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Gadget Show's Jason: 'We play hide and seek with a robot'

Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury tells Keeley Bolger about his home-tech faves

As host of Channel 5's The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury doesn't disappoint. An unwavering technology enthusiast, he can't wait to spill the beans on the latest series, which sees him and his co-hosts Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams, Jon Bentley and Ortis Deley putting new gadgets through their paces.

After the trial and error of recent series, including The Gadget Show: World Tour, which saw Bradbury and former presenter Pollyanna Woodward on a globetrotting mission to discover new tech, this series is defiantly returning to the "old format".

That is, the four hosts are largely staying in the studio, where they promise "more shenanigans" and more of their gadget challenges, one of which will see Bradbury and Williams battling it out to create the "ultimate selfie", using new gizmos.

"It would be ridiculous to be a technology show that didn't take risks, or attempt to innovate," says the presenter, who started his career as a stand-up comedian, working in a double act with David Walliams.

"We're at the centre of the biggest business sector of them all, with start-ups left, right and centre and, actually, we need to innovate, and that's what we've always done.

"We've always been brave about it, but we haven't always got it right, so what's nice about this series is that it allows us to go back to form a little bit."

And that "form" means testing out the newest pieces of kit on the block. But what are Bradbury's current favourite gadgets?

 

MIRROR, MIRROR

Bradbury, who penned a trilogy of books for young children called Dot Robot, maintains a high-tech home in London, where he lives with his partner and three young children. "I've got a fantastic 7ft mirror in my bedroom," explains the 45-year-old. "It looks like a normal mirror, but it's made by Designer Mirror TV. You press a button, and it's a TV and the news pops up!"

 

GAME ON

A video game enthusiast, Bradbury and his children often don Oculus Rift headsets while playing Minecraft, to take their gaming experience to a whole new level.

So is he actually a dad that knows more about video games than his kids do? Doesn't sound like it.

"They still end up knowing more, because they are actually digital natives," he admits. "Whereas I lived at a time in our history where there were no computers, in terms of consumer tech.

"They don't have the same reverence for technology that I have. They don't care. Technology is just a window for what they do."

 

ROBOTS ROCK

As well as helping with his day-to-day life, Bradbury has found nifty ways of using gadgets to interact with his children when he's away from home.

"When we were filming The Gadget Show, I used a telepresence robot, which is a Segway with an iPad for a face," he explains. "I contact it via my laptop and drive it around the house. I have actually played hide and seek with the kids when I'm away, staying in a hotel.

"I'm 20 miles away, but I'm playing with them. They go off and run and hide and I drive the robot through the house to find them."

 

TOP GEAR

Fitness fan Bradbury took part in a charity triathlon with his brothers last year, and found himself relying on his trusty devices for some help with training.

"My bike is hooked up to a three-screen simulator in the garage," he says.

"It means I can simulate bike routes on the triathlons I'm doing and when I get up to the hill, the bike reacts to the incline on the screen so it can make it harder."

He also has an underwater jet system in his swimming pool, which means he can ride the waves. "I've got a surfboard, and you can surf on it in the back garden and swim against the jet."

 

NEW DRIVE

Although Bradbury kicks himself for not splashing out on a piece of Banksy artwork, just before the unknown graffiti artist became popular, he did have a bigger, more burning regret that he's since rectified.

"If you'd asked me six months ago, I would have said I wanted a time machine so I could go back and buy a DeLorean, the car from the Back To The Future films," says the host, of the sports car known for its futuristic appearance.

"But since then, I've corrected my mistake and bought one," he adds, grinning.

The Gadget Show, Channel 5, Monday, 7pm

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