Times! I am normal really!" I suppose that is the most bizarre moment to date.