Aled Jones

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This article is about the singer. For other uses, see Aled Jones (disambiguation).
Aled Jones
MBE
Aled Jones.jpg
Aled Jones in 2007
Born (1970-12-29) 29 December 1970 (age 43)
Bangor, Wales
Occupation Singer, television and radio presenter
Years active 1983–present
Employer BBC, ITV
Religion Christianity
Spouse(s) Claire Fossett (m. 2001)
Children Emilia Jones (b. 2002)
Lucas Jones (b. 2005)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals, drums
Labels Universal Classics & Jazz

Aled Jones MBE (born 29 December 1970) is a Welsh singer best known for his television work with BBC and ITV as well as his radio work, mainly for BBC Radio 2.

In September 2012, Jones joined ITV Breakfast to present Daybreak, alongside Lorraine Kelly and Kate Garraway, having replaced former hosts Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles on the show.[1] Jones later left Daybreak on 25 April 2014 to host a new show for ITV called Weekend from the following day. The show is broadcast every Saturday and Sunday morning.

Early singing career[edit]

Jones was born in St. David's Hospital in Bangor, Wales, the only child of Nest Rowlands, a teacher, and Derek John Jones, a draughtsman for a shipbuilder.[2] He was raised in the small Welsh-speaking community of Llandegfan, in Anglesey and attended Ysgol David Hughes. Jones joined the choir of Bangor Cathedral at age nine and was lead soloist within two years, although he never made Head Chorister. The remarkable quality of Jones' treble voice was appreciated by a member of the congregation, Hefina Orwig Evans, who wrote a letter to local record company Sain, and he was duly signed. In 1982, Jones won the Cerdd Dant solo competitions for competitors under 12 at the Urdd Eisteddfod.

Jones became famous for the cover version of "Walking in the Air", the song from Channel 4's animated film The Snowman, based on the book by Raymond Briggs. The record reached No. 5 in the UK charts in 1985; The version used in the 1982 film was performed by Peter Auty, a St. Paul's Cathedral choirboy.

In June 1985, Jones was the subject of an Emmy award winning BBC Omnibus documentary entitled The Treble. Jones, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, was behind the Santa Claus The Movie, original motion picture soundtrack, Every Christmas Eve of 1985. Also in 1985, Jones was called by Mike Oldfield to sing in Oldfield's single Pictures in the Dark, a three-voice song along with Anita Hegerland and Barry Palmer, which became quite popular.

Jones' recording career was temporarily halted when his voice broke at 16. By this time, he had recorded 16 albums, sold more than six million albums, and sung for Pope John Paul II, the Queen, and the Prince and Princess of Wales in a private recital, as well as presenting numerous children's television programmes. He sang at the wedding of celebrities Bob Geldof and Paula Yates in 1986. Jones also had the distinction of being the first artist to have two classical albums listed simultaneously in the popular music charts and worked with Leonard Bernstein (Chichester Psalms). In 1986, he sang the oratorio Athalia with Emma Kirkby.

Jones' first biography, "Walking on Air", was published in 1986.

Later career[edit]

Aled Jones at a book signing in 2006.

In September 1990, Jones made his acting debut at the Royal Theatre (Northampton) in Shaun McKenna's adaptation of Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley playing the teenage Huw Morgan.[3]

Jones went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, before beginning his adult recording career, with a largely religious/inspirational repertoire. In 1995 he took the leading role in the long-running production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat on a Blackpool pier. From Sep 1996 to May 1997 Aled played the young Tom Gradgrind (non singing) in a large scale national touring production of Charles Dickins' Hard Times. Theatres included Brighton Theatre Royal, Bath Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre.

In 2005, Jones launched his autobiography, written in collaboration with Darren Henley.

Following the launch of his first baritone album, Aled on the Universal Music label in Australia in May 2003, Jones visited the country on a promotional tour. He has since successfully toured in concert there four times: from 2003 to 2010, performing in eight cities.

