A war of words broke out on the nation’s TV screens last night when, in an astonishing outburst, the One Show's Matt Baker was heard to say 'Good Evening' to fellow presenter Alex Jones. Hardly able to contain herself, the Welsh beauty struck back with a venomous riposte of 'Hi Matt, lovely to be with you', obviously dripping with ironic scorn.
‘This spat is another blow to the producers of the BBC flagship show,’ said TV critic Boyd Hilton. ‘This has been brewing ever since Baker arrived on the sofa. We know something was up the moment he started being pleasant to everyone. It’s quite blatant that he loathes them all.’
Last night’s argument was not the first time that the two presenters have clashed on air. During his first week on the show, Baker was seen to smile cheerily to the camera at the end of a show and, in a reckless departure from the carefully choreographed script, raised his hand in an apparent wave. This was a breach of protocol as it was Jones’s role, as senior presenter, to wave to the departing audience. She immediately showed her disapproval by raising her hand higher than Baker’s and then waving it slightly from side to side, while adding two teeth to the width of her smile.
News of such a public outbreak of competitive niceness has subdued tabloid rumours of a romance between the early evening couple. Although the two colleagues were seen to having a coffee together after last night’s show, observers are pretty sure that this was a public show of unity at the behest of BBC controllers, anxious to avoid having Chris Evans on the show every night.
‘The fact that these two bitter rivals were laughing and joking over their lattes just goes to prove how wide the schism between must be,’ said Boyd Hilton, adding, ‘it’s Jason Manford all over again. Except for the suggestive twittering, of course. So far as we know.’