Happy birthday To us
Matt Baker and Alex Jones toast 10 years of successes for The One Show
As The One Show marks its 10th birthday on Tuesday with a look back at selected stories from its first decade, we join in the celebrations.
For the past five years, Matt Baker, 38, and Alex Jones, 39, have presented the magazine show which goes out live each weekday to an audience of five million viewers. Before the pair tucked into birthday cake, we asked them to tell us the secret of the programme’s success and reveal their highlights so far…
Why do you think the show is so popular?
Matt: It’s the conversation you would want to have over the garden gate or at the bar in the pub. Also, if you’re bored of a particular item, you know that after three-and-a-half minutes we’re going to go on to something different. And because it’s live it seems that everybody is enjoying the show at exactly the same time, so there’s a real sense of community while you’re watching it. It’s perfect for all ages. Whether it’s bedtime telly for some, or the first thing you watch when you get in from work, we try to cater to everyone. What’s the secret to your on-screen partnership?
Alex: It wouldn’t work if we didn’t get on like a house on fire. It also helps that we’ve been doing it for such a long time, so we know each other inside out. We know a lot of stuff about each other that we can bring up in the programme, so when we talk to a Hollywood A-lister or a musician or a comedian, I’ll know where Matt is going with a certain line of questioning because of his interests, and in the same way he’ll know where I’m going. We also both want the best possible show to go out every evening. What would you say are each other’s best points? Alex: Matt is very reliable, very professional and he’s also very funny. It’s just knowing that the person sitting by your side has got your back and will step in if you need help, and vice versa. We trust each other. Matt: Al will always look for the good in people. She’s a very happy soul. She’ll make sure everyone is all right, and that’s a wonderful quality to have.
What’s the key to getting a good interview?
Matt: Without a doubt it’s listening. That way you can pick up on something a person might have said that is intriguing, or is something that you know viewers are going to want to hear more about, and maybe take the interview in a slightly different direction to what you had planned. You have lots of ‘non-celebrities’ on the show – how do you put them at ease?
Alex: Obviously, we get really famous people on the sofa. But our show is also made up of ordinary people who have done extraordinary things or have been through really tough times. Our job is to empathise and to get the audience to share in their pain or joy or whatever it is they’re talking about. To us, these people are as important, if not more important, than the celebrity guests.
Do you like doing live TV?
Alex: Matt and I both prefer the live half an hour to any other part of the process, because there’s always a lot of spontaneity to it. When we go on air, that’s when we come into our own and we really enjoy ourselves.
And what do you do at the end of the show when you go off-air? Alex: We run for the car park, get in our cars and go home. We’re very rock ’n’ roll! Matt and I are both pretty much home birds. We enjoy our time at work, but when it’s done we’re happy to go home, put our feet up and have a cup of tea.
Matt and Alex dress up to celebrate the show’s first decade Ex-one hosts Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley
Because it’s live, it seems everybody is enjoying the show at exactly the same time, so there’s a real sense of community