Alex Jones and Jason Manford, the new hosts of BBC1’s weekday evening magazine The One Show, are at a loss to understand the scale of the press and public interest in their appointments to TV’s hottest sofa.
“It’s weird so many people are interested in us,” says Jones, who features with Manford on the cover of the latest edition of Radio Times. “I can’t get my head around it.”
“Bonkers, really,” agrees her co-presenter. “It’s a non-threatening show that doesn’t push any boundaries, which you can watch having tea with your kids. When I see it written about so much, I want to go, ‘This is only telly. There are wars on.'”
But whether or not Jones and Manford understand it, since Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley left to host ITV1’s breakfast offering GMTV, their potential replacements have been the subject of much media speculation.
Chris Evans was The One Show’s big-name signing, and will continue to host the Friday edition, but Jones – who has worked mostly on Welsh TV – was a relative unknown, while Manford is known as a stand-up comedian and quiz-show panellist, not as a presenter.
Since the announcement, possibly the biggest reaction has been to the pair’s physical similarity to their predecessors (newspaper headlines have included “The Clone Show” and “Identikit presenters”). Alex Jones in particular could easily be mistaken for Christine Bleakley – and has been, by her own grandfather!
“Three years ago, even my grandad said, ‘Congratulations, I saw you on telly [on The One Show]. I didn’t like to correct him thinking I was on BBC1 because it would never happen. And now… he can watch every night, still thinking it’s me!”