After graduating from Oxford University Jon’s career began in theatre at the Royal Court where he was Lindsay Anderson’s assistant. Jon started in broadcasting at Granada. He moved to the BBC in 1980 where he produced Harty, Off The Record, Pop Quiz and Every Second Counts. From 1985 to 1987 he produced Wogan (thrice weekly) and supervised many guest hosts through the programme’s immensely popular period. In 1988 Jon co-produced with Richard Curtis, the 7 hour telethon of original comedy and documentary for Comic Relief which raised over £25 million and was the start of a huge fundraising effort.
Since then, Jon has produced Saturday Matters With Sue Lawley (BBC1), Murder Most Horrid (BBC2 – 3 series), Kit And The Widow (C4 – 2 x specials), French And Saunders, Fry And Laurie, Smith And Jones, Bottom and Absolutely Fabulous starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley which has received far too many awards and huge viewing figures.
In 1994, Jon was made Head of Comedy Entertainment at the BBC, but still managed to find time to produce new series of French and Saunders, Fry and Laurie, The Vicar of Dibley, Absolutely Fabulous and the spin-off, Mirrorball. He has also been the Executive Producer of The Office, Little Britain, Shooting Stars, Ruby Wax, The Stand Up Show, Ben Elton, Comedy Nation, Goodness Gracious Me, In The Red, Families At War, The League of Gentlemen, People Like Us, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Ted and Alice, The Thick Of It, The Late Edition, The Comic Side Of 7 Days, The Mark Steel Lectures, Absolute Power, Broken News, Jam & Jerusalem, the first Flashmob, Comic Relief, The Vicar Of Dibley and the Emmy Award winning, Extras. In addition he was
responsible for The Office 2003 Christmas Specials which won at the RTS & BAFTA, and collected the BBC’s first awards at the Los Angeles Golden Globes held in January 2004, and the third series of Little Britain winner of the 2007 International Emmy.
Jon held the position of the BBC’s Head of Comedy till 2007, when he returned to his favourite role, that of Producer. Most recently Jon developed and Exec’d the BBC Two series Beautiful People continuing the exploits of two boys growing up gay in the 90’s; Taking The Flak featuring a group of journalists in an African war zone and comedy thriller series Psychoville, written by two of “The League Of Gentlemen” Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton. Plus new for BBC Four, Twenty Twelve written and directed by People Like Us writer John Morton.
In 2007 Jon received the RTS Judges Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television and was last year honoured by the Banff World Television Festival with their Lifetime Achievement Award.