Dean Jones Dies: ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Director Of Production Was 56

Dean Jones, the director of production on juggernaut UK entertainment shows including Britain’s Got Talent, has died. He was 56.

Jones died on July 6 after a short battle with cancer. He was director of production at Fremantle UK, where his credits included The X Factor, Game of Talents, and Take Me Out.

Jones got a taste for the entertainment industry as a production assistant at the Noel Gay Theatre and moved over to Noel Gay Television.

He later joined Talbot Television, which was eventually folded into Fremantle, bringing with it the rights to shows including Family Fortunes and The Price Is Right.

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Former colleagues paid tribute to Jones’ professional skill and personal qualities, saying he will be a much-missed colleague and friend.

Fremantle UK CEO Amelia Brown said: “Dean Jones was someone that everyone in our industry should aspire to be like. He was a master of our industry as well as a mentor, a supporter and a huge part of all our lives at Fremantle.

“He was effortless in what he did and achieved more in his day to day than anyone else I know in TV. He was the most intelligent and funny man, and he was the backbone to the shows that shaped our cultural landscape in entertainment. He was loved by us all and leaves a hole that is impossible to fill as well as a legacy where we will all try and be just a little bit ‘more Dean’. He will be hugely missed by us all every day.”

Suzy Lamb, former head of Thames and now managing director of BBC Studios, said: “Dean had this incredible flair for making you feel like the special one. He was the hardest working, most dedicated, caring person I have ever worked with. Even when he was on holiday he answered emails quicker than anyone else.

“He knew all of those brilliant Fremantle formats inside out and guided me through making All Star Family Fortunes, Blockbusters, The Price Is Right and many other classic series. Having previously been a producer, before moving into his production management role, he had an all-round expertise of TV like no one else. He was the master negotiator, with the ability to make you feel like you were winning even though he was and therefore so was the programme and ultimately the business.

“Dean had time for everyone whatever role they did, he knew everyone’s name. He was totally unique, with absolutely no ego. His encyclopedic memory for figures and budgets for series made years and years ago was mind-blowing. Anyone that had been to his office will have witnessed the most impeccable filing system you’d ever seen.

“As well as his professional support he became a loyal and trusted friend even when I’d left Fremantle. Most recently he text me to say that although he’d never been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest he had made a point of watching it this year because it was my show. He always went the extra mile.

“As well as TV and of course his incredible husband Graham, Dean’s other passion … Chocolate! Occasionally I’d bribe him with treats to try and get what I wanted. There will never be another Dean. He was simply the best.”

To donate to Cancer Research UK in Dean Jones’ memory, visit this Just Giving page.

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