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Peter Jones (entrepreneur)

Peter Jones CBE
Peter Jones pictured in 2008
Born (1966-03-18) 18 March 1966
Maidenhead, Berkshire, England
Occupation Entrepreneur, businessman, television presenter
Known for Dragons' Den
American Inventor
Net worth Increase £475million (as of 2013)
Height 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m)
Spouse(s) Caroline (separated)
Partner(s) Tara Jones
Children 5
Official Website

Peter Jones, CBE (born 18 March 1966) is a British entrepreneur and businessman with interests in mobile phones, television, media, leisure and property. He is best known as a panellist on the BBC Two television show Dragons' Den and on American television series American Inventor.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[1] A profile in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013 estimated his wealth at £475 million.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Businesses 2.1
    • Television 2.2
      • Dragons' Den 2.2.1
      • American Inventor 2.2.2
      • Tycoon 2.2.3
      • Peter Jones Meets... 2.2.4
      • Other television work 2.2.5
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Peter Jones grew up in Maidenhead and attended Desborough School there and, subsequently, The Windsor Boys' School. In a newspaper health quiz he said that he trained to be a tennis coach in his teens, and still played when he could.[2]



He set up a computer business where he made PCs under his own brand. In his mid twenties, he opened a cocktail bar in Windsor based on the Tom Cruise film Cocktail. However, he lost £200,000 after deciding to sell it. In an interview with The Times, Jones said his computer business failed when he was in his twenties, and he was forced to give up his three-bedroom home in Bray and his cars, and had to move back in with his parents.[3] He then joined Siemens Nixdorf.[4]

After Siemens, he set up his next venture Phones International Group in April 1998.[5] He started by sleeping on the office floor. Revenue grew to £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.

In the summer of 2005, Jones, together with Theo Paphitis, a fellow panellist Dragons' Den, bought gift experience company Red Letter Days from another fellow panellist Rachel Elnaugh, under whose ownership it had collapsed.[6]

Jones founded other businesses between 2004 and 2008, including, an online retailer specialising in the sale of wine and champagne to corporate clients and Celsius, a specialist recruitment business.

In 2009, Jones founded the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA, formerly NEA) to teach entrepreneurial capabilities within the UK. PJEA has several campuses throughout the UK including Amersham, Sheffield, Manchester and Oxford. In November 2013, it was reported that a new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy was to be opened in Leamington through Warwickshire College. Pupils will be taught how to enhance a company or key skills in becoming a successful entrepreneur. The academy will offer the BTEC Level 3 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at both its Leamington and Rugby campuses.[7]

According to his website, some of his investments in businesses that have appeared on Dragons' Den include luxury lifestyle and culture Wonderland Magazine, Square Mile International, which provides data services for marinas and was later sold to BT, contemporary circus company The Generating Company, Concentrate Design, which makes products claimed to help pupils concentrate at school, iTeddy and Reggae Reggae Sauce.[8]

He owns a TV production company called Peter Jones TV, and has several property investments (his nine properties include a Portuguese villa that he bought from DJ Chris Evans[3] and a property in Beverly Hills, California).

Jones sold part of Phones International Group, Wireless Logic, for £38 million in 2011,[9][10][11] retaining the Data Select part.[12][10]

In 2013, Jones became the owner and chief executive of Jessops in the United Kingdom.[13]


Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den, which started in January 2005, has produced twelve series to date; the current series began in July 2014. Jones has had regular conflicts in the Den with fellow Dragon Duncan Bannatyne.[14]

American Inventor

He sold his television show idea called The Inventor to the American Broadcasting Company. "American Inventor", which was co-produced by Fremantle, Simon Cowell and "Peter Jones Television"[8] – aired in March 2006. The first episode of Inventor put ABC ahead of rival networks with a 7.8 average rating and a 13 share[15] and became a number one show in America.[16] Jones was a judge on the show, broadcast in 2007.


After signing a "Golden Handcuffs" deal with ITV to appear as their new "face" of business programming, on 21 September 2006 Jones appeared on GMTV to talk about Dragons' Den and his new ITV show Tycoon, produced by the Peter Jones Television company. The viewing figures were 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, 9 July 2007 as a 30-minute format for the 10 pm slot. Tycoon also inspired Tycoon in Schools, which has now entered its third year of running.[17]

Peter Jones Meets...

In June 2013 a new BBC programme series started wherein Jones meets leading British entrepreneurs and tries to find out what moves them, what their backgrounds are, and what made them to the successful business leaders they have become.

Other television work

In January 2010, Jones appeared alongside his Dragons' Den co-stars Duncan Bannatyne and Deborah Meaden in the fifth episode of the sixth series of Hustle. Jones appeared in ITV2's Celebrity Juice in May 2010, and James Corden's World Cup Live in June. In November 2010, Jones was a guest panellist in BBC Quiz Show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and in The Magicians in January 2011. Jones has twice participated in the "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" segment of Top Gear, once on his own and once with fellow Dragons' Den judge Theo Paphitis.

Jones took over from Gordon Ramsay as the face of BT Business.[18]

Personal life

A car enthusiast, Jones's first car was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. He owns several classic and luxury sports cars.[3]

He is 6 ft 7" tall (2,01 m). He lives in Beaconsfield, South Buckinghamshire with his partner Tara and their three children; Natalia, Isabella and Tallulah. He is separated from his first wife Caroline, with whom he had two children; Annabelle and William.[3][19][20][2]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 7. 31 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b Roz Lewis (2010-12-06). "Peter Jones: How I nearly worked myself to death". London: Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hussain, Ali (29 July 2007). "Tycoon’s costly bid to outdo Tom Cruise". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "How Peter Jones left the Dragon's Den behind to become American TV's newest British Mr Nasty". London: 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Peter Jones - Dragon’s Den Special". Seriously Business. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Dragons breathe life into Red Letter Days". This is Money. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Peter Jones > About". Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  9. ^ Tyler, Richard (15 August 2011). "Peter Jones sells Wireless Logic to create war chest". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ a b "Phones International Group". Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  11. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  12. ^ "Data Select". 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  13. ^ "Jessops brand sold to Dragon's Den's Peter Jones". BBC. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  14. ^ McNeil, Robert (5 January 2005). "Beware the wrath of fire-breathing dragons". Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  15. ^ Colin Mahan (17 March 2006) "ABC is a hit Inventor",
  16. ^ "American Inventor - Ratings for May 11th Improve", InventorSpot, May 2007 archiveurl
  17. ^ "Peter Jones announces Tycoon in Schools 2014 launch". Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  18. ^ Brooks, Nadia a (20 April 2008). "HE terrifies wannabe entrepreneurs on hit TV show Dragon’s Den". The Sun (London). 
  19. ^ Lewis, Roz (6 December 2010). "Peter Jones: How I nearly worked myself to death". Daily Mail (London). 
  20. ^ Alexander, Lucy (1 May 2006). "The face". The Times (London). 

External links

  • Peter Jones – Official Site
  • would like Peter Jones on board – Official SiteDragons' Den Biography
  • Peter Jones Twitter Page
  • The National Enterprise Academy Official Website
  • Peter Jones at the Internet Movie Database
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