Tom was born in London but spent his childhood in North East England.
He was educated at RGS Newcastle upon Tyne and at the University of York.
He currently lives in California and splits his time between Los Angeles and the UK. He is an executive producer, writer and consultant, currently working with Battlebots Inc on their primetime entertainment series, now in its second series on ABC. He also develops projects for UK-based Standing Stone Productions.
He has won many international awards, including an Emmy for his BBC movie The Bullion Boys, as well as many BAFTA nominations, the RTS Fellowship, and many international awards for his directing skills, including 2 Roses at Montreux. He began his career as a BBC journalist, and later as Executive Producer, Music & Arts, where he directed and produced many comedy, talk, dance, music and documentary programmes.
He founded Mentorn, which soon became the UK's largest independent production company with shows ranging from Question Time to Robot Wars and later the US reality hit Paradise Hotel.
In 2000 Tom sold Mentorn to The Television Corporation plc and he later became CEO of FremantleMedia North America Inc, the production company responsible for American Idol and The Price Is Right, based in Los Angeles.
Tom left FremantleMedia at the end of March 2005. After a year's sabbatical, during which he gave a number of keynote lectures around the world, he founded Standing Stone Productions, based in Newcastle.
In 2010 Tom was Creative Director of the winning Trinity Mirror bid for the English regional news pilot awarded by the DCMS. In 2012 he was Executive Producer of a new revolutionary online project for Channel 4's award-winning investigative series "Dispatches". His Dispatches app was nominated for Best Innovation in the 2012 British Journalism Awards.
He is Visiting Professor at Teesside University, and Chair of the creative agency Northern Film & Media. In 2015 he set up the NFM Academy, which trains people from the North East in the skills needed for prime time television drama.
He writes a weekly column for the Newcastle Journal and is also in demand as an after-dinner speaker.
He is married to Jo, and has 5 children ranging from 34 to 7 yrs old.