Gethin Jones

Gethin Jones

Infobox actor
name = Gethin Jones

imagesize =
caption = Jones at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, 31 May 2008
birthname = Gethin Clifford Jones
birthdate = birth date and age|1978|02|12
birthplace = Cardiff, Wales, UK
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Television presenter
yearsactive = 1990s–present
spouse =
domesticpartner =
website =
baftaawards =
emmyawards =
goldenglobeawards =
goldenraspberryawards =
nationalfilmawards =
awards =

Gethin Clifford Jones (born 12 February 1978) is a Welsh television presenter best known for co-presenting the long-running BBC children's show "Blue Peter".

An active rugby union player when at the Manchester Metropolitan University 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 Peter", 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" (2007) 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", achieving third place.

Early life and education

Gethin Jones was born on 12 February 1978 in Cardiff, Wales, to Goronwy Jones, headteacher of Baden Powell Primary School, and his Polish wife Sylvia, a violin teacher. He has an older sister named Mereridcitation|author=Catherine Evans|title=Katherine and Gethin's first meeting|url=|newspaper=Wales on Sunday (reproduced on|date=9 December 2007.] and a nephew, Alby. [citation|author=Gethin Jones|title=Well HEEEEEEEEEEEELLO!|url=|publisher=Blue Peter, BBC [blog] |date=25 September 2007|accessdate=2008-06-16; citation|title=Gethin and Katherine to spend holiday apart|url=|newspaper=Daily Express|date=24 December 2007.] With Welsh as his first language, he attended Ysgol Gynradd Coed-y-Gof and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf (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,citation|author=David Greenwood|title=Blue Peter job is like a dream|url=|newspaper=Daily Post (reproduced on|date=25 January 2005.] and was in school musicals and the school orchestra. He took Biology, Geography and Economics at A-Levels.citation|author=Jenny Johnston|title=From rugby player to ballroom star: Strictly's 'Gorgeous Gethin' driven to succeed by a need for his father's approval|url=|newpaper=Daily Mail|date=19 December 2007.] citation|author=Jonatha Sale [interviewer] |title=Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Gethin Jones, 'Blue Peter' presenter: 'All of my lessons were in Welsh'|url=|newspaper=The Independent|date=15 March 2007.] [Jones got an E in biology, D in geography and C in economics for his A-levels, and an A in music at AS-level: citation|author=Jonathan Sale [interviewer] |title=Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Gethin Jones, 'Blue Peter' presenter: 'All of my lessons were in Welsh'|url=|newspaper=The Independent|date=15 March 2007.]

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 University where he gained a 2:2, he was captain of the university's rugby first team and played in the Lancashire 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"),citation|title=Biographies: Gethin Jones, presenter, Blue Peter|url=|publisher=BBC Press Office|date=December 2005|accessdate=2008-06-18.] "Mas Draw", and the flagship children's entertainment show "Uned 5" ("Unit 5", September 2002 – 2005). [citation|author=Sian Eirian|title=Show has a grand day out with Gethin Jones|url=|newspaper=Western Mail|date=22 November 2007.] 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.citation|title=Gethin gets the job and a Blue Peter badge|url=|newspaper=Western Mail (reproduced on|date=25 January 2005.]

"Blue Peter"

On 26 April 2005, Jones became the 31st presenter (and second Welshman, after Tim Vincent) [citation|title=Welsh TV host to join Blue Peter|url=|publisher=BBC News|date=24 January 2005.] on the world's longest-running children's television series, "Blue Peter". He auditioned on the same day as co-presenter Zöe Salmon. He presented the show with her and with Konnie Huq, Matt Baker, Liz Barker and Andy Akinwolere. As a presenter he took on the action/adventure role formerly held by John Noakes; highlights included flying with the Red Arrows and in a World War II Supermarine Spitfire, completing submarine escape training with the Royal Navy,citation|title=Blue Peter presenter takes the plunge|url=|publisher=Ministry of Defence|date=2 February 2007|accessdate=2008-01-19; citation|title=Gethin gets in the water|url=|publisher=Navy News, Royal Navy|date=8 March 2007|accessdate=2007-01-21.] surviving the Bolivian jungle,citation|title=Gethin Jones to quit Blue Peter|url=||date=8 April 2008|accessdate=2008-06-18.] being attacked by an alligator in Louisiana,citation|title=The contestants: Gethin Jones|url=|publisher="Strictly Come Dancing", BBC|year=2007|accessdate=2008-01-21.] learning to race like a jockey, and fighting as a samurai warrior in Japan. In 2006, he became the first civilian to finish the Royal Marine Commando convert|30|mi|km|adj=on Yomp – he finished in a time of eight hours and 20 minutes. [In January 2008 it was reported that Jones was to try for an honorary Green Beret from the Royal Marine Commandos: citation|title=Geth goes from Blue to green|url=|newspaper=The Sun|date=14 January 2008.] 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 Peter" co-presenters climbed the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom, starting with Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland, followed by Snowdon in North Wales. The following day, having travelled overnight by coach to the Lake District, they climbed Scafell Pike. They were then to be transported to Scotland by helicopter to climb Ben Nevis but were unable to do so because of problems with the helicopter which forced them to land in Oban. They succeeded in climbing the mountain the next day. This challenge was in aid of Sport Relief 2008. [citation|author=Hywel Trewyn|title=Blue Peter's Gethin climbs Snowdon for birthday|url=|newspaper=Daily Post|date=13 February 2008; citation|title=Zoe's in peak condition|url=|newspaper=The Belfast Telegraph|date=13 February 2008; citation|author=Jamie Smith|title=Blue Peter hits new heights on Snowdon|url=|newspaper=Caernarfon Herald (reproduced on|date=14 February 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." [citation|author=Ben Dowell|title=Gethin Jones leaves Blue Peter|url=|newspaper=The Guardian (MediaGuardian)|date=8 April 2008.]


