The Scottish Mail on Sunday

My grand­fa­ther saved all his life to help buy my first flat. Now it’s part of my pen­sion

- Gethin Jones was talk­ing to Donna Fer­gu­son. Money Tips · Lifehacks · Channel 4 · Cardiff · West London · London · Rome · Amsterdam · Paris · Barcelona · Los Angeles · John Noakes · The Leaf Label

Q As a for­mer Blue Peter pre­sen­ter, what is your re­ac­tion to the re­cent death of John Noakes? A JOHN was a to­tal orig­i­nal. He would cover a story in his own ram­shackle way. It was like the cam­era just hap­pened to be there. Q What did your par­ents teach you about money? A MY PAR­ENTS were teach­ers and they taught me about the value of money. To this day, I still have a mas­sive re­spect for any­thing I buy and I have never got into debt. I un­der­stand money does not come eas­ily. I put a lot of that down to my par­ents. Q What was the first paid work you ever did? A AN­SWER­ING phones for S4C, a Welsh TV chan­nel, for 45 min­utes on a Sun­day evening when I was 16. I was paid £5.80. Q Have you ever strug­gled to make ends meet? A YES, straight af­ter univer­sity when I moved back in with my par­ents. I ended up go­ing back to S4C and work­ing on the com­plaints hot­line. It was through that job that I heard about an op­por­tu­nity to present a new kids’ pop show in Welsh at S4C. It was only three weeks’ work, but the money was bet­ter than half a year’s wages an­swer­ing phones.

It was not a solid nine-to-five job, but part of me did not want that sort of rou­tine. Soon I was earn­ing £35,000 a year pre­sent­ing TV shows in Welsh. It must have blown my dad’s mind. Q How much were you paid to present Blue Peter? A I WAS paid a salary of £27,000. I ac­tu­ally took a pay cut when I left S4C. Plus, I only had 14 days off each year. But I did not mind. The work was one long hol­i­day. I had the best job in the world. Q Have you ever been paid silly money for a job? A YES. I did a cor­po­rate gig where I pre­sented on stage for an hour and was paid £12,000. I felt so guilty. It is still hard for me to ac­cept I can earn that sort of money for an hour of my time. Q Did you make a lot of money ap­pear­ing on Strictly Come Danc­ing? A NO WAY. Ev­ery­body gets paid the same and it is not that much. Nowhere near what peo­ple think. There is no money in TV now un­less you present a prime-time show. But you get a lot of of­fers through the knock-on ef­fect of be­ing on Strictly. For ex­am­ple, you can earn re­ally good money from do­ing the sub­se­quent six-week tour. Q What was the best year of your life in terms of money you made? A LAST year. I did sev­eral cor­po­rate gigs as a pre­sen­ter, worked on a few branded cam­paigns and also made money from my rugby events com­pany and my busi­ness, Leaf Hospi­tal­ity. What­ever money I make, I pay my­self a ‘salary’ of be­tween £65,000 and £70,000. The rest goes into sav­ings to in­vest in prop­erty or my busi­nesses. Q What is the best money de­ci­sion you have made? A IN­VEST­ING in Leaf Hospi­tal­ity, a ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany founded by my best friend, Richard Far­rar, ten years ago. I gave him all the money I had at the time, which was a high five-fig­ure sum. In July, Leaf will start man­ag­ing its fourth ho­tel and is now mak­ing sub­stan­tial prof­its. The an­nual re­turn on my in­vest­ment has been around 12.5 per cent. Q Do you own any prop­erty? A YES. I bought a two-bed­room flat in Cardiff in 2003 for £90,000 with a £10,000 de­posit my grand­fa­ther saved all his life to be able to give me. Last year, I bought a two-bed­room flat in a con­verted hos­pi­tal in West Lon­don. I reckon my Cardiff flat is worth £200,000 which I see as part of my pen­sion, while the Lon­don flat is worth £1.2 mil­lion. Q What is the one lux­ury you like to treat your­self to? A TRAVEL. I travel abroad for work a lot and will of­ten stay a few ex­tra days in a nice ho­tel with my girl­friend Katja to make the most of the trip. Shortly af­ter we met at Christ­mas, I in­vited her to join me on a hol­i­day to Bar­ba­dos. Then I had work in Rome, Am­s­ter­dam, Paris, Barcelona and Los Angeles and she came with me to all of it. A few week­ends ago, I in­vited her to Cardiff. Un­til then, she thought I was an amaz­ing glo­be­trot­ter. Q Do you think it is im­por­tant to give to char­ity? A YES. I set up Nai (Welsh for nephew) to help autis­tic chil­dren who, un­like my nephew Alby, can­not af­ford to get the sup­port they need. I vowed I would cover all the ex­penses of the char­ity for­ever. If I can do some­thing, I see it as my re­spon­si­bil­ity to do it. I know how much ‘enough’ is and I got to that stage a few years ago.

 ??  ?? STRICTLY CHAR­I­TA­BLE: Gethin Jones, pic­tured with girl­friend Katja Zwara, set up a char­ity for autis­tic chil­dren. Left: the star in the dance con­test with Camilla Dallerup
STRICTLY CHAR­I­TA­BLE: Gethin Jones, pic­tured with girl­friend Katja Zwara, set up a char­ity for autis­tic chil­dren. Left: the star in the dance con­test with Camilla Dallerup

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