Readers of a certain age will remember Cheadle-born Newman well from his 18 years on TV, most notably as a sports correspondent for BBC News and a foreign correspondent for TV-am, where he covered the first Gulf War. He had originally trained as a print journalist at Preston Polytechnic and cut his teeth on the Knutsford Guardian and the Cadishead and Irlam Guardian.

His PR career began with a bang in 2000 when he took on the high-profile role of director of communications of The Football Association. He ran the England press office during a particularly turbulent time for English football, not least the resignation of Kevin Keegan, the redevelopment of Wembley and the publicity surrounding Sven-Goran Eriksson’s relationship with Ulrika Jonsson.

He went on to lead comms as a rejuvenated Liverpool made the most of its stint as European Capital of Culture, before taking his current role in 2008. During that time, Peel’s flagship North West media hub, MediaCityUK, has grown to the point where it now hosts over 3,000 BBC staff, as well as the likes of ITV, dock10 and over 200 other businesses. It recently hosted one of the leaders’ debates in the run-up to the general election.