Elizabeth Ann Jones
5 September 1958
|Alma mater||London College of Printing|
(m. 2002; div. 2007)
|Partner(s)||Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal (2000–2002)|
She began her career as a fashion journalist, but her work has broadened into confessional writing. Jones divides opinion. While she has gained positive responses, a "beautifully natural writer, as well as a funny one" according to Deborah Ross in The Independent, some of her articles have been fiercely criticised.
Jones is the youngest child of an Army father and a former ballerina. By her own account in The Mail on Sunday and Mail website, she grew up in the village of Rettendon, near Chelmsford in Essex, and had six siblings, She attended Brentwood County High School for Girls. Jones says she has been vegetarian since the age of twelve.
According to Jones, "I was six when I first realised how hideous I looked", and she has been an anorexic since the age of about 11. By the age of 17 she wished to look like model Janice Dickinson. Discovering Vogue magazine in Southend Public Library in August 1977, was a revelation for her. It "wasn’t just a magazine to me, its cover was a mirror: how I wanted to look, dress and be". Jones studied journalism at the London College of Printing.
After leaving college, she began to work for Company in 1981, initially as a sub-editor, eventually becoming a staff writer before leaving to go freelance in 1986. In 1989, she began an 11-year stint at The Sunday Times Magazine, becoming deputy editor of their "Style" magazine in 1998.
In April 1999, Jones was appointed editor of the UK edition of Marie Claire. An announcement by Jones during June 2000 that the leading fashion magazines were setting up a self-regulatory body concerning the size of models was "contradicted" by the editors of rival magazines. Faced by a declining circulation, she was sacked from this post two years later for refusing to use bulimic models and (according to Jones) listing in the magazine the freebies she had been offered in the previous month. She has continued to write about the fashion industry. In July 2013, Decca Aitkenhead wrote that "no one deconstructs its futile, psychologically destructive false promises more forensically than Jones – and in a mass market tabloid at that".
Confessional writing and marriage
During her period at Marie Claire, Jones began to write about her life, and met the journalist Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal, who had been sent by BBC Radio in 2000 to interview her. Jones embarked on a seven-year relationship with him, and they married in 2002; after a "disastrous" marriage, it ended in 2007. In a 2011 Mail column, Jones admitted to stealing Dhaliwal's sperm in a (failed) attempt to become pregnant.
In an article for The Telegraph in July 2021, Dhaliwal wrote of their marriage ceremony as "an occasion I felt swindled into, having never proposed. She arranged it without my knowledge; I found out when I discovered a receipt for the country estate. Confronted with it, she declared she’d already told the world in her column – which I no longer read – and would look a fool. She then broke down in tears, robbing me of my anger as I comforted her and agreed." Dhaliwal and Jones disputed aspects of their relationship in the press while they were still together.
Later career and writing
Jones claims that she is disliked by the fashion industry: "The fashion industry stinks and everyone in fashion hates me. No one talks to me when I go to the shows. I'm barred from a lot of shows now. I've been barred from Armani, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham..." She also writes for British Airways' High Life magazine on destinations and hotels. Jones has been described by Deborah Orr as a "very gifted writer and apparently very flaky human being".
Often considered somewhat self-obsessed, with the veracity of her confessions questioned, she has been defended by Tanya Gold who wrote: "There are many confessional journalists in Britain, but none as forensic or as self-critical as Jones." She has reported from Bangladesh, and was sent by her newspaper to cover the famine in Somalia in the summer of 2011; her suitability for this assignment was questioned by Ros Coward. In June 2012, she attracted attention by slating Holly Willoughby for posting a photo of herself on Twitter without makeup as a "betrayal to women". This Morning TV co-presenter Phillip Schofield defended Willoughby, saying "I swear there can be no greater force against all womankind than Liz Jones. She is inconsistent, bitter, nasty and unhinged".
Jones wrote about an alleged current love interest, the Rock Star (RS), in her weekly diary in The Mail on Sunday's You magazine from July 2010. Despite dropping many heavy hints that the "rock star" was Jim Kerr of Simple Minds, in a November 2011 interview in the London Evening Standard, she finally admitted it is not Kerr.
Until the end of October 2012, Jones lived in Brushford, just south of Dulverton, Somerset. Her comments about the area and in the book The Exmoor Files angered local people. The journalist Jane Alexander thought Jones opinions were "a clichéd, stereotypical and, frankly, lazy image of the countryside." After moving to the Yorkshire Dales, a Mail on Sunday column on her surroundings was the subject of four articles in The Yorkshire Post in September 2016.
At the beginning of January 2014, Jones became a contestant in Celebrity Big Brother 13 on Channel 5 TV with comedian Jim Davidson, rapper Dappy, boxer Evander Holyfield, among others. She was evicted from the house on 22 January 2014 after receiving the fewest votes to remain. Jones was declared bankrupt in May 2017.
Her first novel, 8½ Stone, was published in 2020.
- Jones, Liz (1997). Slave to the Rhythm: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. ISBN 0-316-64041-7.
- Jones, Liz (2005). Liz Jones's Diary: How One Single Girl Got Married. ISBN 1-84400-223-3.
