Following weeks of endless speculation The One Show finally kicked off last night and verdicts have already been pouring in about the performance of new presenters Alex Jones and awards host Jason Manford. The show has previously secured viewing figures of around 7 million and the departure of both Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles to ITV led to the search for two new presenters. Alex Jones is new to many eyes and ears in most of parts of the UK but she is well-known in Wales where she has been presenting for the last ten years and thanks to YouTube her journey has become a dream story. Alex’s showreel was spotted on the broadcasting site by one of the programme’s researchers and despite the fact that it was almost entirely in Welsh they gave her a call and three screen tests later she was signed up.
Jason’s journey was a little more conventional as he was already established when he got the call. Jason grew up in Salford and was inspired by the likes of Billy Connolly, Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper and Dave Allen but it wasn’t till he saw Peter Kay performing that he decided to go into comedy seriously. Everything came full circle when Peter later described Jason as “very funny”. Jason has established himself as a writer, actor, comedian, and radio and TV presenter, having appeared on Live at the Apollo with Jack Dee and Russell Howard, presented his own breakfast radio show and completing a tour last year which involved 94 dates. Jason is also a brilliant awards host and after dinner speaker and has received numerous awards for his talents.
Jason kicked off the show last night saying "This could go either way. Really well, or we'll be escorted off the premises after the show" and they had a brilliant first guest in Whoopi Goldberg who after being given a name badge commented, "I just want to make sure you know it's me, and not Oprah." The verdict so far has been positive overall. The Telegraph gave a somewhat mixed review with the Guardian and other newspapers giving favourable comment. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain viewing figures and how things go when Chris Evans arrive on Friday.
Awards host and presenter Christine Bleakley also has a challenge on her hands with the early starts for the new ITV morning show Daybreak with Adrian which will replace GMTV. As Christine says, "I know how Adrian thinks, and that's half the battle to having a good relationship. You kind of have to get on. I'd say that Adrian has his moments when he isn't the ideal [co-presenter], but we get on well."
So we wish them very well and look forward to seeing how everything develops over the next few months.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016