I grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, and have a degree in Politics and Modern History from Manchester University. I also spent a year at the Manchester Business School, during which time I became the Social Secretary, promoting major international groups for the Student Union and running a small Blues club.
After leaving university I started managing bands, moved to London and founded the company that later became Chrysalis Records with Terry Ellis. Chrysalis Records became one of the world’s leading record and music publishing companies, becoming a PLC in 1985. The company was sold to EMI in 1990.
In 1980 I became Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and in 1982 I relaunched the British Record Industry Awards as an annual event, the forerunner of the BRITS.
After the sale of Chrysalis Records, I continued to run a number of other parts of the Chrysalis Group of companies including Chrysalis Music Publishing; Chrysalis Television Mobiles; Chrysalis Television Sport, which produced Formula 1 Grand Prix for ITV, Italian football for Channel 4, and a range of dramas including Midsomer Murders. Chrysalis also bought a number of radio stations, operating LBC and launching Heart FM in London and becoming one of the top three radio station groups in the UK.
During the early part of the 2000s Chrysalis Television and Chrysalis Radio were both sold, and I eventually sold Chrysalis Music Publishing in 2011.
Always passionate about sport, in 1995, I bought both Queens Park Rangers football club and Wasps rugby club. I owned QPR until 2001 and Wasps until 2007. During this time, Wasps won 11 major trophies, including two European Heineken Cups.
I’m now busy developing a new television production company, Chrysalis Vision, and have various other music and media interests including horseracing. I bought my first racehorse in 1981, Crime of Passion, which went on to become the foundation mare for my Stratford Place Stud in the Cotswolds. We now have about 20 mares worldwide and have produced group-one winners all over the world, including at The Breeders Cup and the Dubai World Cup.