Peter Jones

Peter Jones (born 18 March 1966) is a British businessman with interests in mobile telecommunications, television, media, leisure and property.




Peter Jones attended the Windsor Boys' School where he studied A-Levels in Economics, Biology and Geography.

Jones' business career began at the age of 17; a gifted junior county tennis player, after completing the Lawn Tennis Association’s coaching examinations, he set up his first company, a successful tennis academy at a local club. His second venture was a computer business where he manufactured PCs under his own brand and in his mid twenties opened a cocktail bar based on the Tom Cruise film Cocktail on which he lost £200,000 after deciding to sell it. In his late twenties he lost his computer business due to customers failing to pay him. He was forced to give up his four-bedroom home in Bray, his BMW and Porsche cars and move back in with his parents after living in an office for six months. [1] He then joined Siemens Nixdorf, and became head of the PC Business in the UK the same year at only 28, the youngest ever head of a business unit.

After working for Siemens Nixdorf he worked in the telecoms market for 12 months and made enough money to set-up his next venture Phones International Group in April 1998. The firm experienced explosive growth with revenue totalling £14 million by the end of the first year and £44 million by the end of the second. The company was one of the fastest growing businesses in Europe. Group turnover for 2005/2006 was in excess of £150 million. The group counts every leading brand in the wireless communications industry among its business partners, whether as a supplier, customer or collaborator. Jones is worth an estimated 300 million pounds, therefore is one of the most wealthy Dragons.

[edit] Television career

Jones came to public prominence in the UK for his appearance on BBC Two's Dragons' Den.

After coming up with a TV show idea called The Inventor, which he took to Simon Cowell to see whether he would be interested in partnering with him, he managed to sell the idea to the ABC Network in America. When it aired in March 2006, it became a No. 1 show for ABC in America - the network's biggest success for a Thursday primetime slot in years. Jones also featured as a judge in his own creation on ABC's "American Inventor" - co-produced by Fremantle North America, Cowell's SyCo and Jones's "Peter Jones Television" company.

After signing a "Golden Handcuffs" deal with ITV to appear as their new "face" of business programming, on September 21, 2006 Jones appeared on GMTV to talk about "Dragons' Den." and his new ITV1 show Tycoon - solely produced by the "Peter Jones Television." company[2] On June 27, 2007, after just 2 episodes of Tycoon had been broadcast, ITV announced that it would be moved from the prime time slot of 9-10pm on Tuesdays due to bad ratings, even though it got 2.1 million viewers which was more than the uK premiere of The Apprentice and Dragons Den when they both aired in 2005. The series returned on Monday, July 9, 2007 as a 30-minute format for the 10pm slot.[3]

Jones returned to Dragons Den for the sixth UK series, starting July 2008. He is known for his regular conflicts in the den with fellow dragon, Duncan Bannatyne. On one occasion, he was so disgusted with Duncan for unprofessionally undercutting his bid he responded with "You've just put a guy on the bloody edge here and you've just completely been a sly little shit"

When appearing on the Dragons Den, Jones likes to wear extravagant socks with his elegant suit, that was designed by him, as he is a great believer in dressing well.

Peter Jones took over from Gordon Ramsey as the face of BT Business. The campaign features in a TV advertisement [4] alongside the Gremlins, who attack the whole office leading to an IT meltdown. The campaign announced the fact that BT Business offers 24-hour IT and Communications support for all business customers.

[edit] Other businesses

In the summer of 2005, Jones teamed up with another Dragons' Den star, Theo Paphitis, to buy the gift experience company Red Letter Days from fellow panellist Rachel Elnaugh, under whose ownership it had collapsed.

