Sir Clive Jones: Knighthood for Muswell Hill charity chair and ex-ITV chief
- Credit: Archant
“It’s the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.”
Looking back on eight years as chairman of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), Sir Clive Jones said visiting disaster zones and seeing communities rebuilt outweighed his decades in TV.
Clive, who has lived in Muswell Hill for almost 20 years, was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours earlier this month.
He told the Ham&High: "This came as a very pleasant surprise. In a way it's an award for the DEC, rather than myself - I was happy to accept it on the charity's behalf.
After a career spanning four decades in media - first at the Yorkshire Post before rising to the very top of ITV - stepping away from full-time work in 2011 saw Clive given the chance to take the helm of the DEC.
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He said: "It was a major change for me. I had been involved in a number of charities when I was working at ITV. I had a particular concern for equality and diversity, And then when I stepped down from full time work I got a phone call and I was intrigued by it."
It was the call to become take over at the DEC. Clive went on: "I was also a bit daunted, I didn't necessarily think I had the experience.
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"The DEC had gone through a bit of a difficult period, and I was able to use my networks and my skills to rebuild relationships.
"It's now probably the most successful pop-up charity in the UK."
As chairman, Clive visited some of the places the DEC was appealing on behalf of. He went to Kenya and Somalia shortly after taking over, and also visited the Phillipines after Hurricane Yolanda and Myanmar during the charity's appeal when the Rohingya people were forced to flee.
He told this newspaper about the experience: "It renews your belief in mankind. You see the British public making donations and then you can see in, for example, the Phillippines a community being rebuilt.
"We helped rebuild a fishing fleet out there, literally, and we helped the fisherman to take control of the business themselves."
Now aged 70, Clive has no plans to pack work in just yet, and he'll soon be taking over the chairmanship of another charity - Sightsavers - who work to prevent avoidable blindness worldwide.
He added: "Well. my wife says I'm dangerous when I'm bored..."