Alex Jones talks satsumas, banana custard and setting fire to tea towels

'I was banned from cookery lessons at school between I set fire to a tea towel'

Alex Jones talks satsumas, banana custard and setting fire to tea towels

Co-host of The One Show Alex Jones, 40, lives in west London with her husband Charlie Thomson, 39, and their one-year-old son Teddy.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Charlie and I are on a smoothie kick at the moment. He makes them with almond milk, spinach or kale, flax seeds, frozen mixed berries and frozen blueberries. Ted loves them, too.

Are you a snacker?

In the make-up room at The One Show, we have a drawer full of really nice chocolate and there’s always a bag of Haribo in there. Weirdly, I crave apples or tangerines before chocolate and sweets, which is lucky!

Do you watch your weight?

I believe that a little bit of everything is key, so if I’ve had a bad day, I’ll try to be good for a couple of days – but I’m not manic about it. Life’s too short.

Are you a good cook?

I’m pretty rubbish at cooking, but I am getting there under Charlie’s supervision. He’s a trained chef. It’s one of the reasons we got married – I knew I’d be sorted for food!

First thing you ever cooked?

A sausage plait, when I was 13, in cookery class. I was banned from the lessons shortly after that because I set fire to a tea towel.

What was food like growing up?

Dad couldn’t cook. Once, Mum had to go into hospital for an ear operation so, for the first time, we were home alone with Dad. One day he served crackers with sliced ham and tomato ketchup. Shocking! After that, he taught himself to cook and now he does risottos and curries. He’s my inspiration!

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What dish reminds you of home?

Corned beef pie. It’s just corned beef mixed with mashed potato and onions in pastry. It’s a sacred mother recipe, so we only have it when we go down to visit her. It takes me back to Sunday evenings, with Antiques Roadshow on in the background.

Any exciting food discoveries?

I had the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted in Vietnam. The curries were amazing – full of lemongrass and lime. We also had banh mi, which is like a ham and cheese sandwich but
done in such a fantastic way. When we got home, we spent a whole day searching London for one.

You once cooked for Mary Berry on TV – was it nerve-racking?

Yes! She’s ‘good housekeeping’ while I’m ‘bad housekeeping’. We made a Christmas cake and then I made her rissoles, which you don’t get anywhere other than South Wales. She told me they reminded her of the war! She made them for her husband, took a picture and sent it to me!

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Alex’s debut parenting book Winging It! is out now, £8.