Broadcaster, creator of TISWAS, High Sheriff, reporter, consultant, fundraiser, petrol head & jazz drummer, Peter Tomlinson’s remarkable forty year career continues to encompass a colourful range of activities.
A keynote speaker with charisma, humour and authority, Peter is available for
- After dinner speeches
- Motivational conference presentations
- Hosting award evenings
- MC, facilitation and moderation
- Presenting – audio, video and live
- Personal appearances
- Communication consultation
It all started in 1965 when he was still a student at Oxford University and he covered home matches played by Swindon Town FC for the BBC’s Home Service South West. He broadcast live a short report from the linen cupboard of the Goddard Arms Hotel in Swindon!
He desperately wanted to become a sports reporter/commentator and, after leaving Oxford, he did meet and work with:
• John Arlott – his hero
• Alan Gibson – his first mentor in broadcasting
• Peter Jones – who sadly died so young
• Brian Johnston – ‘Jonners’
• Tony Smith- Producer of BBC Home Service South West 'Sports Page'
In 1968 he began working in television. HTV gave him his first break (working alongside the young Martyn Lewis and John Humphreys), then onto Granada TV in 1971 and ATV in 1972 where he was a presenter and announcer.
At Granada in Manchester he worked with Bill Grundy who famously fell out with the The Sex Pistols on screen. He met the cast of Coronation Street everyday in the canteen and the then ‘hard man’ Len Fairclough (Peter Adamson) became a chum. Ena Sharples (Violet Caron) would greet him with “How are you luv?” every time he saw her. His slightly older, more lascivious friends would ask him to provide as much personal detail of Bet Lynch as he could!
As the ‘weekend host’ at ATV in Birmingham, he worked as the face of the station from 09:00 on Saturday morning to close-down on a Sunday evening – a stint of just over 30 hours. Tiring, yes, but he interviewed all of the personalities visiting the studios for the Golden Shot and other light entertainment programmes.
Billy Dainty was his first guest. Others included:
• Terry Scott
• Val Doonican
• Maynard Ferguson
• Dickie Henderson
• Bob Monkhouse
• Larry Adler
• Charlie Williams
• Dave Allen
• Buddy Greco
• Roger Millar
In 1974 he invented a programme for children called TISWAS, which launched the career of Chris Tarrant. He appeared in 131 editions of the show but was replaced after four years by Sally James – who had a better figure! TISWAS went on until the 1980s and had a cult following.
At this time Peter decided that his future lay on the other side of the microphone and cameras and accepted a job as MD of Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton. In 1985, after building the audience to around 40% of listeners in his catchment area, Peter decided to become a free agent again and use his broadcast and management skills in the world of corporate communications.
With Andy Jones, Peter created Jones Tomlinson Associates in 1989 and provided creative communication solutions to some of the UK’s largest companies. This involved video, presentation training, web and event projects.
In 2000 the SAGA Group asked Peter to help them win the first ever radio franchise for the West Midlands aimed at the 50+ age group. He became MD, presented a regular programme and built the station into a very popular choice for the older generation of the area.
2005 - Birmingham Children’s’ Hospital appointed him as Executive Director – Marketing, Communications and Fundraising
2007 - Installed as High Sheriff of the West Midlands
2008 - Made a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands
2010 - Freelance consultant, presenter, host, facilitator, moderator, MC and guest speaker
2011 - Elected as a District Councillor for the Ombersley and Doverdale ward in Worcestershire
2012 - Elected to Regional Arts Council
A note from Peter
"Just in case you want to know. I'm married to Ali, a retired Community Paediatrician. Together we have 5 grandsons (so far). I am a keen but amateur jazz-drummer, a member of The Lord's Taverners but no longer play because the back gave up some time ago. I love motorsport, own a classic car and am a member of the M.A.C. (Midland Automobile Club) and attend Shelsley Walsh as often as possible. I love the music of the 20's to the 60's and compere all the concerts of the West Midland Light Orchestra and many of the Crown Pheonix Big Band."