Tom Ross

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Tom Ross (born 1947) is a Scottish journalist and television producer who worked for the BBC from 1971 until 1996.[1]

Early life

Born in Glasgow and educated at Hutchesons' Boys' Grammar School]] he gained a master's degree in History from Glasgow University.


He began his BBC career as a News Trainee in London, part of an intake of six trainee journalists that included David Davies, later Executive Director of the Football Association, and Brian Hanrahan the BBC correspondent famous for the "I Counted Them Out, I Counted Them Back" report during the Falklands War.

After spells with the BBC2 political programme Westminster with David Holmes, and the Radio 4 Today Programme with John Timpson and Robert Robinson]] he joined BBC Scotland's Television Current Affairs department in Glasgow in 1973.

Under Matthew Spicer he directed and produced Current Account and Public Account with Donald MacCormick, James Cox, and Andrew Neil, and in 1983 ran BBC Scotland's highly successful General Election Coverage.[2]

Post-BBC Scotland

In 1984 he moved to Birmingham to become Assistant Editor of the BBC's popular lunchtime magazine Pebble Mill at One.[3] producing one of its highest rated shows live from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in the English Channel.

In 1986 he became first executive producer, then editor in 1989, of the BBC2 motoring magazine Top Gear. During his five-year spell as Editor Motoring Programmes for the BBC Top Gear became the top rated show on BBC2 for the first time and the audience reached nearly 6 million. This was despite several determined efforts by various Controllers of BBC2 to cancel the programme. [4]

The main presenter of the programme was William Woollard with contributions from Chris Goffey, Frank Page and Sue Baker. A number of new faces were introduced over these years including Tiff Needell, Tom Boswell and, most famously, Jeremy Clarkson. [5]

After Tom Ross left the programme in 1991 he went on to work in various managerial posts till he left the BBC five years later. He then worked for a spell in the independent sector.


He is married with two children and lives in Warwickshire.


  1. The Independent newspaper (Media Weekly) p.11. Monday 28 February 2005
  2. The Closing Headlines by Kenneth Roy p.165. (Carrick Media)
  3. Ariel 25 October 2011 ,
  4. [1]
  5. [2]


  • The Independent newspaper (Media Weekly) p. 11. Monday 28 February 2005
  • Ariel magazine 25 October 2011