Belfast Telegraph

Jones to host troubleshooting show

Business guru Digby Jones is to become a TV troubleshooter, hosting a new series looking at the state of the British manufacturing industry.

The former director-general of the CBI, who is formally known as Lord Jones, will front BBC Two series Digby Jones' New Industrial Revolution in which he aims to give a helping hand to businesses.

Over the course of three hour-long programmes, the former trade minister will examine a trio of firms and apply his own expertise to improve their fortunes but also bear in mind the needs of the people behind the company.

The BBC said his aim is to "not only improve each company's fortunes but over the course of the series try to craft a new blueprint for British manufacturing success".

Lord Jones said: "It is vital that a wider audience understands how business ticks, especially smaller businesses where from will come so much of the growth and employment in our economy over the next few years.

"I look forward to drilling down into businesses, asking the awkward questions, thinking the unthinkable and constructively challenging the status quo. I want to get the audience thinking and asking questions as well, and hopefully the younger members of local communities will also find something in the programmes for them to see why developing skills is so important. Bring it on."

He follows figures such as the late John Harvey-Jones - star of shows such as Troubleshooter and Back To The Floor - and Mary Portas in hosting BBC shows which try to transform business fortunes. Portas has now gone on to work for Channel 4.

BBC commissioning executive Tom Edwards said: "There are only a tiny handful of people with the expertise, personality and profile that could attempt a challenge like this. I'm delighted Lord Jones has agreed to take it on for us, at the BBC."

Also commissioned by the BBC's Entertainment North team in Salford is a BBC Three series looking at trainee paramedics. The seven-part run of Junior Paramedics: Your Life in Their Hands follows the channel's acclaimed Junior Doctors.

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