My Life in Media: Steve Jones

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The Independent Online

Steve Jones, 31, presents T4, Channel 4's weekend show. He grew up in South Wales and worked in London as a model before breaking into television. Despite having been linked to a string of his interviewees, including Pamela Anderson and Halle Berry, he is currently single. He has his first film acting role in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, which is released later this month. He lives in London.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

In 2000 I was modelling in London and I decided to go back to Wales for a break. A friend brought a new Welsh music show to my attention. I had never considered presenting before, but I went down to audition for The Pop Factory and two weeks later I was on TV and have been ever since.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

The Daily Mirror. I read it but I would have preferred The Sun. The only boobs allowed in my house were my mother's unfortunately.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I was mostly a television boy and enjoyed The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Describe your job?

I attempt to entertain and do so by any means possible. Presenting T4 is my main job. Each day is different. Last week, for instance, I was in LA doing a special piece with Will Smith for his new film. I just have to be ready for action when it comes.

What's the first media that you turn to in the mornings?

I avoid the news, I don't like to start my day with death and destruction. I normally go to Channel 4 to start my day with laughter, so I watch Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

If I want to keep up with the news I normally consult my phone. Vodafone has a great news service.

What do you tune into when you get home?

I've been watching a lot of the UKTV channel Dave. You can't go go wrong with that channel: Top Gear, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. I also watch E4. Working on T4, I have been infected with the Friends virus. If it is on I have to watch it.

What is the best thing about your job?

I travel a lot and I get to interview some amazing people, but the best thing is when I'm approached by someone who says how much they laughed when they saw something I did on the box. That puts a smile on my face.

And the worst?

Work takes up a lot of my time, which means I don't get to see as much of my family and friends as I'd like to.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

I'm proud of everything I've done because I've always given 100 per cent, whether I'm interviewing a Hollywood star or doing a 30-second link into Hollyoaks. It has to be as good as possible or I won't sleep that night.

What's your Sunday paper, and do you have a favourite magazine?

Usually The Independent on Sunday or The Observer, but I never get both because they would take forever to read. The only magazine that I really read is Vice. It's the best.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

To get bogged down in objectives would only lead to disappointments. The advice I've been given is to concentrate on what you have right now, and the rest will follow.

What would you do if you didn't work in the media?

I would probably be a failed model back in Wales with drink and drug problems, because that's the way I was heading before I left at 21 and went travelling.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Banksy is my hero. I love his satirical slant on modern life and the fact that it's all done anonymously makes it all the more delicious. Anybody who interviews politicians on a daily basis deserves an award. I think Jon Snow does that the best.

The CV

2000: First presenting gig on Welsh music show The Pop Factory

2002: Moves to London and works on 99 Things to Do Before You Die

2003: Has slots on RI:SE.Talent spotted and hired by T4

2006: Starts presenting Channel 4 Friday night music show Transmission with Lauren Laverne

2007: Acting role in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

2008: Presents T4 On The Beach this Sunday