How do you Value your Time? An interview with ITV2 presenter Jonny Nelson and Burlingham Watches.

by Burlingham London August 08, 2017

Today we are joined by Jonny Nelson, who can be found scripting and voicing Channel 5’s showbiz round-up show Access, as well as presenting on ITV2’s entertainment news round-up show FYI.
Hi Jonny, great to speak with you, thank you for your time today. Being a watch brand, Burlingham Watches are very interested to hear how people value their time and understand more about people’s life balance - we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.  

You must have a very busy life, how do you prioritise your time day to day?  

‘I suppose the weird thing about this kind of job or this kind of life is that every day can be completely different, you can be filming in a different place with different people for a different number of hours, and so structure and regularity can go out of the window at times.

I don’t plan much, I just crack on with each day and hope I can get everything done, without letting anyone down, hacking anyone off or proving to be an irreparable hazard to myself. 

It suits me though, I've never been much of a planner, I had to plan my mate's stag do once and I nearly died from the anxiety, not to mention then the subsequent stag do (3 days with 18 blokes was ambitious). 

Thankfully a lot of the job is reacting to situations and direction from others, it can be pretty instantaneous and before you know it, you're done. Time management becomes more of an issue when I'm not working, and trying to avoid sitting in my pants eating Cheerios all day.

At those times I just try to remind myself to go outside, see friends, catch a movie. I've just signed up to one of those sites where you borrow other people's dogs. It's the most excited I have been about anything ever.' 


Other than TV presenting, what do you enjoy doing with your time the most?   

‘Struggling to think of anything now. It's like when someone asks what your hobbies are and you immediately go from thinking you're this well rounded, fun-time guy to being faced with the reality you're doing nothing with your life. I think it's moments like this when people take up pottery, sign up for yoga, or join a commune.

Ticking all the painfully obvious boxes here - spending time with mates is important, especially when they're smarter, funnier and more interesting than me. I think that's good advice for friendship in general, find people who make you feel a touch insecure, it's healthy. It certainly keeps a lid on me. 

Most of my mates don't work in TV, so it allows you to reconnect with the world, the actual world where actual things happen, no one cares about Love Island and no one's instagramming during the conversation, it's bliss.

I should probably say something more interesting than friends. So let's throw in the pub, cinema, the theatre, the odd gig, the odd bit of travelling and soon to be walking other people's dogs... Grand.'


If you could construct your perfect day, how would it look?  

'A perfect day would have to follow a lazy one, like the morning after a duvet day when you've got so much energy you're literally climbing up the walls.

Right now it would be waking up in a chalet by a beach, having a massage and a beer. Followed by a day at a water-park, some crazy golf and maybe a quick visit to a museum. Maybe a BBQ with friends, chased up with beer pong and karaoke. Basically I could use a holiday.

A more realistic ideal would be watching Preston North End win a football match, hitting up a pub quiz or some stand up and going for a dance. I'm shockingly basic.'

Jonny Nelson ITV2 Burlingham London Watches

What has been your best ‘stand out’ time at work?   

‘I've been very very lucky when it comes to these, it's actually pretty difficult to choose a stand out.

Work has allowed me to meet a lot of my heroes in film, such as Robert DeNiro, Ricky Gervais and Samuel L Jackson, but Bill Nighy was a stand out. I've always admired him as an actor and thankfully we hit it off right away, which doesn't always happen. We chatted about football and he was just the most brilliant, funny bloke.  

Another surreal moment was flying out to New York to interview John Goodman. The Big Lebowski's one of my favourite films and one day I found myself flying first class to go chat to big John about Cloverfield. I was clearly the youngest, poorest bloke in the lounge and I absolute rinsed the complimentaries. I had a grin on my face the entire time I was there, and chatting to Goodman was one of the most surreal moments of my life.

Outside of movies, I report on a football show for the Premier League, and competing in a fantasy football league with the likes of Ian Wright and Alan Shearer can be pretty surreal.' 


What and when is your most precious memory?  

‘One (memory) that stands out the most is when I was a very small kid, hanging out at my grandparents house with my entire family - great aunties, uncles, etc etc after watching the football. My grandma would make either sweet and sour chicken or Lancashire hotpot, it was a bit of a tradition. 

It was in that sweet-spot as a kid where there's still someone of every generation at each family gathering, like a whole world of history in just one room, and as a toddler that's your entire universe. 

It's obviously a happy memory, but you understand how significant it all was as you get older.

