The two new presenters of The One Show, Jason Manford and Alex Jones talk about being the new kids on the block…

Was the presenting chemistry between you quite instant when you first met?


ALEX:
“It just seemed easy, really. Screen tests can be intimidating situations, but Jason made it feel really easy and relaxed.”
JASON: “I did loads, with different people, and there weren’t any duds! So I’d done a few, but after Alex’s, the producers came down from the gallery to say ‘Hi’, so I figured that one must have looked good.”
ALEX: “I never thought I would get it, so maybe I was more relaxed as a result.”

Were you aware that there was a vacancy, Alex?


ALEX:
“I’d seen Jason on Graham Norton’s show ages ago, way before this whole process started, and he was with Katy Perry and Anna Kournikova. He was asking whether either of them were available at 7pm on weekdays and I do remember thinking: ‘Oh my God, yeah, there is a job going!’ But I cannot believe I am actually the girl that is filling the gap…”

In the previous partnership, Christine was more slick, Adrian more off-the-wall – do you envisage any similarities?


JASON:
“I think it will be the same!”
ALEX: “Absolutely. Jason obviously has all the jokes, and hopefully I have got the experience, so I think we will make a good duo. We both like a laugh, but know that sometimes we’ll have to pull it back when we’re dealing with serious subjects.”
JASON: “We’re practising those handbrake turns that we’ll have to do on the show. Going from something jovial to something series and vice versa. I’ve watched a lot of the old shows, but also watching a lot of Richard and Judy – they are the best at that kind of ‘Ho ho ho, yes, anyway…’ thing.”

How are you feeling being the new kids on the block?


ALEX:
“It does feel a bit like starting a new school.”
JASON: “Apart from that everyone is lovely, and no one has put our heads down the toilet! But what is great is that, not to belittle ourselves, the show is greater than the sum of the parts.”
ALEX: “We are lining up some amazing guests for our first couple of weeks – and they are more of a pull than us. We are like the glue holding it all together.”
JASON: “Exactly, I don’t think I will be asking any of the questions that you wouldn’t have thought of at home! I’m not deeply journalistic, just very nosey!”

Have you spoken to Adrian or Christine?


JASON:
“Christine was really nice, she rang me up and gave me some tips. She was saying not to expect anything, that whatever you do in rehearsals, you never know what will happen until you get the guests in and you are live on air. She also said that even though they tell you to get in at 12pm every day, that it’s OK to just turn up at half one!”

Are you wary of the comparisons?


ALEX:
“There are bound to be comparisons. Adrian and Christine did a great job, if we can do as good a job as them, then fab!”
JASON: “It‘s strange, but it is like when Holly Willoughby took over from Fern Britton – it has been done before!”

Who would be your dream guests?


JASON:
“I’d like Neil Diamond. Honestly, I love Neil Diamond. He’s great, now there’s something you didn’t know about me, Alex!”
ALEX: “Ha ha ha, nope. I didn’t know that! I would probably say Madonna. Or Steve Martin, he’d be fun.”
JASON: “I am a bit nervous about getting comics on, and I know Jimmy Carr and Sean Lock are already booked. They are just going to take the mickey out of me because I know them. It is going to be a bit weird.”

Does this feel like an exciting break for you both?


JASON:
“It is weird in a way. When I was doing the screen tests, people were coming in and asking me: ‘Was that all right?’ Well I don’t know. I’ve not done it myself yet. But a fresh start is nice, isn’t it, just the two of us. Even though I’ve done bits and bobs on different channels and the stand-up, this is proper primetime and there are lots of people who have no idea who I am.”
ALEX: “And no one has a clue who I am!”