A1 Flues
A1 Flues

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TJ Duncan-Moir and John Hamnett lock horns with TV presenter Alex Polizzi

A1 bosses TJ Duncan-Moir and John Hamnett will lock horns with TV presenter Alex Polizzi for the second time in 12 months in a bid to see her company crowned the region’s best family business.

They will face the star of the BBC Two programme the Fixer at a panel interview for the Midlands Family Business Awards 2014 in Birmingham later this month. The five-person panel interview will decide who wins the coveted Family Business of the Year Award.

TJ and John aim to go one better than last year’s Highly Commended Award and impress Ms Polizzi and the rest of the judges with the company’s growth and expansion over the last 12 months.

Having previously faced the famous hotelier Lord Forte’s granddaughter, who is also know to TV viewers as The Hotel Inspector, TJ and John know it will be tough but believe the business has come a long way in a year.

“On TV, Ms Polizzi comes across as having a fearsome reputation because of her no-nonsense approach when she is called in to help ailing businesses – but we saw a different side to her at last year’s judging panel,” said TJ.

“She is very passionate about family businesses and wants them to succeed – even if that means dispensing tough love. We found her to be very encouraging and supportive but she is also razor-sharp in her questioning, and she can quickly expose any chinks in your armour.

“We were very proud to get a Highly Commended Award last year, but this year we want to go one better and win the awards. We feel confident, given the progress in our business over the last 12 months.”

TJ and John will tell Ms Polizzi about the plans they have put in place to increase A1’s turnover by £3m in three years. These include increasing manufacturing capacity, employing more local people and launching two subsidiary companies: one for cleaning flues and one for supplying flue systems for domestic stoves.

They will also talk about how productivity has increased, largely because the company has been subject to lots of positive media coverage over the last year. This has boosted employees’ pride in their company after seeing A1 in local newspapers, on local TV, in The Sunday Times and on BBC Breakfast. 

TJ and John have set their sights on winning Family Business of the Year to recognise the efforts of every member of the company’s 130-strong team. A1 has also been shortlisted for Manufacturing Excellence at the event, which is organised by the Wilson Organisation. TJ and John will attend the awards ceremony in Nottingham in mid-November.

Picture with thanks from The Telegraph.