A less existential memory would be my 6th form leavers do. I don't remember much about the do, which is probably for the best - but I remember my friends and me building a full size (ish) Hummer out of cardboard and wood. 

Come the leavers do, we climbed inside our painted monstrosity and carried it up to the hotel besides all the shining limos and fancy cars people had hired.

We got in the local paper. I don't think I've surpassed that moment personally or professionally.'


If you could go back in time, is there anything in your life you would change?   

‘I think a lot of people look back and think they could've done something or everything better, and I'm no different. 

That said, I don't think there are many big moments I'd change, because if I did I would be essentially changing who I am today, like going back in time to kill my future self. The Butterfly effect and all that... I've thought about this too much.

One thing might be not to have been a football fan, more specifically a Preston fan. To love a lower league club is a painful experience, far more so than your United, Chelsea, even Arsenal fans (sorry boys, you've obviously been through a lot). As a Preston fan I had some of my happiest ever moments, but I've also seen local rivals Blackburn win the Premier League, the likes of Burnley, Bolton, Wigan, even Blackpool reach the promised land, and Preston fail time and time and time again. I'd like to have avoided that.

However, at the same, if we ever do manage it, my heart will likely give out and the wait might have seemed worth it.

On a side note, I'd also possibly go back to when was 17 and stop myself dying my hair blonde, I had a stripe in it, that was not a good look for me.'  

Jonny Nelson ITV Jonny Nelson

Looking forward in time, where would you like to see yourself both professionally and personally?  

‘Professionally, I guess I'd just like to keep developing some of the types of content that I currently work on now, but with more control, on a bigger scale. A chance to keep being creative and taking things to bigger audiences is what most presenting types aspire to I think.

Right now I'd be happy if I'm still having a laugh and I've still got all my teeth and hair in five years time.

Perhaps working abroad would be fun, again with said teeth and hair. I'd love to spend a few years in New York.

Personally, I try not to concentrate on specific goals, like many people do nearing 30. 

I'm enjoying life and I've no current plans to drastically change direction in any way, or hear the pitter patter of tiny feet any time soon (again, unless it's a dog). 

I should probably think about getting a tan though, I had a gander at an edit this morning and I looked like a ghost. If anyone can recommend how I can do that without looking like a member of TOWIE, I'd appreciate the advice’ 


Time ticks by, what are the top three things on your bucket list?   

‘Find a haircut that suits me. I am 28 and have never had a cut that suits me. I blame my mother for giving me a wiry nest and a massive forehead. I'm eternally grateful for the cultural resurgence of the indie mop, as it usually looks like a wig, or Lego.

I want to make a film, it's a completely different kettle of fish to what I do now, but it's up there. If I wasn't doing what I do now, I would have wanted to be an actor or director, or both. I still kind of want to do that, but all in good time. 

Lastly, I would like to see Preston North end promoted to Premier League. I had a season ticket for 22 years, I've waited long enough. Seriously, just once. For my dad more than anything, he has high blood pressure.’ 


Lastly, what advice would you give someone on how to spend their time to succeed as themselves in a career on television?   

‘Give it time. Give all your time, give everything. We live in a generation that expects everything immediately and people feel like they deserve everything instantly, as long they're capable and they work for it. 

We're bred to think that hard work always equates to success, because the western world's still getting over the hangover of the 90s when we were all taught we were special and we should chase our dreams.

We're not, the world is in a rough patch right now and the reality is that if we want something to work out, we have to work twice as hard these days, for twice as long. There's less money and more competition than there has ever been and there's as much nepotism about as ever. But to be fair, there are more opportunities out there as well.

I spent years getting experience in the world of TV - naff jobs, terrible pay, sacrificing holidays, relationships, personal dignity and much more (in fairness I had a laugh as well). 

Be prepared to give a decade of your life and still feel like you're starting out. Be realistic, be happy and don't take things to heart. If you're good and you want it, interesting things come to those who wait, and interesting's as good as good...right?

Oh and buy a watch. They stop you looking at your phone all the time.... PlugPlugPlug'

Jonny, thank you for your time today, it has been a great insight into how you spend and value your time. You can follow Jonny on twitter @fulljonnynelson and on instagram @jonnynelsongram
Burlingham London Watches are an independent British watch brand with a mission to celebrate the joining between personal success and helping others. It is for this reason that we work with Cool Earth – an inspiring charity that works alongside indigenous villages to keep rainforests intact. Every watch we sell helps to save at least 200 metres of rainforest. To find out more about us and see our watches please visit our website here.  

Burlingham London
Burlingham London


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