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), [citation|title=Y Briodas Fawr|url=|publisher=UK Game|year=2007?|accessdate=2008-09-03.] and "Jones Jones Jones" (2006) at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre where the world record was broken for the biggest gathering of people with the same surname. [citation|title=Meet the Joneses for world record|url=|publisher=BBC News|date=19 July 2006; citation|title=World record attempt is a family affair|url=|newspaper=USA Today|date=3 November 2006.] 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. [citation|author=Leigh Holmwood|title=BBC1 countdown chimes with viewers|url=|newspaper=The Guardian|date=2 January 2008.] On 16 February 2008, Jones began presenting a new 15-minute entertainment show entitled "E24" on BBC News with James Dagwell. [citation|author=Leigh Holmwood|title=News 24 launches showbiz news show|url=|newspaper=The Guardian (g2)|date=12 February 2008; citation|author=Nadia Brooks|title=Gethin gets new presenting gig|url=|newspaper=The Sun|date=12 February 2008.]

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. [citation|author=Laura Wright|title=Gethin says goodbye but Dr Who beckons|url=|newspaper=South Wales Echo (reproduced on|date=9 April 2008; citation|author=Karen Price|title=TV's Gethin sets course for stardom|url=|newspaper=Western Mail (reproduced on|date=9 April 2008; citation|title=The grand final weekend|url=|publisher=BBC|year=2008|accessdate=2008-04-30.]

Jones made his radio "début" on BBC Radio 5 Live on 5 July 2008, [citation|title=Gethin Jones|url=|publisher=BBC Radio 5 Live|year=2008|accessdate=2008-07-07.] presenting a three-hour Saturday morning show focusing on sport and entertainment. [citation|title=Blue Peter star joins Five Live|url=|publisher=BBC News|date=22 April 2008.]

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. [citation|title=The National Lottery Awards – winners announced live on BBC1!|url=|publisher=National Lottery|date=18 April 2008|accessdate=2008-08-23.] He is also currently presenting "The National Lottery: Midweek Draws".Fact|date=October 2008 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. [citation|title=Final Soccer Aid line up is announced|url=|publisher=ITV|year=2008|accessdate=2008-09-04; citation|author=Kev Geoghegan|title=Stars to raise cash at Soccer Aid|url=|publisher=|date=5 September 2008|accessdate=2008-10-02.]

On 13 September 2008 Jones presented the Proms in the Park from Singleton Park in Swansea. 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. [citation|title=BBC Proms in the Park|url=|publisher=BBC Press Office|date=9 April 2008|accessdate=2008-06-18; citation|author=Jason Evans|title=Proms back in city with Italian flavour|url=||date=13 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-18.]

From 28 September, Jones began presenting a new programme for Virgin 1 entitled "Gethin Jones' Danger Hunters", which features adrenaline junkies and their search for the ultimate thrill.. [citation|author=Adam Benzine|title=Virgin1 hunts down Fear Junkies|url=|publisher=C21 Media|date=11 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-18; citation|title=Gethin to brave wild weather|url=|newspaper=The Sun|date=12 June 2008.]

