Jones has been chosen to promote BT’s Business offering, another step towards the corporate takeover of our TV screens. Indeed, with the prolonged success of shows such as the Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, and Jones’ fellow-Dragon Duncan Bannatyne now fronting a campaign for BlackBerry, it may be time to reverse the old adage and suggest that ‘there’s no show-business like business’. Half of Britain’s bosses seem to spend as much time in make-up at the moment as in the boardroom.
And who has Jones replaced as BT’s new face? Scottish firebrand chef Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay is yet another celebrity entrepreneur, one known as much for his colourful interpretation of airwave-appropriate language these days as he is for his hugely successful chain of restaurants.
You can understand BT trying to jump on the business-star bandwagon while it’s still thundering along. If the average couch potato has been conditioned to find the corporate world entertaining, it seems only logical to use this new-found celebrity power to promote its business offerings.
Indeed, the company’s incoming chief executive Ian Livingston will be all too aware of the importance of business customers to BT’s future. Hence Jones, who made his millions with his own telecoms business, is set to appear alongside some ‘surprising Hollywood guest stars’ in the multimillion-pound campaign, due to launch early next month.
For his part, Jones has leapt on this latest chance to maximise his earnings, and while his star is rising he’d be wise to take full advantage. Indeed, we all know the entertainment industry is fickle, and no amount of business acumen can help you when your time is done. Indeed, as MT asks in Bring Back the TV Tycoons, where is JR now?