Peter also invested in many small businesses between 2004/8, including firms like (Website), an online retailer specialising in the sale of wine and champagne to corporate clients, as well as Celcius (Website), a specialist recruitment business. He has many investments from the BBC show Dragon's Den including Wonderland (Website), a new luxury lifestyle magazine, Square Mile International, providing data services for marinas (which he sold to BT), The Generating Company (Website), a contemporary circus company, i-Teddy and Reggae Reggae Sauce among others.[citation needed]

He owns a TV production company called Peter Jones TV, and his business portfolio also includes a range of property investments (his nine properties include a Portuguese villa that he bought from DJ Chris Evans [1] and a mansion in Beverly Hills, California).

[edit] Personal life

Divorced, he lives with his girlfriend Tara Capp and their three children Natalia, Isabella, and Tallulah, in a home in Buckinghamshire. He also has two children with his ex-wife – Annabelle and William – who live with their mother in Salisbury.

An admitted car freak, his first car was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud, while his business car is presently a Maybach 57.[1]

He is known for his height and came 4th in the "star in a reasonably priced car" on the motoring programme, Top Gear and was told on air by Jeremy Clarkson that if he lost a bit of weight (he is 17 stone and 6 foot, 7inch) he would be the fastest celebrity ever to have appeared on the show.

On the 12th August 2008 he was challenged by The Sun Newspaper to do an A-Level in Business Studies in 90mins [5]. With nothing to lose and nothing to gain he accepted the challenge and got a straight 'A' without having any background on the two year course.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

News about Peter Jones 18th May 09 from the Times Online

 Budding entrepreneurs in Whitehall who come up with original plans to reform public services will have to pitch their ideas before a Dragons’ Den-style panel of civil servants next month.

As Gordon Brown looks with increasing desperation for inexpensive proposals, Whitehall’s most imaginative thinkers are being told to step up.

Peter Jones, a dragon from the BBC Two show, will join the panel of five who will grill public servants about their ideas, the costs, and whether they will work.

Mandarins who fail to do their homework and have not crafted budgets to the last decimal point will be given short shrift and thrown out. The winners will not get financial rewards but will see their ideas implemented.

Jones will be joined by Helen Ghosh, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dame Gill Morgan, Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Assembly Government and Lin Homer, chief executive of the UK Border Agency. Robin Tye, head of government services at Ernst & Young, will be the other external member.

A dozen aspiring innovators have been picked from about 400 officials who put forward their ideas over the past three months. The proposals range from efficiency saving devices to plans to improve hospital and benefit services.

The 12, from across the range of government departments, will get only ten to 15 minutes to pitch ideas in Whitehall’s warehouse, which has been dubbed the “Lions’ Lair”.

A prototype last year produced a number of money-saving initiatives. Schemes now being tested include using text messaging to contact job centre clients, placing water-saving devices in cisterns across Whitehall and a new device to calculate benefit arrears more effectively.

The Lions’ Lair event, which will also be filmed and screened to a wider audience in July, is one of the ideas from the Cabinet Office to boost new thinking in Whitehall and to defy claims that the Government is running out of steam.

Permanent Secretaries, who can receive salaries of up to £240,000, will also be held to account over innovation. For the first time their performance-related pay and bonuses will reflect their record on efficiency, innovation and delivery. Heads of department will be given score cards marked out of ten on their performance.

In addition, Liam Byrne, the Cabinet Office Minister, is setting up a separate panel of businessmen, public servants and those from charitable organisations to fast-track ambitious reforms before the autumn. Promising ideas will be assessed by the Innovations Council.

After regular brainstorming sessions the council, which can also put forward its own proposals, will develop the best ideas and test them out in small pilot areas. Mr Byrne will focus intially on reducing waste, improving services that cut across several departments, and reducing red tape.

He told The Times that frontline staff often had the clearest idea about what needed to change. “I want those ideas put to the top tables in Whitehall without delay,” he said.

“If we want Whitehall to focus on innovation, we have to change the signals we give at the top — and the support we give at the bottom.”

Members of the public can submit their ideas by e-mail, post or online at, where they will be able to comment on other proposals.