Multi-Award winning Broadcaster, TV executive, artist manager, music publisher and DJ, Duane Jones is building a media empire.
Having played an instrumental role in the birth and progression of BBC Radio 1Xtra as one half of Ace & Vis, with whom he beat the likes of Nick Ferrari, Chris Moyles and Zane Lowe to win the Sony Gold Award for Radio Show of the Year. Duane solidified his position as a trailblazing broadcaster on BBC Radio 1, MTV and BBC 5Live and continued presenting with the BBC for 11 years.
On leaving the BBC, Duane was ready to pursue his passion for music and TV on his own terms. Firstly founding Renowned Group in 2013 with Wretch 32 and his manager Zeon Richards. The aim was to set up a company that would manage and publish an array of homegrown British talent, with clients such as Jacob Banks, KZ, Knox Brown and of course Wretch 32.
By the end of 2013, Duane set up the last piece of the Renowned Group property, founding independent production company Renowned Films with two talented producer directors, Tim Withers and Max Welch. With its innovative approach to content development and broadcast, Renowned Films soon bagged its first commission for Trace Sports on Sky, a 12 part series called‘Winners Circle’ that was shown in 66 territories featuring sportspeople and athletes across Europe. Soon after came ‘Football Freestyle’ for London Live, which remains the channel’s most viewed original commission to date. It was the beginning of the rise of Renowned Films.
In 2015, the indie caught the attention of David Abraham the Chief Executive of Channel 4, and Jay Hunt, the channel’s Chief Creative Officer. Channel 4 took on an equity stake in Renowned Films. A spate of commissions followed, including comedy show Pranksterz for ITV, Channel 4 doc The Women Who Kill Lions along with the Ashley Walters hosted series Top Dad, and critically acclaimed documentary NYPD Biggest Gang in New York for BBC One, an investigative piece exploring police brutality in New York.
As Renowned Films established itself as a key producer of noisy, cut-through, factual and factual entertainment features, documentaries and branded content for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and MTV it caught the attention of US-based Critical Content, who bought Channel 4’s stake in the company last year.
Continuing with Renowned’s commitment to diverse content, this last year has seen an exciting slate of programming including Peng Life (Ch4), Generation Grime (Sky Arts), Rated Awards (Ch4), What’s Changed (BBC3) and Who We Be (Spotify) as well as US commissions including two series of the landscaping reality show Backyard Envy forBravo and a ten part series for BET Copwatch America,with more exciting commissions lined up for this year and a nomination at the forthcoming Edinburgh International Film Festival for best new Indie, Duane’s mission to flood our screens with compelling and diverse content is well underway.
As well as his TV endeavours, Duane remains an integral part of the UK music scene, teaming up with GRM’s Posty to co-found Not For The Radio, one of the biggest online interview platforms in the UK featuring exclusive sit downs with stars such as Stormzy, Bugzy Malone, and Giggs.