Phil Jones is the former editor of the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio2. He is also a regular contributor to the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel Five, as well as writing for The Spectator and reviewing the Papers on Radio Four’s Broadcasting House.
For nearly three decades he ran the Jeremy Vine Show and before that Jimmy Young. The show became the biggest current affairs show in Europe.
Furthermore he is an an outstanding speaker and he has a story for every occasion. Phil delivers a lively, revealing and entertaining speech, which will leave your audience wanting more. He delights in telling behind-the-scenes stories of life at the BBC and his maverick management skills make him appealing to corporate audiences as well.
Phil Jones has a story for every occasion. His view of the world is informed by thirty years as a journalist with the BBC where he met famous celebrities and politicians, but it’s given context and depth by the epic events of the 20th Century that affected his family. His mother escaped from the Holocaust and his father survived D-Day.
Phil Jones was born in Wimbledon in 1958, but his life is informed by his three decades editing the country’s biggest current affairs show, and by the epic events of the 20th century that so affected his family.
His grandfather died in the trenches of WW1. His father lost his best friend on the D-Day Beaches. His wife’s grandmother was a suffragette, who threw a brick through the Home Secretary’s window and then was tortured in Holloway Prison. Two of Phil’s family were murdered at Auschwitz. His grandfather was wrongly imprisoned by the Stalinist authorities and died prematurely.
As a young man Phil ran a Children’s Playbus in North Yorkshire. The bus was decorated with rabbits and a rainbow and he drove it all over the Yorkshire Moors and Dales. He still called it the best job in the world.
Phil then worked as a social worker with under-aged runaways, in central London. After that he helped run a landscape gardening business.
Phil Jones and his media career
At the age of thirty Phil Jones changed careers and trained to be a journalist. Phil has a healthy disregard for authority of all forms, which he puts down to his family history. His mother escaped from the Holocaust and his father survived D-Day.
He says his family history convinced him of the need to always be on the side of the little person and challenge the abuse of power. In his broadcasting work, he cared most about giving the listener a voice. As he puts it at Radio Two, the “little people are the big people”.
Later in his career when he was promoted into management, he says he saw it as his role not to take the side of his fellow bosses, but to favour his team and protect his staff from the vagaries of management.
Joining BBC Radio 2
Phil had a reputation for being a maverick and a rule breaker, and as an Editor at Radio Two, he avoided management meetings like the plague. Despite that he remains a huge fan of the BBC calling it Britain’s greatest cultural institution.
During his three decades at Radio Two Phil met some of the most famous people on the planet including the current King, Queen Elizabeth, Hillary Clinton, Paul McCartney ….. as well as every British Prime Minister, from Thatcher, to Blair, Brown and Boris Johnson.
Expect a lively, revealing and entertaining speech, which will leave your audience wanting more. As a public speaker he delights in telling behind-the-scenes stories of life at the BBC. Phil’s maverick management skills make him appealing to corporate audiences as well.
Phil Jones and his speech topics
As a public speaker Phil delights in telling his revelatory behind-the-scenes stories of life at Radio Two, The UK’s most popular radio station. As one of the longest serving BBC Editors Phil has encountered all sorts of people and has stories that will both delight and shock you in equal measure. What was Queen Elizabeth’s favourite TV show? How Paul McCarney auditioned George for the Beatles on the top of a double decker bus. In a memorable encounter, Phil tells Hillary Clinton how his mother escaped from the Holocaust, as an 11 year old on a train with her 9 year old sister. And how his grandmother walked over the mountains into Poland, to escape from the Nazi’s, like in the Sound of Music. Phil was there when Jimmy Young made a fool of both John Major and Tony Blair, and when Jeremy Vine contributed to the end of Gordon Brown’s premiership, in the famous “bigoted woman” row.
Paddy O’Connell on Phil Jones
“One man knows the secret of British Public Opinion. But his voice has always been silent – until now. Phil Jones was plugged into Radio Two – the central nervous system of the average Brit.
For thirty years Phil was the power behind the throne of “The Jimmy Young Show,” and “The Jeremy Vine Show.” With seven million listeners he ran Europe’s biggest speech radio programmes by keeping his formula secret from the BBC managers. The more meetings with them he missed, the more the audience grew. Hilarious mishaps, heart-wrenching interviews, animals on the air and in the studio too, Phil’s account of Radio Two Land is the true story of Britain from the man who was paid to keep silent. I worked on his shows on the inside and begged him to write it all down and talk about it, and he’s finally agreed to do so”.
Vanessa Feltz on Phil Jones
“There is nothing about the arcane mysteries bubbling behind the scenes at BBC Radio 2 to which Jeremy Vine and Jimmy Young editor Phil Jones has not born witness. With intrepid insight and forensic force he exposes the good the bad and the ugly in Britain’s best-loved radio station.”
Chris Mason on Phil Jones
“Phil was the genius & ringmaster of the biggest news show on the radio for decades. And not just the biggest, but the one that got to the crux of what mattered and, crucially, told you what the country really thought better than any other and before any other. This is a story that needs to be told: Phil is brilliant at telling it”.
Jeremy Vine on Phil Jones
“Phil is one of those legend-in-his-own-lifetime BBC editors. He has been there, done it and got the T-shirt. Everything from meeting the Queen to Thatcher to Blair at the top of his game — in fact every recent prime minister — and, crucially and maybe most important of all, ushering more than 50,000 ordinary Radio 2 listeners to air, either with Jimmy Young or with me; those ordinary listeners who turned out to be not quite so ordinary after all!”