HE MAY be living the dream over in sunny Marbella, but millionaire Jon Stretton Knowles is a Pompey boy at heart.
The 35-year-old former St John’s College pupil has shot to fame on itvBe’s new reality show Life On Marbs.
But the self-made millionaire, who retired to Spain nearly two years ago after selling his Portsmouth and Havant energy and telecommunications company, says he still loves coming back to his home city to see his two kids, visit his mum and watch Portsmouth FC at home.
The show follows the life of a group of ex-pats living the high life in the Spanish resort.
Jon, who splits his year between Marbella and Dubai, was persuaded on to the show by his friend and filmed the series over three months.
He said: ‘It was amazing, I’ve never done anything like it before. The first couple of episodes we were nervous but then by episode four we got more confident.’
The show features Jon’s stunning villa, which he built from scratch 18 months ago, and follows his group of friends.
Although Life On Marbs follows a constructed TOWIE-style format, Jon said the reactions are all genuine.
He said: ‘It’s completely true to life. Some situations are a little bit engineered, but the reactions are completely real. I’ve never been asked to say a word.’
After getting bored with retirement, he is channelling his energies into his new business – an exclusive men’s club called The Barbers’ Club.
Jon, who also owns a house in Burridge, says he loves coming back to Portsmouth monthly to see his children Sienna, six, and Olivia, nine, and his mum Anna Daubeney, who runs Universal Properties and lives in Whiteley.
He is also good friends with his ex-wife Gillian Stretton Knowles, who owns Adopt A Dolly in Southsea’s Albert Road.
Even his gran, 93-year-old Irene Smith, from Hayling Island, has been tuning into the show to see Jon, who stars alongside Lina Hodgkins, also from Portsmouth. Life On Marbs is back tomorrow on itvBe at 9pm.