Gethin Jones on stalker drama and finding love on ‘weird’ dating apps

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BBC’s Morning Live’s Gethin Jones has revealed some of the more worrying aspects of being famous, from having a stalker to being sent naked photos via social media – he also told The Rig Biz podcast listeners that he wanted to find romance ‘naturally’ despite being added to celeb dating app, Raya by his mates.

The former Blue Peter presenter from Cardiff appeared on the podcast’s latest episode and was asked questions about many aspect of working in TV, including if he had ever had a stalker, to which the 45-year-old said: “I did, back in Blue Peter. It was weird to the point where I had some security, which I thought was a lot, but they felt… you know, obviously they knew stuff that I didn’t. You go and do your job every day and think ‘that’s it’ and then…

“I think it’s interesting on telly, the medium of TV is really powerful and people think they know you really well and there’s occasions where you maybe don’t get back to someone because you just don’t know them and they find that offensive.

“And then it’s stuff like, ‘What’s your favourite cheese?’ ‘Can I have your socks?’ ‘What watch are you wearing?’

Read more: Gethin Jones pays tribute to colleagues after ‘exhilarating’ week

Gethin also reveals that he has received X-rated pictures via social media too. He says: “Honestly, you get all kinds on there. I tend not to go on it too much but then you do open it sometimes. And sometimes it’s really nice and it’s like a charity thing and you want to help and then you’re like, “Ugh, that’s not what I was expecting.

“There are people who’ve got sort of issues as well, so you’ve got to be really careful. I had one woman who was messaging me and I sort of looked at it and thought, ‘Ah, this is not funny’, and I passed it onto the relevant people just to make sure she was OK, because she obviously had some mental issues. Which again, is a bigger conversation with social media, it just blows my mind that it is not regulated better for that reason, it’s so scary.”

But in a fascinating and sometimes frank chat with interviewers Archie Curzon and Freddy Clode, Gethin recounts some of the more memorable moments of his life, that are as far from cheese, socks and stalkers as you can get.

Rugby has always played an important part in Gethin’s life. A talented player who was once offered a trial with the Sale rugby team and played for his university team, he has many memories of off-field antics as well as the on-field matches.

He says: “Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd – we won the district final on 12 April 2003 and every year we get together so we’ve just had our 20 year anniversary. I think the worst thing I ever had to do was on my birthday, they did the whole deep heat in the pants thing while I was in the bath, then they stole all my clothes and I had to walk across the pitch naked and then get into the bar and down a funnel before they’d give me my clothes back!”

One of the rugby related highlights that Gethin reveals is the time when he met one of his heroes at Twickenham in 2008, after the match when Wales beat England. Scott Gibbs was doing some corporate work at the stadium and Gethin says it ended up being a memorable drinking experience, “I went out with Gibbs and the next thing you know I’m on Richmond Green at 3am with my hero – it’s lovely isn’t it, when you meet your heroes and they are good guys?”

Rather shyly discussing his love life, Gethin is quizzed about when he first met internationally famous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins. He says: “I was dancing with Camilla on Strictly Come Dancing and then Katherine came on to perform with Andrea Bocelli. We went up to the bar to have a chat.

“What was it like? I don’t know; she’s a Neath girl – that’s what I saw – and I’m a Cardiff boy and we had the same values. The media stuff was mental, and I was really naive to it.

“Strictly was a juggernaut at the time, I think about 15 million people watched the semi-final and I think she was singing on the X Factor that night too, with Rhydian, so between us pretty much half the nation had been watching either me or her, and our shows, that night. We went back to my flat in Kingston and I was borrowing someone’s sofa, didn’t have curtains, and had no milk, so we had chocolate digestives and tea with no milk.

“It was just a very surreal time and I probably didn’t handle it brilliantly because I was really naive to it, I’d never been ‘papped’ before and I’ve never thought about it. I love the fact I can still walk down the street and not worry about it, I can go to the garage in my slippers – I would hate to be in that world where you’re pictured all the time. So I think I’ve been very lucky to have that good balance.”

The couple dated for four years and got engaged but broke up in 2011 and one the more random reasons came about due to one innocent comment made in the heat of the moment by Gethin’s sister.

He explains: “I was on a radio show, they called my sister, she was live, she didn’t know what to say, they asked her a follow-up question and she panicked. Her middle toes are way longer than her big toe and because she panicked she went, ‘oh, if a girl’s got a middle toe bigger than her front toe then he’s not interested’, and then the press went mad, and I was like ‘Oh for God’s sake’ and then you get slated for being fussy!”

Not being pushed into confirming if he is single at the moment or not, the boy from Wales once crowned TV’s most eligible bachelor will only say: “My mate put me on Raya (dating app) but I’m quite old fashioned, it would be quite nice just to meet someone, I’m not very good at dating girls [via apps], I just find it all a bit weird, I like it when it happens all naturally.”

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