Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did you get into television?
In 1985 when I was a roadie, a good friend told me about a new music TV station that was looking for TV presenters. I phoned them up and they gave me an interview and a screen test. I hadn't done any presenting before, but I had done some performing in youth theatre when I was younger, so I wasn't shy. Plus, because I had travelled around with bands as a roadie for the past 5 years, I knew all about pop music, so they gave me the gig!

2. How can I become a television presenter?
The best presenters are experts on a subject and know about making programmes, so: Get to know all about a subject that you are interested in, and then start making videos about that subject yourself with a home video camera. Then contact your local TV station and tell them about your skills, then send them a videotape of your work.

3. What qualifications do you have?
I have six "0" levels, a bunch of GSEs and a TECH III in Civil Engineering, but no degree as I went on tour instead of going to University.

3. Are you married?
No, but I live with Violet Berlin and together we have two small sons. We say that we are "better than married".

4. What's that Carol Vorderman really like?
Welsh (like me) normal height, brown hair, good at counting.

5. Which show do you like best The Big Bang or How 2?
I am a big fan of HOW because it used to be on in the '60s and '70s when I was growing up, but I loved doing The Big Bang because Violet & I got to work together, so the answer is I like each show as much as the other.

6. Why aren't you on the Big Bang any more?
Because when we were asked to do the 2002 series it looked like many of the people who usually make the programme with us wouldn't be doing it any more. There were lots of changes planned for the Big Bang which Violet & I didn't agree with, so we said thank you for the last 6 series and wished them all the luck for the future.

7. Why did you change your name from Gaz Top?
Gaz Top was only my nickname, It just stuck for a while, I have always been Gareth Jones.

8. Where did the name Gaz Top come from?
Many, many years ago, before I was ever on TV I was a guitar tech (a roadie basically) for a number of bands in the 80's. One band which I worked for a great deal were called "The Alarm" who were known for having ridiculously tall, spiky hair, (lots of backcombing, crimping and gel) The lead singer of the band was called Mike Peters, who I always called "Spike" because of his spiky hair, Spike, became Spiky Top and so he started calling me Gaz Top (because my hair was even spikier than his! Gaz is short for Gareth as Bob is short for Robert. And so, as all roadies have nicknames my nick-name became Gaz Top.

When I started on TV in 1985 I was making a music programme, and so I was still dealing with bands and record companies, who had heard of Gaz Top from The Alarm, but would never have heard of Gareth Jones.

So until 1989 I was known on TV by my nickname, however as I grew older I wanted to leave my youth behind and also point up the fact that I am a Welsh speaking Welshman, and so I reverted to my real name Gareth Jones.

9. Where are the details for that thing that you made on the Big Bang?
Not here I am afraid, you need to go to The Big Bang Web Site

10. Where is Gilbert the Alien now?
He lives in a silver box in Stoke Newington. I still see him from time to time; his nose has finally stopped running. His voice (and personality) Phil Cornwell can be seen on TV regularly on Dead Ringers, I'm Alan Partridge and Stellar Street

11. How did you become a science presenter?

Because I have always been interested in how things work. I had an excellent science teacher at school, and my Dad was very good at electronic and aviation engineering and and he taught me a great deal.

Some Random Information About Myself

Name:
Gareth Jones, sometimes Toppie and occasionally Gaz Top

Occupation:
TV Presenter, Producer, and Director. Presenting TV shows such as "HOW 2" & "The Big Bang" & "Get Fresh" & "Tomorrow's World". Directing GamePad.

Location:
Stoke Newington, London, United Kingdom, although I was born and brought up in Wales.

Birth Place & Date:
St. Asaph, Flintshire, North Wales, 05 July 1961

Marital Status:
Spoken for (by Violet Berlin)

Children:
Two, sons Tycho and Indigo

Hobbies, Interests & Likes:
Luggage, Aviation & Space Science, Automobile Technology, Formula 1, Star Trek, Yoga, Hill Walking, Welsh Language and Culture, Slade, U2, Manic Street Preachers.

Dislikes:
Polyurethane foam sponge & all cheese (except mozzarella and paneer).

Quote:
Just raise your hand and say How!