GMB’s Richard Arnold ‘gobsmacked’ by Emilia Jones’ transformation ahead of CODA Oscar win

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Richard Arnold, who attended the BAFTAs earlier this month, shared his thoughts on Emilia Jones after she performed at the ceremony, where she was waiting to see if she would win the Best Actress award for her film CODA. Speaking from the Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest, Richard revealed that he had known Emilia since she was “just a nipper” thanks to his friendship with her dad Aled Jones. 

Richard, 52, admitted that he was “gobsmacked” to see Emilia’s incredible transformation into a star in an exclusive interview with

The Entertainment Editor for Good Morning Britain reflected on the young actress’ rise to fame and praised her stunning performance of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, which she also sings in the now Oscar-winning film CODA.

Emilia, 20, was also nominated for a Best Actress BAFTA for portraying 17-year-old Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family.

Reflecting on her rise to fame, Richard admitted that her confident performance left him “slack-jawed”. 

Remembering that night at the BAFTAs, he said: “I was lucky enough to catch up with Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Emilia Jones, of course!”

“Aled Jones’ daughter, who I hadn’t seen for years since she was knee-high. 

“Aled and Lorraine and I worked together on Daybreak before Good Morning Britain started, so I knew Amelia when she was a nipper. 

“And now of course she’s this fabulous actress soaring to giddy heights.”

When asked about how it was to see Emilia, who he had known as a little girl, take to the stage in the Royal Albert Hall, Richard admitted he was “gobsmacked”. 

He said: “It’s just extraordinary. Is it just me or is the talent getting younger and younger… Or am I just getting older and older? 

“I mean, it’s lovely to celebrate, you know, people like Emilia especially because people these days… I don’t know.

“I never would have had the confidence back then. Of course, but then I don’t have the pipes on me that she does – or the acting ability!”

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He continued: “It’s wonderful to see people like her float to the top and starting out in the industry.

“I’m always slack-jawed when I see the confidence that these youngsters have when they step out on the boards, feel the heat of the lights and then they belt out these tunes or whatever talent they have. 

“It always leaves me gobsmacked because I can’t imagine ever having that sort of confidence at that age. 

“It’s a different generation I think. I don’t know. Or it could be the fact that I’ve been dining out on a modicum of talent for far too long,” Richard quipped. 

Emilia is the daughter of Welsh singer and presenter Aled Jones, whom Richard used to work with. 

Her film CODA made Oscar history on Sunday, when supporting actor Troy Kotsur became the first male deaf performer to win an acting award.

The Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest, the world’s longest-running home and interiors exhibition, was on at Olympia London until Sunday 27th March 2022. 

For more information and tickets, please visit 

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