Never mind the Sport -Politics is Tony Jones’ secret passion

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On Thursday Nine screens a Hot Seat special to raise funds for the My Room children’s charity.

Appearing are Alicia Loxley and Tony Jones from Nine News, Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann plus ex-AFL player Nathan Brown, plus Lucy McEvoy frm Carlton and Andrew McGrath from Essendon.

Jones is hoping to improve on his performance in a previous special when he bombed out early.

“I placed one question with Alicia Loxley before me, she passed and to this day, I still don’t know what the answer was to the question. Something about a search engine or something? It wasn’t great because Nathan Brown had done very well in the Fast Money and the game itself, so he’s had bragging rights for some time.”

But it can be a lot harder in studio than watching on the couch, even for a seasoned TV performer.

“You watch the show and you think you’d do ok. But then when you come here, you think jeez, I hope I get some questions I know,” he continued.

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“You can’t sit down and sort through encyclopedias, so you’ve got to have a calculated crack, and just basically have a bit of fun. But I find that if you can take the mickey out of yourself, and get a laugh, then why not?

“Funnily enough, the one thing you don’t want is a sports question.

“Last year, Rebecca Madden got a tennis question and she bombed out on that. She was one of the hosts of the Australian Open -so she was filthy here.”

But Jones also reveals a surprising interest in another side of news.

“I’m just hoping I get some political questions. Since I was a little kid, I was right into politics and everything. I wanted to be a political reporter but it didn’t quite work out. I wanted to be the next Laurie Oakes. Sport was the job that came up so I took sport. Even now I just devour political biographies and all that sort of stuff.”

In recent years he has been able to expand his interest on radio, filling in for 3AW’s Neil Mitchell. Is he hoping to succeed the long reigning talk host?

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“I’ve learned not to take anything for granted. I think Neil’s going to be there for a long, long time. If and even when he does go, then yeah, why not? But that decision is out of my hands.”

Hot Seat: My Room special airs 5pm Thursday, September 22 on Nine.

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