‘Here’s one I made earlier’ as Gethin Jones visits university

“It kind of found me more than I went after it”, former “Blue Peter” presenter Gethin Jones spoke to The Linc about his career in children’s television and why he ended up where he is now.

Jones visited the University of Lincoln last Wednesday and spoke to some students from both the journalism and media production school about his experiences in television. With the industry continuing to be tough, Jones brought along some “tricks of the trade” to help students with their future careers in the media.

After gaining a 2:2 degree in economics and geography from Manchester Metropolitan University, Jones didn’t realise that he would become one of children’s television’s biggest stars. “When I was a kid, I always thought that the TV was a magic small box at the end of the lounge, I never thought that one day I would be appearing on it.”

Gethin Jones met students at the University of Lincoln. Photo: Holly Hardiman

Described by Jones as “the university of television”, “Blue Peter” was a huge part of his life and the show played a vital role in his career development. “I never thought I would be a ‘Blue Peter’ presenter, when I realised I had the chance to present I kind of grabbed it with both hands and it was such an amazing thing to do.”

“Blue Peter” was definitely one of the highlights of Jones’ career and something which gave him some valuable experience for life. “The variety from week to week is incredible and you get to help people as well, which is really important to me.

“It’s the one job you learn everything, you work with children, you work with animals and you’re put in positions you never thought you would be and you have to learn to get out of them.”

After three years with the programme he has had many memories to take away with him. “I did some amazing things that I’ll never forget, I broke six bones, nearly died three times and broke four world records but it was all worth it in the end.”  Seeing as “Blue Peter” was a huge part of his life it is difficult for Jones to choose a highlight but he’s chosen something very much close to Lincolnshire.

“I’ve not only taken away a lot of badges from doing ‘Blue Peter’, but one of my main highlights, which is close to Lincoln, was flying with the Red Arrows. It’s definitely something which makes my job worthwhile.”

After leaving the show in 2008, Jones became part of many different projects and this was the main reason for his visit to the city. “I’ve been coming up quite a bit over the past 12-18 months and I’ve kind of got an affinity to the city, across the Brayford you’ve probably seen a building site. Basically that’s a hotel that I’m involved with in terms of building and it will be open later on this year.”

When asked why he chose Lincoln as a destination for the new Double Tree Hilton Hotel, he explained the reasons for the new location.  “You appreciate Lincoln is a very beautiful city, the reason we’ve built the hotel where it is because of the beautiful views of the water.

“I came here for the first time a couple of years ago I was filming with ‘Police Camera Action’ and it really is a beautiful place.”

There are many different projects Jones is working, but is still unsure about the future. “It’s always a difficult one, if I’m still working in 10 years time doing the projects I believe in, then I’ll be a very lucky man.”

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