Carl Jones is an award-winning journalist who has worked for most of his life in the West Midlands – in print, radio and TV. He currently produces and presents weekly business and news review shows on Made In Birmingham
TV BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I’ve been in the media now for 30 years. At the moment, I’m a freelance-for-hire who works part time for Made In Birmingham TV, as well as BBC radio. I also edit a glossy business magazine in Shropshire, and provide media consultancy and training across the region. In my previous working life, I’ve edited the Shropshire Star daily newspaper, worked for the Express & Star newspaper as head of their features department, and collaborated on projects with Sky TV. As a master of ceremonies, I’ve been touring the country since 2015 with the John Challis stage show. Who’s John? Well, you probably know him better as Boycie from Only Fools and Horses. The 2017 tour starts in October.
IT’S WHAT I DO
I’m a huge advocate of looking after our own – promoting the many amazing people and companies we have in our region, and encouraging people to shop local, and use suppliers on their own doortstep. That’s why Made In Birmingham TV ticks so many boxes for me. My Friday night news review show looks at the big talking points across the West Midlands, and on Monday nights, I get chance to put some of our star business performers in the spotlight. And we really do have world-class companies in our midst.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
Local TV is a fantastic opportunity for people to spread the word about some of the great work they are doing. Since we launched on Sky at the start of this year, we have seen our monthly viewer figures smash through the one million barrier and counting.
Winning an award from the Institute of Journalists for my writing, being recognised four times at the Midlands Media Awards, and co-founding and driving forward the Shropshire Business Awards, which has grown into one of the largest events of its kind in the UK over the past 17 years.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
Don’t ever assume that people will automatically recognise the hard work you are doing. Sometimes, even if it goes against your instincts, you have to shout from the rooftops – because if you don’t, you can be sure there will be someone else waiting to steal the limelight.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
Birmingham has reinvented itself so dramatically over the past decade – both in terms of business and leisure facilities. Whenever you venture into the city, you spot something fresh and new – there’s a real ‘can do’ attitude here at present; an energy, and excitement. Whisper it quietly, but could it be that the age-old problem of talking down our region is slowly starting to disappear?
I’m a big fan of sport, and the movies. I review new film releases for BBC radio, and also for the TV, so I inevitably spend quite a lot of time at the cinema! I’m a bit of a 007 anorak, and once won a national James Bond mastermind competition. But I’m also devoted football fan – being a Wolverhampton boy, my loyalties are with the boys in gold and black. I’m a qualified football referee, and my quirkiest claim to fame is that I have represented Great Britain at tenpin bowling, and have silver and bronze medals from the British youth championships. These days, most of my exercise revolves around walking our unfeasibly energetic golden Labrador, Bosley.
I’m a strong believer that you get out of life what you put in. Birmingham might be a growing city, but it’s still a small world out there – be careful how you treat people on the way up, as you might well encounter them on the way down.