Peter Jones (entrepreneur)

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Peter Jones
Born (1966-03-18) 18 March 1966 (age 51)
Maidenhead, Berkshire, England
Occupation Entrepreneur, businessman, television presenter
Known for Dragons' Den
American Inventor
Net worth Increase GB£435 million (as of 2013)
Spouse(s) Caroline (separated)
Partner(s) Tara Jones
Children 5

Peter David Jones, CBE (born 18 March 1966) is a British entrepreneur and businessman with interests in mobile phones, television, media, leisure and property.[1] He is the last original[2] panellist on the BBC Two television show Dragons' Den 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.[3] A profile in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013 estimated his wealth at GB£475 million.

Early life[edit]

Peter Jones grew up in Maidenhead and attended Desborough School there and, subsequently, The Windsor Boys' School. In a newspaper health quiz he said that he trained to be a tennis coach in his teens, and still played when he could.[citation needed]



He set up a computer business where he made PCs under his own brand. In his mid twenties, he opened a cocktail bar in Windsor based on the Tom Cruise film Cocktail. However, he lost £200,000 after deciding to sell it. In an interview with The Times, Jones once said his computer business failed when he was in his twenties, and he was forced to give up his three-bedroom home in Bray and his cars, and had to move back in with his parents.[4] He then joined Siemens Nixdorf.[citation needed]

After Siemens, he set up his next venture Phones International Group in April 1998.[5]

In the summer of 2005, Jones, together with Theo Paphitis, a fellow panellist Dragons' Den, bought gift experience company Red Letter Days from another fellow panellist Rachel Elnaugh, under whose ownership it had collapsed.[6]

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

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 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 will be taught how to enhance a company or key skills in becoming a successful entrepreneur. The academy will offer the BTEC Level 3 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at both its Leamington and Rugby campuses.[7]

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, iTeddy and Reggae Reggae Sauce.[8]

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[4] and a property in Beverly Hills, California).

Jones sold part of Phones International Group, Wireless Logic, for £38 million in 2011,[9][10][11] retaining the Data Select part.[10][12]

In 2013, Jones became the owner and chief executive of Jessops in the United Kingdom.[13]

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.”[14]


Dragons' Den[edit]

Jones is one of the original Dragons on the BBC's Dragons' Den, which started in January 2005 and has produced fourteen series to date; the current series began in July 2015. Jones had regular conflicts in the Den with former Dragon Duncan Bannatyne, who starred on the show from 2005 to 2014.[15] In January 2017, Jones announced that he withdrew his £100,000 investment into My Lupo, but that he wished the company the best for their future endeavours. [16]

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"[8] – 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[17] and became a number one show in America.[18] Jones was a judge on the show, broadcast in 2007.


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 viewers, which was more than the UK premiere of The Apprentice and Dragons' Den when they both broadcast in 2005. 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.[19]

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.[20]

Personal life[edit]

A car enthusiast, Jones's first car was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. He owns several classic and luxury sports cars.[4] He lives in Beaconsfield, South Buckinghamshire with his partner Tara and their three children; Natalia, Isabella and Tallulah. He is separated from his first wife Caroline, with whom he had two children; Annabelle and William.[21].


  1. ^ "List of companies related to Peter David Jones". Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Duncan Bannatyne quits Dragons' Den". BBC News. 
  3. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 7. 
  4. ^ a b c Hussain, Ali (29 July 2007). "Tycoon’s costly bid to outdo Tom Cruise". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 21 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "Peter Jones - Dragon’s Den Special". Seriously Business. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Dragons breathe life into Red Letter Days". This is Money. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  7. ^ "Peter Jones inspiration at new course at Warwickshire College’s Leamington site". 
  8. ^ a b "Peter Jones > About". Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  9. ^ Tyler, Richard (15 August 2011). "Peter Jones sells Wireless Logic to create war chest". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  10. ^ a b "Phones International Group". Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  11. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  12. ^ "Data Select". 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  13. ^ "Jessops brand sold to Dragon's Den's Peter Jones". BBC. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  14. ^ "Scammer fleeced Dragons' Den stars Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis for £33,000". The Sun. 6 August 2017. 
  15. ^ McNeil, Robert (5 January 2005). "Beware the wrath of fire-breathing dragons". Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  16. ^ "Dragons' Den winner has £100,000 funding withdrawn". BBC News. 9 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Colin Mahan (17 March 2006) "ABC is a hit Inventor",
  18. ^ "American Inventor - Ratings for May 11th Improve". 2 August 2006. 
  19. ^ "Peter Jones announces Tycoon in Schools 2014 launch". Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  20. ^ Brooks, Nadia a (20 April 2008). "HE terrifies wannabe entrepreneurs on hit TV show Dragon’s Den". The Sun. London. 
  21. ^ Alexander, Lucy (1 May 2006). "The face". The Times. London. 

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