Terry Jervis

Terry Jervis (born 1962) is a British media producer, entrepreneur and business executive, working for more than three decades across the entertainment industry in film, music and television, having begun his career as a broadcast journalist.[1][2] Jervis has worked with many high-profile musicians, including Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elton John.[3] After being employed by the BBC for 20 years he set up his independent venture Jervis Media Entertainment.[2]


Jervis was born in Hackney, east London,[3][2] where he grew up in a single-parent family on an estate.[4] In a 1996 interview with Sarita Malik he spoke about his start in television, saying: "I actually used to make films on 16mm and Super-8mm back in the late 1970s when I had aspirations of starting my own movie company. I'd made a film called From Gospel To Soul about the life of Sam Cooke and I put it on at a local cinema and a lot of people turned up to see it including people from Channel 4, the BBC, Sam Cooke's daughter and Bobby Womack, totally uninvited. Then Channel 4 gave me a call and said we're launching this new station..., 'Would you like to come on board with a couple of productions we have at the moment?' So I did."[5] Before long, Jervis joined the BBC, where he worked for 15 years,[1] running his own department at the age of 27,[6] and counting among his successes as producer/director the comedy show The Real McCoy.[7][8] Among other widely viewed BBC programmes he created are the Black music magazine programme Behind the Beat (1987–91)[9] and Our Common Future.[10]

In 1999 Jervis set up his own production company, Jervis Entertainment Media (JEM),[2][3] continuing to provide programming that won critical acclaim.[10] Documentary shows he directed include Raising Tennis Aces: The Williams Story, about the relationship of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams with their father Richard.[10][11] Other initiatives by Jervis included his Motown-linked record label, Down To Jam,[10][12] and animation projects such as the calypso-based Tropical Island.[13]

Jervis has also been concerned to commemorate the contributions of Africans, West Indians and other people of colour in the Second World War,[14] including former RAF officer Cy Grant.[15]

A photograph of Jervis was one of those featured in the 2019 National Portrait Gallery exhibition Black is the New Black: Portraits by Simon Frederick.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Terry Jervis". National Portrait Gallery.
  2. ^ a b c d "About Us". Jervis Entertainment Media. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Adoo, Ed (9 June 2019). "Terry Jervis On Using His Platform To Get Our Stories Told". The Voice. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ Prof Gima (19 February 2012). "History Of Success For African Entrepreneurs In UK". New African. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. ^ Malik, Sarita (1998), "7. Interview with Terry Jervis", Representing black Britain : black images on British television from 1936 to the present day, p. 73. PhD thesis, The Open University.
  6. ^ "Terry Jervis: Business and media entrepreneur". Inside Success UK. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  7. ^ Agbetu, Toyin (24 August 2010). "African Superheroes - Animation Festival". Ligali. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  8. ^ "The Real McCoy (TV Series 1991–1996)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  9. ^ Malik, Sarita (2002). "Representing Black Britain: A History of Black and Asian Images on British Television" (PDF). SAGE Publications Ltd. p. 117. ISBN 0 7619 7027 4.
  10. ^ a b c d "Terry Jervis: Successful black producer". 100 Great Black Britons. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Raising Tennis Aces: The Williams Story (2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  12. ^ Luke, George (1 August 1994). "Sign Of The Times: The British R&B gospel group". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Production". JEM. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  14. ^ Malik (1998), p. 81.
  15. ^ Creighton, Sean (10 November 2016). "Life and Times of Cy Grant – 12 November". History & Social Action News and Events. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  16. ^ Sigaud, Joy (27 October 2018). "Black is the New Black: Portraits by Simon Frederick National Portrait Gallery, London: Until 27 January 2019 – National Portrait Gallery's Largest Group of Portraits of Afro-Caribbean Sitters Go on Public Display for the First Time". Black History Month. Retrieved 9 November 2020.

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