James Max (born 1970) is a journalist and radio presenter specialising in current affairs and business issues. He presents the weekday Early Breakfast Show from 3 - 6am on BBC London 94.9 . Prior to this he presented programmes including the Saturday and Sunday Weekend Breakfast Show for London speech radio station LBC 97.3 until August 2013. He announced on Twitter “A wonderful 7 1/2 years. Sadly, all good things come to an end. Not my choice. But, for now, it’s goodbye to you at the weekends and to LBC.” He was a semi-finalist on the first series of the British version of The Apprentice television programme.
He's also an advisor on many property and business projects providing advice on business development, social and digital media. James is a Senior Advisory Director of BNP Paribas Real Estate and is also an advisor to Stanhope, the developer who purchased the former BBC Television Centre in West London.
Born in London in May 1970, James Max is the youngest of four brothers. He was educated at St Paul’s School, leaving in July 1988 with three A-levels. After a gap year he went to the University of Reading, graduating in 1992 with a first-class BSc honours degree in Land Management.
Max joined property advisors DTZ to undertake professional training to become a Chartered Surveyor. He passed his Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) in 1994 and became a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). In 1995 he became an Associate Director, and in 1997 was promoted to Director.
Whilst at DTZ, he worked with Rob Andrew, the former England rugby fly-half, in the international investment team. In 1998, he joined the London arm of US investment bank Morgan Stanley. He worked on a range of projects including the £1.54 billion securitisation of British Land’s Broadgate office scheme in the City of London and the successful defence and subsequent property restructuring for Marks and Spencer plc.
Max was a semi-finalist in the first series of reality TV show The Apprentice. Screened on BBC2 in 2005, contestants competed for a £100,000-a-year job as "apprentice" to British business magnate Lord Alan Sugar. He was a project manager three times during the show. He was on the winning team in eight out of a possible ten tasks (a feat since matched by Lucinda Ledgerwood). This included being on the winning team for six tasks in a row, making him the record holder for the highest number of successive wins on the programme until Series 7, when Helen Milligan exceeded this number. He was "fired" by Sugar in the interview round (episode 11). It is worth noting that the job he had left before appearing on the Apprentice had a higher salary than the eventual top prize offered on the show. In his autobiography, Lord Sugar states he fired Max from "The Apprentice" as he felt he was using the show as a route into a media career. Max has, however, stated publicly that this was never his intention.
Media and broadcast
Since The Apprentice, Max has developed a career in media and broadcast.
From May 2006 until August 2013, Max presented on LBC 97.3. Initially presenting a weekly business show "Business Matters", he has presented a range of shows on the station. In addition to Weekend Breakfast, he regularly covered for his colleagues before his sudden departure on 28 August 2013. He announced his departure on his Twitter feed making it clear that it was not his choice. During 2012, he covered for Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, James Whale's Drive, James O'Brien's mid-morning show, Julia Hartley Brewer's afternoon show and in October, he covered for Steve Allen's Early Breakfast, when Mr Allen took a week off to go to Las Vegas. Previously presenting the weekday Business Update on TalkSPORT from April 2006 to May 2008, he also presented a range of late night, overnight and Saturday evening shows on the station.
In October 2007, Max started a 10-week run of a new Saturday show called The Finer Things in Life which aired, live, every Saturday night on the station between 5pm and 6pm. In January 2008, Max presented the Early Breakfast Show from 5am to 7am on Fridays and 6am to 8am on Saturdays.
Between 2007 and 2009, he presented and appeared as a regular panellist on Overseas Property TV. Max presents Property Week magazine's monthly podcast, and wrote a monthly lifestyle column entitled "Something for the Weekend" between 2005 and 2008.
Max reviews the newspapers on Sky News. He has become a regular on both the evening shows and on Sunrise. He is a current affairs commentator. He regularly appears as a pundit on Jeremy Vine's BBC Radio 2 Show. From January 2013 he starts presenting the BBC London early show 03:00 - 06:00.
Royal Albert Hall
In 2012, Max was appointed to the Council of the Hall of Arts and Sciences, better known as the Royal Albert Hall and in September was also appointed to the Programming and Marketing, Fundraising and PR and Reputational Management Committees.
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