After leaving school, John became an electrical engineering apprentice, going on to work for a number of local companies. His big break came in 1972 when he was 29, a client asked him to design an industrial humidifier and he set up his own company to make it. And thus Ebac [then known as Elliott Brothers Air Control] was born. Ebac has grown over the years, and today also makes water coolers, washing machines and air-conditioning systems. Its annual turnover is more than £15m. Ebac is the only manufacturer in the UK of dehumidifiers and washing machines. Ebac is based in the County Durham town of Newton Aycliffe, just a few miles from where John was born, and he has ensured that it will remain that way - in perpetuity. John is an experienced media commentator, appearing on Question Time, Extra Time, Any Questions, LBC with Iain Dale and many national and regional TV and radio news channels.