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 55)[1]
OccupationEntrepreneur, television personality
Known forDragons' Den
American Inventor
Height6 ft 7 in (201 cm)
Spouse(s)Caroline (separated)
Partner(s)Tara Capp[2]

Peter David Jones CBE (born 18 March 1966) is a British entrepreneur, businessman, 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 Two and now BBC One show Dragons' Den[5] and on 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 is 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. He is of English and Russian descent.[citation needed]



He set up a business in which he made personal computers under his own brand when he was only 16 years old. However, he lost £200,000 after deciding to sell it to IBM. In an interview with The Times, Jones once 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 fellow 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 specialist recruitment business aiming mostly in biotechnologists.[14]

On 1 July 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 throughout the UK 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 called Peter Jones TV, and has several property investments (his nine properties include a Portuguese villa that he bought from DJ Chris Evans[9] and a property in Beverly Hills, California).

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 Jessops in the United Kingdom.[22]

On 6 August 2017, it was announced 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. Judge Joanna Greenberg QC warned the accountant at Wood Green Court that "this was a serious offence, a breach of trust over considerable time. Custody is the most likely outcome".[23]

Television & Media Appearances[edit]

Dragons' Den[edit]

Jones is the sole remaining original Dragon on the BBC's Dragons' Den, which started in January 2005 and has produced eighteen series to date; the current series began in 2021. Jones had regular conflicts in the Den with former Dragon Duncan Bannatyne, who starred 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. "American Inventor", which was co-produced by Fremantle, Simon Cowell and Peter Jones Television[17] aired in March 2006. The first episode of Inventor put ABC ahead of rival networks with a 7.8 average rating and a 13 share[25][26] Jones was a judge on the show, broadcast in 2007.


After signing "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 viewers, 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, which has now entered its third year of running.[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, and has two children.[8]

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


  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.
  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. 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. 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",
  26. ^ "American Inventor – Ratings for May 11th Improve". 2 August 2006.
  27. ^ "Peter Jones announces Tycoon in Schools 2014 launch". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  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". Sage Group plc. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  30. ^ Alexander, Lucy (1 May 2006). "The face". The Times. London.

External links[edit]