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For the Welsh footballer, see Gethin Jones


Gethin Clifford Jones (born 12 February 1978) is a Welshmarker television presenter who has co-presented the BBC children's programme Blue Petermarker.An active rugby union player when at the Manchester Metropolitan Universitymarker and for a time after graduation, Jones began his television career on Welsh channel S4C as a presenter of children's programmes such as Popty, Mas Draw and the flagship children's entertainment show Uned 5 (Unit 5, 2002–2005). In 2005, he became the 31st presenter of Blue Petermarker, the world's longest-running children's television series. On 8 April 2008 he announced he would be leaving the programme at the end of the season in June 2008.

Jones has also hosted major live telecasts of events like Mardi Gras in Cardiff and New Year Live and since 2008 has co-hosted E24, which is shown on BBC News, the BBC's 24-hour news channel. He has made a couple of guest appearances in Doctor Who (2006 and 2008). In 2007 Jones was a contestant in Series 5 of Strictly Come Dancing, partnered by professional dancer Camilla Dallerup. Together, they achieved third place.

Early life and education

Gethin Jones was born on 12 February 1978 in Cardiffmarker, Walesmarker, to Goronwy Jones, headteacher of Baden Powell Primary School, and his Polishmarker wife Sylvia, a violin teacher. He has an older sister named Mererid and a nephew, Alby. With Welsh as his first language, he attended Ysgol Gynradd Coed-y-Gof and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantafmarker (Glantaf Welsh Comprehensive School) in Llandaff North, Cardiff, for his primary and secondary school education respectively. Jones had Grade 8 violin and Grade 6 piano qualifications, and was in school musicals and the school orchestra. He took Biology, Geography and Economics at A-Levels.

Jones had dual interests throughout school – his mother wanted him to develop his musical talents, while he enjoyed rugby union. While studying Economics and Geography at the Manchester Metropolitan Universitymarker where he gained a 2:2, he was captain of the university's rugby first team and played in the Lancashiremarker under-21 team. At the age of 21 in his final year, he was offered trials by Sale RFC. However, after his father turned down a request for financial assistance and he experienced difficulties trying to play whilst supporting himself as a gym trainer, he found that his on-field capabilities suffered. He eventually set aside his plans for a professional rugby career and returned to Wales.

Professional career

Prior to his television career, Jones worked as a bank clerk, a telephone hotline officer, and a research assistant, and spent three months as a builder laying house foundations. He subsequently joined Welsh channel S4C as a presenter of children's programmes such as Popty (the Welsh equivalent of Top of the Pops), Mas Draw, and the flagship children's entertainment show Uned 5 (Unit 5, September 2002 – 2005). In 2004, as part of a challenge on the show, he learned how to fly a plane and gained his pilot's licence.

In 2003 he was voted Bachelor of the Year by the readers of Company magazine.

Blue Peter

On 26 April 2005, Jones became a presenter of the children's television series, Blue Petermarker. He auditioned on the same day as co-presenter Zöe Salmon. During his time, he presented the show with Salmon, Konnie Huq, Matt Baker, Liz Barker and Andy Akinwolere. As a presenter he took on the action/adventure role filled by John Noakes and Peter Duncan in the past; highlights included flying with the Red Arrowsmarker and in a World War II Supermarine Spitfire, completing submarine escape training with the Royal Navy, surviving the Bolivianmarker jungle, being attacked by an alligator in Louisianamarker, learning to race like a jockey, and fighting as a samurai warrior in Japanmarker. In 2006, he became the first civilian to finish the Royal Marine Commando Yomp – he finished in a time of eight hours and 20 minutes. He also played the violin at the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic.

Beginning on Jones's 30th birthday on 12 February 2008, he and his Blue Petermarker co-presenters climbed the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom, starting with Slieve Donardmarker in Northern Ireland, followed by Snowdonmarker in North Wales. The following day, having travelled overnight by coach to the Lake Districtmarker, they climbed Scafell Pikemarker. They were then to be transported to Scotland by helicopter to climb Ben Nevismarker but were unable to do so because of problems with the helicopter which forced them to land in Obanmarker. They succeeded in climbing the mountain the next day. This challenge was in aid of Sport Relief 2008.

Jones announced on 8 April 2008 on Blue Peter that after three and half years on the show he would be leaving it at the end of the series in June. His spokeswoman said he had always planned to leave when he turned 30. Jones said, "I've had a career on Blue Peter that you wouldn't even dream about and for that I feel privileged and fortunate. ... I've loved it, lived it ... and now I feel the time is right to leave it."



Presenter

Jones has been a presenter for a number of major live telecasts, including Mardi Gras in Cardiff in front of 40,000 people, Y Briodas Fawr (The Big Wedding, 2004–2005), and Jones Jones Jones (2006) at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centremarker where the world record was broken for the biggest gathering of people with the same surname. He co-presented the 2007 New Year's Eve programme New Year Live on BBC One with Myleene Klass and Nick Knowles, which drew 9.2 million viewers. On 16 February 2008, Jones began presenting a new 15-minute entertainment show entitled E24 on BBC News with James Dagwell.

Between 4 and 11 May 2008, Jones was the narrator and presenter of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2008. The biennial music competition was held at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and broadcast on BBC Two and BBC Four.

