Barney Jones has worked in the BBC for 25 years and has edited for David Frost and Andrew Marr during his career. He has been present at some of the most famous interviews that have have been shown on the BBC and has experienced all types of politician, popstar, actor and historical figure in the business.
In 1993 he started editing ‘Breakfast with Frost’, a new flagship show on Sunday mornings. The idea of politics show on Sunday mornings was a new concept that hadn’t been done before and so would hopefully attract a new type of audience. The very first show set the tone for the type of guests it would include by having the current prime minister John Major and the presenter Jill Dando, two very high priority guests that were able to take part due to Frosts contacts and status in the industry. Other very high profile guests that featured on the show included George Bush senior and Nelson Mandela, demonstrating Frosts ability to simply ring up someone like the president of america (arguably the most powerful man in the world) and ask them for an interview.
David Frost interviewing Eric Clapton
‘The Andrew Marr’ show started in 2005 as ‘Sunday AM’ bus in 2007 changed to ‘The Andrew Marr show’. The Show took over the slot that ‘Breakfast With Frost’ had previously held and continued with the serious interview format with high profile guests. At first Marr wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea of the show but was later convinced by the idea that it would be more arts based than Frost’s show had been. Much as Frosts contacts in politics and overseas had been useful in getting guests for the show Marr had many contacts across the arts world, another way he could get guests that would not come on the show in the past was his less aggressive interviewing style. There were certain people in the politics and the arts that refused to come on to ‘Breakfast With Frost’ due to his sometimes invasive questioning that made him one of the most famous interviewers. After the interview with Keith Richards, Barney Jones admitted that it was a much better interview that if Frost had conducted it due to their personal interests.
Apparently David Cameron was a very polite guest
Barney Jones’ insight into TV format production was a great help in getting to know the way the professional industry works, especially dealing with guests. Hearing how people that we see in the papers actually act in real life situations was surprisingly interesting, and proved how much they act up to cameras or actually are themselves. Hearing about the people he had met and the places his job has taken him over the past 25 years definitely made me more interested in a job in format TV than I had previously been.