David Jones explains how Ant and Dec gave him broadcasting inspiration

David Jones is one of the stalwarts of Sky Sports, having joined the company for the launch of Sky Sports News in 1998 – and he still searches for ways to develop his broadcasting skills, including by watching Ant and Dec.

Jones was one of the main presenters on SSN during its early days, alongside the likes of Mike Wedderburn, Georgie Thompson and Kirsty Gallacher.

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He then switched to broadcasting, playing an active role in Sky’s Champions League coverage, before presenting Premier League action. In 2016, Jones replaced the departing Ed Chamberlin after he joined ITV Racing.

Since then, Jones has been a permanent fixture on Sky’s Premier League coverage, particularly on Super Sunday and Monday Night Football. His on-screen partnership and dynamic with pundits, such as Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Micah Richards and Graeme Souness, provides compelling viewing for fans.

Jones holds the shows together, providing an impartial viewpoint and asking probing questions to get the best out of the rest of the on-screen team.

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David Jones on presenting, continuing to improve, and Ant and Dec

Even after so long in the presenting and broadcasting hotseats, Jones is still searching for ways to improve.

And speaking to Sporf during a Sky Sports media day on Thursday, the Sunderland non-executive director revealed that some of his inspiration and knowledge comes from two unlikely sources in particular.

He explained: “Broadcasting is a really funny thing. I think when you’re in the business, no-one has ever sat down with me and talked to me about how I should go about things. It’s sort of happened very naturally, that evolution, really.

“I suppose I would watch people and think, ‘I could do that. I could learn that.’ And I would do that from colleagues, watching colleagues very closely here at Sky. But also from watching television.

“It’s a simple thing, as strange as it sounds, I would watch Ant and Dec on Saturday Night Takeaway, just because I’m really interested to see how they carry themselves, how they come across so relaxed, their body language, what they do with their hands.

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“Whatever it is, I’m trying to find something. They’re right at the top of the tree. What is it they’ve got that I could maybe steal a little bit of that to take with me on my presenting journey?

“Really, it’s all about trying to absorb everything from every quarter. It might also be watching, it used to be Jeremy Paxman, but whoever on Newsnight, and their style of questioning. I listened to the Today programme on Radio Four for the same reason. To listen to their interviewing techniques, to see what they do and how they open people up sometimes.

“It’s really just being open to any kind of ideas and information from anywhere else.”

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