Jones made his radio début on BBC Radio 5 Live on 5 July 2008, presenting a three-hour Saturday morning show focusing on sport and entertainment.

Jones appeared in The National Lottery: Big 7, a live programme broadcast on BBC One on 30 August 2008 at which the winners of the National Lottery Awards 2008 were announced. ITV1 presented Soccer Aid on 7 September 2008, and Jones was one of the players for the Rest of the World. England won four goals to three.

On 13 September 2008 Jones presented the Proms in the Park from Singleton Parkmarker in Swanseamarker. This was televised on the BBC as part of the Last Night of the Proms programme and was one of the concerts available for viewers with interactive television.

For six weeks from 28 September, Jones presented a programme for Virgin 1 entitled Gethin Jones' Danger Hunters, which featured adrenaline junkies and their search for the ultimate thrill. Jones presented a Police Camera Action programme about the dangers of drink driving, which was aired on 17 December 2008 on ITV1.

Between 7 January and 15 April 2009, Jones hosted his first quiz show, a Welsh language rugby-themed general knowledge competition, on S4C entitled Cwis Meddiant. He is following this up with another quiz show on Sky1 called Sell Me the Answer. Filming of the 50 episodes took place at the Fountain Studios in Wembley, North London, and the programme is due to commence airing in the summer of 2009.

From 17 to 21 August 2009, Jones presented BBC1's The One Show with Gloria Hunniford during the absence of its regular presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley

Other work

Jones appeared as a Cyberman in a 2006 episode of Doctor Who and as a Dalek operator in the final episode in 2008. He guest-starred as himself in The Sarah Jane Adventures pilot "Invasion of the Bane" (2007).

In 2007 Jones participated in Series 5 of Strictly Come Dancing, partnering Camilla Dallerup. He came third after being voted out in a "dance-off" in the semi-final. He also appeared in the programme's Christmas Special, finishing second behind Darren Gough after each couple received a perfect score.

Jones was one of the celebrities who took part in the Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour! 2009. As his partner from the television show, Camilla Dallerup, was dancing with Tom Chambers, Jones partnered Flavia Cacace. The tour commenced in Newcastle on 16 January and ended at the National Exhibition Centremarker in Birmingham on 22 February 2009 with a total of 44 shows. He and his dance partner achieved a total of six wins during the run of the tour.

Selected work

Presenter

Date(s)
of appearance
TV programme or series
[Unknown] Popty
[Unknown] Mas Draw
2002–2005 Uned 5 (Unit 5, 1994–present)
2004–2005 Y Briodas Fawr (The Big Wedding, 2004–present)
2005–2008 Blue Petermarker (1958–present)
2006 Jones Jones Jones
2007 New Year Live
2008 BAFTA Cymru Awards (BAFTA Wales Awards)
16 February 2008 –
present
E24
4–11 May 2008 BBC Young Musician of the Year
4 July 2008 BBC Breakfast
5 July 2008 for two months Gethin Jones – BBC Radio 5 Live
30 August 2008 The National Lottery: Big 7
13 September 2008 BBC Proms in the Park in Swansea, Wales
28 September 2008 for six weeks Gethin Jones' Danger Hunters
7 January –
15 April 2009
Cwis Meddiant
17 August –
21 August 2009
The One Show
12 September 2009 BBC Proms in the Park in Swansea, Wales


Some of the information in this table was obtained from .

Actor, cameo or participant

Date(s)
of appearance
Television programme or series Role Notes
2004 Company Bachelor of the Year 2004 [Participant]
25 June 2006 Children's Party at the Palace Julian Kirrin of Enid Blyton's Famous Five
13 May 2006 Doctor Who (2005–present)

"Rise of the Cybermen"

Cyberman 1 episode
2007 Strictly Come Dancing [Participant] Came third
2007 Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two [Guest]
1 January 2007 The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–present)

"Invasion of the Bane"

Himself, [Cameo appearance] 1 episode
5 July 2008 Doctor Who (2005–present)

"Journey's End"

Dalek 1 episode
7 September 2008 Soccer Aid 2008 [Player, Rest of the World team]
16 January –
22 February 2009
Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour! 2009 [Participant]


Some of the information in this table was obtained from .

Awards

On 5 November 2008, Jones was awarded the title of "Ultimate Hottie" by Cosmopolitan magazine.

Personal life

Jones had been in a relationship prior to joining Blue Peter, but it ended when he moved from Wales to London to take up the job. In December 2007 Jones became romantically involved with Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins. According to him, they first met in 2005 when she appeared on Blue Peter and he was struck by how good she was with kids: "You kind of think people like that are all going to be false, but she really wasn't at all, and I like that. She really is lovely, a typical Neathmarker girl." Newspapers reported that they got together after Jenkins sang "Time To Say Goodbye" with Italian opera singer Andrea Boccelli on an episode of Strictly Come Dancing broadcast on 21 October 2007. Jenkins' spokesman has said: "They're old friends and they've been on several dates. But people shouldn't consider buying hats just yet."

Jones is a keen footballer (he supports Everton Football Club), tennis player and golfer. He is short-sighted and wore contact lenses or glasses, until he underwent a laser eye operation to correct his shortsightedness on 17 June 2009.

Notes

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References

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Further reading

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External links




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