Jones has released two singles with Terry Wogan in aid of the Children in Need appeal.

From 3 July to 30 August 2008 Jones played the lead role of Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. He returned to the stage, playing Bob Wallace in White Christmas at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and at The Lowry, Salford Quays, from November 2009 until 9 January 2010, and again from 11 to 26 November 2011 at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, from 1 to 17 December at the Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin, and at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool (22 December 2011 to 7 January 2012) On 8 November 2014 Jones made his West End debut, again playing Bob Wallace in "White Christmas", this time at the Dominion Theatre, Tottenham Court Road.

Following the publication of Aled's Forty Favourite Hymns in 2009, a further book, Favourite Christmas Carols, was published on 28 October 2010; Jones took the book on his UK tour in November and December 2010. On 29 November, his CD, Aled's Christmas Gift, was issued to accompany the book.

On 11 October 2010, Jones was confirmed to take over as stand-in presenter of the early morning breakfast slot on BBC Radio 2 following the departure of Sarah Kennedy, a role he occasionally covered in the years leading up to her departure. Jones covered this slot for six weeks until the beginning of his UK tour.

Jones is mentoring Isabel Suckling, the youngest classical recording artist signed by Decca Records and first choirgirl to sign a record contract with a major music label to date. Suckling's debut album was greatly endorsed by Jones, who described it as "breathtaking" and it was released on 29 November 2010.[4][5][6][7]

In 2011, Jones hosted the television and DVD series, Classical Destinations III, Aled Jones' Ultimate Travel Guide to Classical Music which was filmed on his travels in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia.

Broadcasting[edit]

Radio[edit]

Jones was a presenter on Classic FM as well as on Welsh radio (BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru) and television (S4C). In 2006 he joined the BBC, taking over from Don Maclean on Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2 and The Choir on BBC Radio 3. He is also a presenter of Friday Night is Music Night, and has also been a regular stand-in presenter for Sarah Kennedy and Ken Bruce on Radio 2. Jones also presents other programmes for BBC Radio, such as Choir of the Year and Young Chorister of the Year. On 4 February 2013 it was announced that Aled would be returning to Classic FM to present a new show from 9:00-12:00 on Sundays, starting on 3 March of the same year.

Television[edit]

Aled Jones (left) pictured with Jennie Bond, during filming for Cash in the Attic in 2010

Jones's appearance as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2004 brought him to the attention of a wider audience, leading to further tours and albums. It also led to increasing demands on him as a broadcaster.

Jones is one of the main presenters of BBC One's Songs of Praise, including the annual "Big Sing" and the recent 50th Anniversary edition from Alexandra Palace. Since 2011, Jones has presented editions of Escape to the Country and Cash in the Attic, also for the BBC. In October 2011, he also appeared as a guest presenter on The One Show. In 2012, Jones hosted the Australian TV series "Classical Destinations".

On 4 May 2012, Jones was confirmed as the new presenter of the ITV Breakfast programme Daybreak with Lorraine Kelly and Kate Garraway, replacing Adrian Chiles.[8] On 3 March 2014, it was announced that Daybreak was to be replaced by a new breakfast programme called Good Morning Britain, of which Jones would not be a part of. His last episode aired on 25 April 2014. The following day, Jones began hosting Weekend, broadcast every Saturday and Sunday morning from 8:30am.[9][10]

Since 2012, Jones has presented the annual Christmas Carols on ITV programme, which airs late on Christmas Eve.

Jones has been on the judging panel for the Pride of Britain awards twice.

Personal life[edit]

Jones's daughter, Emilia, is an actress, best known for her roles as Alice in the Channel 4 series Utopia and the BBC One sci-fi series Doctor Who, featuring in the episode The Rings of Akhaten.

