They share their lives online for their millions of followers, but the Saccone Jolys have never allowed a documentary crew inside their home. Until now.
Husband and wife team Jonathan and Anna Saccone Joly, along with their four children - Emilia, Eduardo, Alessia and Andrea - and six dogs, invited presenter Stacey Dooley into the family’s Surrey home, for her new TV show, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over.
The Saccone Jolys are the UK’s most popular YouTube family, with 1.9million subscribers on their channel, and a combined online audience of over 4 million followers.
For 72 hours, Dooley will get up close and personal with the Saccone Jolys - who have an estimated net worth of over £1million from their YouTube channel alone, and whose four children have all been featured in their online videos since they were born.
Ahead of the couple's appearance on the show, and just like Dooley does in the documentary series, we asked the Saccone Jolys a series of deep and meaningful questions to try and get to know them a little bit better.
From their perfect Sunday and their motivation to get out of bed in the morning, to their biggest flaws and their proudest career moments, Jonathan and Anna Saccone Joly open up exclusively to BT TV in their own words.
W is one of the extra entertainment channels available for BT TV customers. You can watch TLC on BT channel number 323/377 HD.
The Saccone Jolys: In Their Own Words
The best piece of advice I've ever been given is…
Anna: When I had [my daughter] Emilia, my doctor, who’s a proper old school practitioner, told me to always trust my instincts and that you don’t have to listen to every piece of advice you’re given. Mums generally have great natural intuition when it comes to what’s right for their baby, and with so much conflicting information out there these days (particularly online) it can get really overwhelming. I think this is such an important piece of advice for new mums and it definitely helped me get through the early years and beyond.
If I were to quit my job today, the thing I’d miss the most is…
Jonathan: Talking! I’m basically talking to myself a lot when I make the videos, but I like the idea that 24 hours later someone will see it and be entertained!
Anna: I would definitely miss the interaction with other people. I love seeing people’s reactions to things that we’ve shared and hearing them share their own experiences too. It’s so interesting and genuinely the reason we started doing this in the first place.
My motivation for getting up and out of bed each morning is…
Jonathan: Well we have four children, so that’s a pretty big motivator! I typically do my editing in the morning and then we both work and hang out with the kids together for the rest of the day, which works out really nicely.
Anna: I’m a real morning person so I don’t have much trouble getting out of bed. I like to get up super early, work out and get ready for the day, whereas Jonathan works better in the evenings. We sort of tag-team which is perfect.
The person who inspires me most in my life is…
Jonathan: I think we are living in the age of the influencer, and I definitely find a lot of them inspiring. Sometimes things we’ve heard take hold, sometimes they don’t, but we’re definitely influenced by little things all the time.
Anna: My dad. I was his first daughter and we had a strong bond even when I was really little. I always looked up to him and tried to impress him. He worked his way up from nothing and his dedication truly inspired me - I really hope I got some of his ‘get up and go’ attitude!
When I was growing up, I wanted to be…
Jonathan: A commis-chef [a basic chef in a professional kitchen who works under a chef de partie]. I did college courses and everything, but I ultimately realised it wasn’t right for me. When I was 25, I started my life again and did a degree in interactive media, which gave me the foundations for what I’m still doing today.
Anna: I really wanted to be a ballerina, but I never took dance classes so that made it difficult! Emilia does it now and really loves it, so maybe I can live vicariously through her.
My first-born 💖 My gorgeous Emilia...the one who made me a mummy 💕 Even though you’re almost 7 you’ll always be my baby 💞 I’ll never forget the first night I spent with her in the hospital...when @jonathanjoly left us I was TERRIFIED 😱 But whenever I looked at her, this tiny beautiful brown eyed, brown haired little pink bundle of cuteness & I realised she was mine, that I had made her and that our bond was literally unbreakable I wasn’t scared anymore 💘 She gave me so much purpose & transformed me in so many ways I didn’t know were possible 💓 P.S. Which is your favourite picture? Mine is #2 🥰 #emiliatommasina #myfirstborn #motherdaughter
If money was no object, I’d want to spend my life…
Jonathan: Still doing this. I hate regrets, and I’m really happy with how our life has turned out!
