Nicholas Corbishley Owen
(m. 1977; div. 2012)
Nicholas Corbishley Owen is an English television presenter and newsreader, best known for presenting the breakfast television programme TV-am and the BBC's local news show Midlands Today since 1997. He was also the chairman of Luton Town Football Club between 2008 and 2017.
Early life and education
Owen was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, to father Bertie, a headmaster and Dunkirk veteran, and mother Esme (née Burton), a music teacher. He was educated at Kingsland Grange Prep School, then Shrewsbury School between the ages of 13 and 18. While at Kingsland Grange, Owen borrowed a Cliff Richard record from Bob Warman, who later went on to become the longest-serving regional news presenter on ATV and Central in the Midlands. Also while there he would hand-write his own newspaper and take it to a copier to print, said to be his first experience of journalism.
Owen's first job was as a graduate trainee on the Doncaster Evening Post. After two years Owen moved to a job at the Birmingham Post, where he reported on local news. He started working for the BBC's local radio station Radio Birmingham in 1973, as a news producer and later as sports editor. His first live broadcast was an early-morning news bulletin during the Les Ross show.
Owen joined ATV in 1978, where he worked as a sports reporter, commentator and presenter for ATV news. He covered the European Football Championships in 1980 and Owen also narrated the first two series of Bullseye, the darts show that was presented by Jim Bowen. He appeared on the programme in 1983 throwing darts for charity when he scored 177; the guest players at the time had a 60 point start.
When ATV became Central TV on 1 January 1982 and brought in a new dual news service for the east and west Midlands. Owen and Anne Diamond were chosen to present the new Central News East, but neither presenter was ever seen on screen due to an industrial dispute at the new studios in Nottingham. For the rest of 1982 Owen returned to being Sports presenter on the Main West Edition and while in the summer 1982 provided commentated on the World Cup for ITV.
Owen left Central in January 1983 to join TV-am as a sports presenter. After six weeks the station was in turmoil and Greg Dyke was brought in as director of programmes. Dyke moved Owen to become a main presenter of Good Morning Britain from 5 April 1983 and he was soon teamed up with Anne Diamond until 1986 when he left. During this time, he appeared as himself in Episode 6 of the comedy series Hot Metal.
Having left TV-am in the summer 1986, he then became a presenter for ITV Sport remaining with them until 1992, presenting Midweek Sport Special and also presenting ITV's coverage of the 1988 Olympic Games, Euro 88 and the 1990 World Cup as well as the game show Sporting Triangles. In addition to his ITV Sport job, Owen hosted a TV game show called Hitman.
Since 1997 Nick has been one of the lead presenters on BBC Midlands Today.
In 2006, he was awarded the Baird Medal by the Royal Television Society, Midlands, for lifelong achievement in television. He was also named UK Speaker of the Year in 2010 by the National Association of Speakers Clubs.
A lifelong fan of Luton Town, Owen became the chairman of the club when he was asked to represent the Luton Town Football Club 2020 consortium when they purchased the club in 2008 following a period in administration. However, Owen was never a shareholder or director. The club began the 2008–09 season with a 30-point deficit, and were consequently relegated from the Football League to the Conference Premier on 13 April 2009. However, Luton did win the Football League Trophy that year in front of 42,000 Luton fans at Wembley, despite being the lowest-placed team in the competition for the whole season. Owen stepped down as club chairman in August 2017 passing the role to David Wilkinson.
Owen married Jill Lavery in 1977 in Birmingham. The couple had four children and lived together in Berkhamsted and Birmingham until August 2009, when they separated. They divorced in 2012. Owen remarried, to reflexologist Vicki Beevers, on 6 July 2020 at Enville, Staffordshire.
Owen has been awarded two honorary doctorates for services to broadcasting by the University of Worcester and the University of Chester.
- "TV presenter Nick Owen honoured". BBC. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "Biographies: Nick Owen – Presenter, BBC Midlands Today". BBC Press Office. May 2006. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Broadcasters reunite to recall schooldays". Shropshire Star. 16 September 2015. p. 4.Report by Naomi Penrose, referring to a revisit of Kingsland Grange School by Owen and Warman.
- Gosling, Kenneth (2 January 1982). "TV firm's launch disrupted by dispute". The Times. p. 3.
- Osman, Arthur (11 February 1982). "TV launch delayed again". The Times. p. 2.
- Osman, Arthur (24 February 1982). "Television dispute 'may take months to resolve'". The Times. p. 3.
- "TV presenter Nick Owen honoured". BBC News. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Timblick, Simon. "Doctors spoilers: Guest appearance by ex-Hollyoaks star Nathan Sussex". What's on TV. Future plc. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
- Luton Town FC official web site Archived 3 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 21 July 2010
- "Nick Owen: Luton chairman stands down after nine years". BBC Sport. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
- "TV newsman Nick ties the knot". Shropshire Star. 7 July 2020. p. 13. Report by Andy Richardson.
- Midlands Today profile
- Nick Owen at IMDb
- Receiving Baird Medal in October 2006
- Leeds University Classics alumni