Awards and honours[edit]

Jones was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to music and broadcasting and for charitable services.[11][12] He collected his award on 17 October 2013.[13]

On 14 February 2014, Jones was nominated as a Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music;[14] he was presented with the fellowship on 3 July 2014.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Diolch â Chân (1983)
  • Ave Maria (1984)
  • Voices from the Holy Land (1985), also on VHS
  • All Through The Night (1985), UK No. 2
  • Carols for Christmas (Christmas Album) (1985), also on DVD
  • Aled Jones with the BBC Welsh Chorus (1985) UK No. 11
  • The Best of Aled Jones BBC Records (1985)
  • Faure: Requiem Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (1986)
  • Aled - Music from the TV Series (1986)
  • Where E'er You Walk (1986) UK No. 36
  • Pie Jesu (1986) UK No. 25
  • An Album Of Hymns (1986) UK No. 18
  • Handel: Athalia (1986)
  • Sailing (1987)
  • The Best of Aled Jones 10 Records (1987) UK No. 59
  • The Very Best of Aled Jones (1988)
  • From the Heart (2000), as baritone
  • Aled (2002) UK No. 27
  • Hear My Prayer (2003), as boy soprano
  • Higher (2003) UK No. 21 (This included a guest track with Julian Lloyd Webber)
  • The Christmas Album (2004) UK No. 28
  • A Journey With Aled Jones (2005)
  • Aled (Re-issue) (2005) UK No. 33
  • New Horizons (2005) UK No. 21
  • You Raise Me Up-The Best of Aled Jones (2006)
  • Reason To Believe (2007)
  • Aled Jones - The Ultimate Collection (2009)
  • Aled's Christmas Gift (2010)[15]
  • Forever (2011)
  • The Heart Of It All (2014)

Singles[edit]

Talking books[edit]

  • The Story of Classical Music (2004)
  • Famous Composers (2005)
  • The Story of Jesus (2006)

Videos[edit]

  • Aled Jones - New Born King - A Festival Of Carols From London's Westminster Cathedral (1992)
  • Voices From The Holy Land (1985)
  • Aled Jones - Carols For Christmas

DVDs[edit]

  • The Little Prince featuring Aled Jones (2004)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Carols for Christmas (2004)
  • Aled Jones - Christmas Carols (2008)

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Title Role
2004— Songs of Praise Regular presenter
2004 Strictly Come Dancing Contestant
2007 Play It Again Himself
2010–13 Cash in the Attic Presenter
2010— Escape to the Country Presenter
2011 The One Show Guest presenter
2012-14 Daybreak Co-presenter
2012— Christmas Carols on ITV Presenter
2014— Weekend Presenter
Guest appearances
Film
Year Title Role
2005 Nadolig Aled Unknown

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daybreak relaunch: Lorraine Kelly, Aled Jones start on September 3 Kate Goodacre, Digital Spy, 23 August 2012
  2. ^ Nick Barratt (8 September 2007). "Family detective". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Sweeting, Adam, The Daily Telegraph (17 November 2010). Isabel the Choirgirl: Angel eyes the Christmas No 1
  5. ^ BBC News (14 September 2010). York choirgirl Isabel Suckling lands record deal
  6. ^ Lechmere, Adam, Decanter.com (26 November 2010). Isabel Suckling: international wine trade 'follows' historic record deal
  7. ^ "The Choirgirl Classic FM World Exclusive". classicfm.co.uk. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  8. ^ Lorraine Kelly, Aled Jones unveiled as new hosts of Daybreak Paul Millar, Digital Spy, 4 May 2012
  9. ^ "New weekend series with Aled Jones coming soon to ITV | presscentre". Itv.com. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  10. ^ "Daybreak is axed: Good Morning Britain to be hosted by Susanna Reid - TV News". Digital Spy. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 19. 15 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Birthday Honours: Adele joins Blackadder stars on list". BBC News. 14 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Birthday Honours 2013: At a glance". BBC News. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Academy Honours Celebrate Successes". Royal Academy of Music. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 288. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  16. ^ [2]

External links[edit]