Anna: I agree with Jonathan. Our job allows us to spend every day with our kids, and not a lot of other jobs allow you to do that, so we’re really grateful and happy. It’s pretty cool!
If I were Prime Minister, the law I would change or make is…
Jonathan: That dogs are allowed in all restaurants!
If I could fly anywhere now, I’d fly to…
Jonathan: Cozumel in Mexico. We went there a while ago and it was honestly so great. The people, the service, the food. I lost my GoPro in the ocean and everyone around me was trying to help find it! I would go back in a heartbeat.
Anna: Probably Dubai. We’re going there in a few weeks so it’s on my mind and I really can’t wait to get there and explore.
My proudest career moment to date is…
Jonathan: Being made Celebrity Dad of the Year was a huge honour that I definitely wasn’t expecting. But a huge highlight for me was when we received the YouTube Gold Play Button for the Saccone Joly’s surpassing 1 million subscribers. When we started our YouTube channel, I still had a full time job and we had hardly any money, but we worked really hard and built up the channel from nothing. I never imagined it would get to where it did, so that to me is worth so much.
Anna: Since our careers are related so much to our family’s achievements, I think this one is valid. I was so nervous (as every parent is) for Emilia’s first parent’s evening at school, especially given the fact that so much of our lives are played out online. But her teacher said that she was an amazing, hard-working and lovely student and that you would never ever know what we did for a living. That was so amazing and heart-warming to hear because we’ve never wanted our careers to affect our children – I was so proud of her!
If I could go back to school or college now, I would like to study…
Jonathan: I went back to school to study what I really wanted to do, and my degree in interactive media led me on to what I’m doing now, so I think I’m living proof that you can go back and make it work for you!
Anna: I did quite well at school, but I do wish I’d done more sciences. I studied fashion at uni, but unfortunately my dad passed away early on in the course and so I was back and forth from Ireland a lot and didn’t end up finishing it. But I believe everything happens for a reason - if I had gone to university and pursued a career in fashion, I might not have had our wonderful kids and this career which I love.
The celebrity I’d love to have met is…
Jonathan: Ragnar Lodbrok, the 15th century Viking. There’s so much myth and legend surrounding him I’d love to find out what’s really true and what’s not. Any of your readers who watch Vikings will be with me on this one!
Anna: When I was growing up I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. But you know they say never meet your heroes – what if I met her and didn’t like her?! I’m pretty confident that wouldn’t be the case though, it would be so fascinating.
My biggest flaw is…
Jonathan: I think I’ve managed to make the things that aren’t perfect about me, work for me. My brain never stops and that can be a lot to handle sometimes, but I’ve learned to channel the energy I have into things that are productive and creative.
Anna: I like to call myself a recovering perfectionist! When you have kids, you learn that you have to let the little things go and accept that nothing is perfect. You should embrace your flaws and own them - I’m a much happier person since realising that!
The meaning of happiness is...
Jonathan: I think this is so relative to the person you ask because my version of happiness will be completely different to someone else. The moments where all of us are together as a family just chilling out, I think to myself - ‘this is so limited’, and we are so lucky to have this time.
Anna: There was a moment like the other morning where all four kids came and got into bed with us and I thought to myself, ‘wow this is so special’. Before we know it, they’ll all be grown up and moved out! But I felt so content and complete looking at them altogether - that’s true happiness to me.
My perfect Sunday is…
Jonathan: We don’t tend to create content at the weekends anymore either, so it’s nice to spend Sundays really relaxing as a family.
Anna: We try to make pancakes together every Sunday for breakfast which I love. Maybe in the future, all going for a pub lunch in our local village. It’s a little bit stressful to do that at the moment with all of them (!) but we’ll definitely do it more when the little ones are slightly older and it’s a bit more manageable.
Watch the trailer for the Saccone Jolys on Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over
Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over continues Wednesdays at 10pm on W (BT channel number 311 / 383 HD).
W is one of the extra entertainment channels available for BT TV customers.
Images: Dan Kennedy / UKTV