Other television work

Jones appeared as a Cyberman in a 2006 episode of "Doctor Who" and as a Dalek in the final episode in 2008. [citation|author=Simon Reynolds|title=Gethin Jones stars in 'Doctor Who'|url=|publisher=Digital Spy|date=11 April 2008|accessdate=2008-06-27.] 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. [citation|author=Beth Neil|title=Gethin to know you: Exclusive: Blue Peter star is now strictly sex|url=|newspaper=Daily Mirror|date=8 December 2007; citation|title=Who's danced their way to the number 6 slot?|url=||date=28 December 2007|accessdate=2008-01-19.] He came third after being voted out in a "dance-off" in the semi-final. [citation|title=Gethin Jones dances off Strictly|url=|publisher=BBC News|date=16 December 2007; citation|author=Clemmie Moodie|title=Exit Strictly Come Dancing's Gethin, straight into Katherine's arms|url=|newspaper=Daily Mail|date=17 December 2007; citation|author=Mark Jeffries|title=Gethin gets the boot|url=|newspaper=Daily Mirror|date=17 December 2007; citation|author=Kate Bodinger|title=Gethin misses out but dad proud|url=|newspaper=South Wales Echo|date=17 December 2007; citation|author=Lisa McGarry|title=Gethin Jones leaves Strictly Come Dancing|url=|publisher=Unreality TV: The UK and Ireland's Biggest Reality TV Blog!|date=17 December 2007|accessdate=2008-01-19.] He also appeared in the programme's Christmas Special, finishing second behind Darren Gough after each couple received a perfect score.

elected work


Some of the information in this table was obtained from citation|title=Gethin Jones: Filmography|url=|publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb)|accessdate=2008-01-21.

Actor, cameo or participant

Some of the information in this table was obtained from citation|title=Gethin Jones: Filmography|url=|publisher=Internet Movie Database (IMDb)|accessdate=2008-01-21.

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. [citation|author=Emma Cox|author2=Sara Nathan|title=Let us Geth it on, Katherine|url=|newspaper=The Sun|date=7 December 2007; citation|title=Katherine Jenkins dating Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones|url=|newspaper=South Wales Evening Post|date=8 December 2007; citation|author=Catherine Evans|title=Katherine and Gethin's first meeting|url=|newspaper=Wales on Sunday (reproduced on|date=9 December 2007; citation|author=Donna McConnell|title=Strictly's Gethin set to dance off with opera diva Katherine Jenkins' heart|url=|newspaper=Mail on Sunday|date=12 December 2007; citation|title=FIRST picture of Gethin and Katherine together!|url=!/3||date=12 December 2007; citation|author=Emma Pengelly|title=Romance for Neath's golden girl and Blue Peter heartthrob Gethin|url=|newspaper=Neath Guardian|date=13 December 2007; citation|author=Colin Robertson|title=Gethin twirls girlfriend Kath|url=|newspaper=The Sun|date=15 December 2007; citation|author=Hannah Jones|title=Katherine and Gethin are Welsh golden couple|url=|newspaper=Western Mail (reproduced on|date=17 December 2007.] 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 Neath 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. [citation|author=Steffan Rhys|title=Katherine Jenkins and Gethin Jones dating|url=|newspaper=Western Mail (reproduced on|date=8 December 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." [citation|author=Ben Glaze|title=New Welsh celebrity couple are an item|url=|newspaper=South Wales Echo (reproduced on|date=8 December 2007.]

Jones is a keen footballer (he supports Everton Football Club), [citation|author=Lara Gould|title=Strictly Gethin's backstage secrets: Exclusive: Strictly Gethin on what really goes on backstage|url=|newspaper=Sunday Mirror|date=4 November 2007.] tennis player and golfer. He is short-sighted and wears contact lenses or glasses.



*citation|last=Greenwood|first=David|title=Blue Peter job is like a dream|url=|newspaper=Daily Post (reproduced on|date=25 January 2005.
*citation|last=Johnston|first=Jenny|title=From rugby player to ballroom star: Strictly's 'Gorgeous Gethin' driven to succeed by a need for his father's approval|url=|newspaper=Daily Mail|date=19 December 2007.
*citation|last=Sale|first=Jonathan [interviewer] |title=Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Gethin Jones, 'Blue Peter' presenter: 'All of my lessons were in Welsh'|url=|newspaper=The Independent|date=15 March 2007.

Further reading

*citation|title=Ryan Giggs and Gethin Jones surprise Manchester pupils|url=|publisher=United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)|date=22 January 2007|accessdate=2008-01-19.
*citation|title=Strictly Come Dancing contestant reckons partner has 'got it all'|url=|magazine=NOW|date=2 December 2007|accessdate=2008-01-19.
*citation|last=Rhys|first=Steffan|title=Have Katherine and Gethin got the elusive X factor to be the next golden couple?|url=|newspaper=Western Mail|date=10 December 2007.

External links

* [ Gethin Jones on the "Blue Peter" website]
** [ Gethin Jones' "Blue Peter" video blog]
*imdb name|id=1693955
* [ Gethin Jones on the "Strictly Come Dancing" website]
* [ Strictly Gethin Jones – the Gethin Jones fansite]

NAME = Jones, Gethin
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Jones, Gethin Clifford
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Welsh television presenter
DATE OF BIRTH = 12 February 1978
PLACE OF BIRTH = Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

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