The One Show: Alex cries as guest is surprised by peers
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Alex Jones was joined by special guest Paul O’Grady as the BBC show thanked a volunteer worker for all her hard work helping children. On what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday, The One Show shared a segment about The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and the dog-lover who helps out.
Presenter Alex schemed to get Mary Dowding from Barnet into the BBC studio so the show, her family and friends could thank her for all her hard work.
“Mary helps the young people to plan for The Duke of Edinburgh awards, including the orienteering expeditions,” Alex added during the introduction package of Mary’s work.
Alex continued by saying: “Outside of the voluntary work, Mary has one big passion in life, dogs.
“Mary will soon be retiring and moving to Wales.”
“We do think that Mary deserves something a bit special, we know that she loves dogs so who could help us out with a surprise?” Alex joked with co-presenter Ronan Keating.
Alex came up with a plan to bring Mary to the BBC house where The One Show is filmed.
“I’ve put a call in to someone else who is mad about dogs,” she added.
Alex then had a video chat with Paul O’Grady where she explained why Mary had been nominated and that she loved rescuing dogs from Battersea.
As a fellow dog lover, this piqued Paul’s interest as his ITV documentary Paul O’Grady’s: For the Love of Dogs covered daily life at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
“So the plan is, I’ve invited her to do a radio interview. We’re calling it – ready for this – PoochCast! I want you to pop in,” Alex told Paul.
An unsuspecting Mary entered the studio for the interview and didn’t even flinch when Alex told her that she’s decided to do it live.
“She’s got no reason to suspect that this isn’t a real interview,” Alex remarked.
Alex then introduced a caller to the podcast, Stan from Canning Town, who was actually Paul.
Mary quickly realised the voice on the other line was actually Paul’s, noting: “That’s not Stan!”
Paul then revealed himself and he thanked Mary for everything she has done to help young students.
Soon after, Alex revealed the radio set-up was all part of an elaborate prank and she along with family and friends wanted to thank Mary for all her hard work.
The video messages from those close to Mary played on-screen, prompting Mary to cry.
Alex said: “We had so many write in who wanted to thank you because you’ve done, you know, 27 years of helping youngsters to get their Duke of Edinburgh.”
As an emotional video rolled with a bunch of Mary’s friends and former students explaining why they had nominated her and thanked her for her help, Mary and Alex couldn’t help but cry.
After the video ended, Alex had tears streaming down and desperately tried to wipe her eyes.
Alex then joked: “Oh my gosh, I’m crying more than you are, that’s embarrassing.”
“She helps young people live the best life they can,” a friend of Mary’s said.
Throughout the rest of the segment, Alex and Mary continued crying at the lovely and emotional response from her students and the studio.
The One Show airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC One.
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