Jonathan Thompson

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Jonathan Thompson
Born Jonathan Jason Thompson
(1976-11-02) 2 November 1976 (age 38)
England Salford, England
Occupation Television presenter, entrepreneur

Jonathan Thompson (born 2 November 1976) is a British television presenter, but he is also an actor and entrepreneur and photographic model. He is an avid collector of classic arcade games

Early life[edit]

Thompson was born in Salford, Greater Manchester, and was educated at St James' Primary School, Rusholme and Trinity C of E High School, Manchester, before attending Manchester Grammar School. He went on to study at both the University of Salford where he gained a HND in Design & Media Communications in 1997, and the school of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire from which he graduated with BA (Hons) Television and Radio in 1999.[1]

Media career[edit]

Thompson started his broadcasting career at the age of 18 when he presented on SKY’s Nickelodeon channel. In addition he presented on hospital radio based in the Manchester Royal Infirmary where he presented various evening and weekend shows. BBC GMR where he presented a program called "The People" He also had a role in the BBC’s popular drama Cutting It in 2005.[2]

Thompson has scaled up his media activity and stars in his own sky advert, yet he still operates on a freelance basis when time allows, he has been able to conduct exclusive interviews with some of the best known science fiction actors, including David Prowse (the physical form of Darth Vader) and Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith from Doctor Who).[3] This has also lead him on to working with Manchester (UK) based bar FAB Cafe, bringing in stars,(some his personal friends) of TV and film for public interviews, like Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Star Wars)[4] as well as the likes of 80's TV series, the A-Team cast member Dirk Benedict (Face from the A team).[5]

He has also done freelance reporting work for Southport Reporter, and Channel M.

Retro gaming[edit]

Thompson’s obsession with video games started at an early age when he was first encountered a ”TRON” machine, this fascination with arcades led frequent trips to Blackpool and it was on one of these trips that he purchased his first Star Wars machine. This sparked the collecting bug, and he had amassed a small collection whilst still in his early teens. He was able to take advantage of the lack of interest in old hardware in the early 1990s and managed to make several block purchases of machines for bargain prices, using the then fledgling Ebay to search for machines.[6] The retro gaming revival and subsequent rise in interest in classic machines enabled him to build a successful business.[7]

He now runs a company, which deal in original machines, Sci-Fi Machines which offers machines for hire.[8] His company was also commissioned to produce commemorative cabinets to celebrate the release of Taito Legends in 2005. He is a familiar face on the retro gaming circuit and a regular guest speaker at exhibitions, along with more established figures such as Archer Maclean.

Star Wars[edit]

Thompson’s love of Star Wars led him to collect as many of the machines as possible and the 1997 cinema re-release of the trilogy led to a stroke of good fortune. Several machines were sited at a local cinema which led to an unexpected demand for his machines. Thompson currently is the PR front man for the largest collection[9] of Star Wars arcade machines in Europe,[10] they have been exhibited all over the country and featured prominently at Star Wars Celebration Europe commemorating the movie’s 30th anniversary in 2007.[11]

Video Game and Computer Museum Project[edit]

The first stage of Jonathan's campaign to bring to the UK was a competition called the 'Voyager Crusade'.[12] This competition was run in Liverpool and was aimed at finding young up-and-coming game designers with the emphasis on playability, rather than the modern gaming trend of style over substance. The idea being to drum up interest in video gaming.[13] The winner was announced before the end of 2008.[14]

The next stage of this project is held in Manchester at the Urbis centre. The exhibition opened in May 2009 and runs until 20 September 2009, called "Videogame Nation".[15] This event will log the interest from the public and will allow a study of who people react to this subject.[16]


  1. ^ Jonathan Thompson's online mini biography
  2. ^ ""Cutting It" Episode #4.5 (2005)". Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  3. ^ "An Exclusive Video Interview With Elisabeth Sladen". Retrieved 2007-06-02.  also see Southport.TV
  4. ^
  5. ^ Southport.TV
  6. ^ Barrett, Tony. "We can't go a day without ebay". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  7. ^ "Nice little learner!". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  8. ^ Games development press releases by Develop - []
  9. ^ Norwich Starwars Club
  10. ^ MEN Media
  11. ^ The Lancashire Evening Post. Johnston Publishing Ltd.] and OCMOD Shop
  12. ^ and Retro Gamer, Page 6, April 2007. Also see Voyager Crusade and Myspace
  13. ^ Press Box
  14. ^ Crookes, David. "Retro Games Competition Launches". Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  15. ^ [1] M.E.N. Media Ltd. Also see newspaper article in Manchester Evening News, published on 25 June 2009 - Page 25
  16. ^ Southport Reporter - 'Video Game Generation Exhibition...'

External links[edit]