- Jones, Liz (2007). Fur Babies: Why We Love Cats. ISBN 978-1-84400-518-5.
- Jones, Liz (2009). The Exmoor Files: How I Lost A Husband And Found Rural Bliss. ISBN 978-0-297-85443-2.
- Jones, Liz (2013). Girl Least Likely To: 30 Years of Fashion, Fasting and Fleet Street. ISBN 978-1471101953.
- Jones, Liz (2021). 8 1/2 Stone. ISBN 978-1913623555.
- For Elizabeth as her first name see Jones, Liz (19 November 2003). "Why Liz is in a tizz". Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Ross, Deborah (9 July 2010). "Liz Jones: 'All writers betray people. It's tricky'". The Independent. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Greenslade, Roy (19 January 2011). "Liz Jones plumbs the depths in report on Joanna Yeates murder". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Harwood, Jonathan (17 January 2011). "Twitter turns on the Mail's Liz Jones over Jo Yeates killing". The First Post. UK. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Cooke, Rachel (2 August 2009). "Liz Jones talks to Rachel Cooke about the compulsion to tell all". The Observer. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Jones, Liz (18 March 2012). "Chelmsford, Essex: You can't make a colourful city out of a dull, sepia town". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Jones, Liz (12 July 2015). "What the lonely death of my alcoholic sister says about the fate of single women in Britain today". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- Jones, Liz (16 January 2010). "Liz Jones searches for some old school friends: 'I always felt different to the other girls". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Jones, Liz (8 January 2011). "The caring professions? They just don't seem to care at all". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- Jones, Liz (10 March 2007). "What I see in the mirror". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Aitkenhead, Decca (6 July 2013). "Liz Jones: 'My whole anti-mums thing is jealousy. I've got nothing. Just work'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Liz Jones, journalism's mistress of self-loathing". London Evening Standard. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2017. Jones tells Decca Aitkenhead that she discovered Vogue at 17, in other words a year or so earlier.
- Byrne, Ciar (4 September 2002). "Jones to show her style at Standard". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Thynne, Jane (3 April 2001). "Me and Bridget Jones". The Independent.[dead link]
- An article from this period asserts that circulation initially rose after Jones became editor. See Vernon, Polly (2 March 2000). "The girls can't help it". The Guardian.
- Liz Jones's Diary: How One Single Girl Got Married p. 70
- Gold, Tanya (22 September 2009). "Give Liz Jones a break!". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Eyre, Hermione (2 April 2006). "Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal: Me & Missus Jones - Profiles - People". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Summersley, Victoria; Hari, Johann (26 May 2007). "Liz and Nirpal: The last argument". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010.
- "I sold my soul... now I'm selling my eggs, says Liz Jones". Evening Standard. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
- "Why we shouldn't deride Liz Jones for her sperm-stealing revelation". New Statesman. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
- Dhaliwal, Nirpal (31 July 2021). "The toxic truth about my age-gap relationship – and why older women escape moral scrutiny". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
- Seal, Rebecca (13 May 2007). "The ex-files". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
- Day, Julia (6 March 2006). "Jones joins Mail as style editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Thynne, Jane (29 April 2006). "Is Paul Dacre the new Roman Abramovich?". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- Orr, Deborah (5 June 2011). "Liz Jones and the face-lift that says it all | Fashion". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Odone, Cristina (25 April 2006). "So much more than a marriage of inconvenience". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Hoggard, Liz (23 June 2011). "The columnist, her 'rock star' boyfriend and an internet gossip frenzy". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Coward, Ros (1 August 2011). "Sending Liz Jones to report on Somalia is grotesque". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Percival, Ashley (28 June 2012). "Phillip Schofield Sticks Up For Holly Willoughby Over Liz Jones' Damning 'Daily Mail' Article". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Godwin, Richard (21 November 2011). "'I sold my soul... now I'm selling my eggs', says Liz Jones". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.
- Alexander, Jane (22 August 2009). "Why Liz Jones is wrong about Exmoor". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 August 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Marley, Jules (25 September 2016). "Tell Liz Jones I would rather have a White Rose than a Waitrose". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016. Dowle, Jayne (22 September 2016). "For the benefit of Liz Jones, here's the Yorkshire countryside's natural order..." The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016. Smith, Stephanie (20 September 2016). "Someone give Waitrose-loving Liz Jones a reality show, please". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016. Barnett, Ben (18 September 2016). "Who'd live in the 'sexist' Yorkshire Dales? There's not even a Waitrose". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Plunkett, John (3 January 2013). "Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Liz Jones and Evander Holyfield enter the ring". The Guardian.
- Bieber, Nicholas (22 January 2014). "Day 19: Liz Jones evicted from Celebrity Big Brother, Luisa gets punished for rule breaking and Ollie gets upset with Sam". Cambridge News. Archived from the original on 24 January 2014.
- Ponsford, Dominic (2 January 2018). "Mail on Sunday columnist Liz Jones reveals she has been declared bankrupt". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- Ross, Deborah (9 May 2020). "Liz Jones on anorexia, bankruptcy, sex, infidelity, self-loathing – and her debut novel". The Times. Retrieved 14 February 2022.