Ammanford-born presenter Alex Jones came to national prominence last year after replacing Christine Bleakley on the BBC One programme The One Show. She returns to Wales this September to present BBC Proms in the Park at Caerphilly.
You’re presenting BBC Proms in the Park from Caerphilly Castle. What can we expect?
It’s going to be a fantastic evening of music for the whole family. It’s the first time it’s been held in Caerphilly Castle and I think it’s the perfect backdrop for the Proms, especially if the sun is shining! Wynne Evans is going to be singing Nessun Dorma and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas will be singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz. There’s loads more going on during the evening as well.
You’ll be presenting the BBC Proms in the Park alongside Only Men Aloud’s Tim Rhys-Evans. Have you met before?
Tim and I are really good friends. I think we’ve got good chemistry.
Why has Wales produced so many good singers?
I’m not sure – I get asked this a lot in London. I know for sure I can’t sing myself! Wales is known as the Land of Song so it’s no surprise we’ve produced so much talent. Performance is instilled from a young age with the Eisteddfod playing a huge part in our culture and heritage.
It’s been a monumental year for you - what have been the highlights?
It sounds clichéd, but every day on The One Show has been a highlight. To be part of the presenting team for the BBC’s coverage of the Royal Wedding was amazing and presenting Dance For Comic Relief with (Welsh presenter) Steve Jones was great fun.
Is it true The One Show producers spotted you on a YouTube video speaking Welsh?
That’s the story, sort of. They saw my show reel on YouTube when they were looking for someone to replace Christine Bleakley. It wasn’t just about finding a new face, they were looking for someone with experience as well and I guess they saw me as the right fit for the show.
Why is The One Show so successful?
We have a really good calibre of guests and such a broad spectrum of topics on the show. We have a really dedicated audience and the show has become part of people’s routine – they come home from work, make their tea and switch on The One Show.
The One Show is on at 7pm. Do you have your tea before or after the show?
I don’t think I’ve been asked that before. I usually have it after the show.
Presenting live television with Chris Evans – is it as unpredictable as it sounds?
Not really to be honest. Chris is a superb broadcaster with a vast amount of experience - he brings so many great ideas for the show to the table. We’ve become really good friends.
You now live in London. What do you miss about Wales?
It’s only two hours away so it’s easy enough to get back. It would be no different if I was living in Aberystwyth and wanted to get to Ammanford or Cardiff. Before I started on The One Show I was away on assignments all the time so it’s something I’m used to with this job. I miss the usual things, of course, friends and family.
What book are you currently reading?
I read a lot of different books, more often books from guests coming on The One Show. I’m currently reading Paul O Grady’s second autobiography (The Devil Rides Out: The Second Coming) – it’s a great read.
Can Wales win the Rugby World Cup?
I think they can - I certainly hope so! They’re amongst the best teams there so they have every chance of winning it, bar The All Blacks.
Michael Took was asking the questions.