Tony Jones has stormed off a live TV set in anger after embarrassing footage of him trying to kiss Bec Judd was aired – despite his repeated requests for the clip to never again see the light of day.
The Sunday Footy Show host was furious when he rushed off camera during a live interview with rugby league legend Billy Slater on Sunday.
The 58-year-old had threatened to walk off the job if the awkward clip was played during a radio interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in May – and followed through with his warning on Sunday’s program.
‘What did I say? Jones said. ‘I’ll show you how much of a joke this is. I told you. You can’t help yourself.’
Journalist Tony Jones tried to kiss Bec Judd (pictured with husband Chris) on a Nine News Melbourne broadcast in 2016
Jones was seen on the phone back stage before leaving the set, while Billy Brownless, Nathan Brown and Mathew Lloyd finished Slater’s interview.
‘We thought he was joking but he’s not coming back,’ Brownless said.
Jones eventually returned to the program and was clearly unimpressed that the clip was aired.
‘I’m only back because management said I have to come back,’ Jones said.
The incident with Judd happened on Nine News Melbourne in August 2016, as Jones attempted to give her a peck on the cheek before she went on maternity leave.
‘Good luck, Bec!’ he said, before leaning in. At that moment, the wife of AFL champion Chris Judd instinctively pulled away and yelped, before bursting into fits of giggles.
Realising he had just been rejected on camera, Jones crossed his arms and grumbled, ‘OK, good, this is going well,’ as his face turned red.
The 58-year-old (pictured) had threatened to walk off the job if the footage was aired again
In March, Jones revealed the truth behind the toe-curling moment, saying he was supposed to present Judd with flowers, but somebody had forgotten to buy them.
In a moment of panic, he decided to just kiss her on the cheek instead, but the gesture didn’t go down well.
‘I’ve put up with that c**p for years, and it’s not my fault!’ Jones said.
‘Our news director, Hugh Nailon, here at Channel 9 at Melbourne. He didn’t organise the flowers. I was supposed to present Bec flowers.’
Judd, 37, took the faux pas in good humour and later agreed to give Jones a friendly kiss at the 2018 Brownlow Medal count.
Jones revealed he was meant to give Judd (pictured at the NGV Gala in Melbourne in 2019) flowers before going on maternity leave but they weren’t organised, leading to the awkward moment on air