Peter Jones (entrepreneur)

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Peter Jones
Chris Dawson & Peter Jones on set on Peter Jones Meets (cropped).jpg
Jones in 2012
Born (1966-03-18) 18 March 1966 (age 56)[1]
Langley, Berkshire, England
  • Entrepreneur
  • television personality
Known for
SpouseCaroline (separated)
PartnerTara Capp[2]
Children5 Edit this at Wikidata

Peter David Jones CBE (born 18 March 1966) is a British entrepreneur and reality television personality, with interests in mobile phones, television, media, leisure, retail, and property.[3] He is the last remaining original[4] investor on the BBC One show Dragons' Den[5] and on the American television series American Inventor.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[6] According to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2021, Jones was worth an estimated £1.157bn.[7]

Early life[edit]

Jones grew up in Langley, Berkshire,[8] before moving to Maidenhead when he was seven, and attended Desborough School and, subsequently, The Windsor Boys' School.[citation needed]



Jones set up a business in which he made personal computers under his own brand when he was 16 years old. However, he lost £200,000 after deciding to sell it to IBM. In an interview with The Times, Jones said his computer business failed when he was in his twenties; he was forced to give up his three-bedroom home in Bray and his cars, and had to move back in with his parents.[9] He then joined Siemens Nixdorf.[10]

In his mid-twenties, he opened a cocktail bar in Windsor based on the Tom Cruise film Cocktail.

After Siemens' acquisition, he set up his next venture, Phones International Group, in April 1998.[11]

In the summer of 2005, Jones, together with Theo Paphitis, a fellow panellist on Dragons' Den, bought gift experience company Red Letter Days from another panellist Rachel Elnaugh, under whose ownership it had collapsed.[12]

Jones founded other businesses between 2004 and 2008, including,[13] an online retailer specialising in the sale of wine and champagne to corporate clients, and Celsius Resourcing, a recruitment business specialising in biotechnologists.[14]

In 2005, he founded The Peter Jones Foundation, a charity to support the advancement of education in young women, particularly through teachings of enterprise and entrepreneurship.[15]

In 2009, Jones founded the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA, formerly NEA) to teach entrepreneurial capabilities within the UK. PJEA has several campuses including Amersham, Sheffield, Manchester, Southend 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 were to be taught how to enhance a company or key skills in becoming a successful entrepreneur. The academy was to offer the BTEC Level 3 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at both its Leamington and Rugby campuses.[16]

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; Synthetic Genomics; iTeddy; and Reggae Reggae Sauce.[17]

He owns a TV production company, Peter Jones TV, and has several property investments; his properties include a Portuguese villa that he bought from DJ Chris Evans[9] and a property in Beverly Hills, California.[citation needed]

Jones sold part of Phones International Group, Wireless Logic, for £38 million in 2011,[18][19][20] retaining the Data Select part.[19][21]

In 2013, Jones became the owner and chief executive of photographic retailer Jessops.[22]

In August 2017, it was reported that Jones and his Dragon's Den and Red Letter Days partner Theo Paphitis were almost scammed by an accountant who forged cheques over a two-month period.[23]

Television and media[edit]

Dragons' Den[edit]

Jones is the sole remaining original Dragon on the BBC's Dragons' Den, which started in January 2005 and has continued with a new series approximately every year. Jones had regular conflicts in the Den with former Dragon Duncan Bannatyne, who appeared on the show from 2005 to 2014.[24]

American Inventor[edit]

He sold his television show idea called The Inventor to the American Broadcasting Company, resulting in American Inventor, which was co-produced by Fremantle, Simon Cowell and Peter Jones Television.[17] Two series of the show were made, in 2006[25] and 2007.[citation needed]


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, which was more than the UK premiere of The Apprentice and Dragons' Den when they both broadcast in 2005.[citation needed] The series returned on Monday, 9 July 2007 as a 30-minute format for the 10 pm slot. Tycoon also inspired Tycoon in Schools, a nationwide youth enterprise competition which began in 2012[26] and as of 2023 continues under the name Tycoon Enterprise Competition, supported by the Peter Jones Foundation.[27]

Other television work[edit]

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 in 2008.[28] Jones is also the Ambition Ambassador for the business software company Sage Group and appears in their television advertising as well as being a customer of the company.[29]

Personal life[edit]

He is separated from his first wife Caroline, with whom he had two children; Annabelle and William.[30] He lives in Buckinghamshire with his partner, Tara, with whom he has three children.[8]

A car enthusiast, Jones's first car was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud.[citation needed] He owns several classic and luxury sports cars.[9]

Jones is a keen amateur pipe organist and achieved his grade 8 aged 18 (organist review Sept 2005).

He is a supporter of Chelsea football club.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Alcock, Beth. "Peter Jones net worth: Whopping fortune the Dragons' Den star has made from businesses". Express UK.
  2. ^ "Peter Jones: 'My kids aren't getting my money. They don't need it'". The Telegraph. 8 July 2016.
  3. ^ "List of companies related to Peter David Jones". Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Duncan Bannatyne quits Dragons' Den". BBC News. 8 July 2014.
  5. ^ Read, Josie. "Peter Jones: 'the Government needs to wake up; we need proper business education in schools'". The Telegraph.
  6. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Dragons' Den's Peter Jones net worth — Sunday Times Rich List 2021". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b "World of Peter Jones, entrepreneur". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Hussain, Ali (29 July 2007). "Tycoon's costly bid to outdo Tom Cruise". The Sunday Times. London. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
  10. ^ "My first million: Peter Jones". Financial Times. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Peter Jones – Dragon's Den Special". Seriously Business. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  12. ^ James, Laura (28 June 2019). "Rachel Elnaugh lifts the lid on her failed multi-million pound business". Business Live. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Peter Jones | Biography, Pictures and Facts". Famous Entrepreneurs. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  14. ^ "CELCIUS RESOURCING LIMITED – Officers (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Charity overview". Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Peter Jones inspiration at new course at Warwickshire College's Leamington site".
  17. ^ a b "Peter Jones > About". Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  18. ^ Tyler, Richard (15 August 2011). "Peter Jones sells Wireless Logic to create war chest". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  19. ^ a b "Phones International Group". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  20. ^ "About Us". Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Data Select". 30 December 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  22. ^ "Jessops brand sold to Dragon's Den's Peter Jones". BBC News. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  23. ^ Ash Percival (7 August 2017). "'Dragons' Den' Stars Peter Jones And Theo Paphitis Conned Out Of £33,000 By Corrupt Employee". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  24. ^ McNeil, Robert (5 January 2005). "Beware the wrath of fire-breathing dragons". Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  25. ^ Colin, Mahan (17 March 2006). "ABC is a hit Inventor". Archived from the original on 29 June 2011 – via Internet Archive.
  26. ^ "Peter Jones announces Tycoon in Schools 2014 launch". 3 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Tycoon". Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  28. ^ Sweney, Mark (22 April 2008). "Peter Jones replaces Gordon Ramsay in BT ads". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Sage appoints Peter Jones as Ambition Ambassador". London Loves Business. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  30. ^ Alexander, Lucy (1 May 2006). "The face". The Times. London.

External links[edit]