Jim was born in Suffolk. He was employed by the Met Office from 1968 until 1986. His career started in East Anglia at RAF stations in 1968. He later moved to Bracknell for a few years as a programmer on the Met Office supercomputer. After a return to aviation forecasting, including a spell at Stansted Airport, he pursued a degree in Meteorology at Reading University before being posted to the London Weather Centre, where he became a senior forecaster. This work involved forecasting for the offshore industry and media forecasting for national radio and television.
Jim was a BBC TV weatherman (22nd February 1979 – 31st December 1984). At the end of his final BBC national broadcast, he moved from the maps to a desk in the corner of the Presentation studio to explain to viewers that he had been promoted within the Met Office and so would not be appearing on screen anymore. Jim also made regular broadcasts as a BBC Radio weatherman (1978 – 1984). He was the BBC One Christmas Day weatherman once – in 1980.
He was honoured with a Noel Edmonds Golden Egg Award for meteorological optimism for putting sunshine symbols on a night-time weather chart. He joined a get-together for BBC TV Weather’s 40th anniversary in January 1994.
In 1985, Jim and his wife celebrated the arrival of their first children – twins. The 12-hour shifts in Central London thus became somewhat challenging, and so in 1986 he moved back to East Anglia, and joined the Anglia Television weather team. He remained there until 1997, when Anglia’s in-house weather operation was disbanded in favour of the cheaper option of contracting it out.
Jim rejoined the Met Office for a period before setting up Weatherquest in 2001, when the local Norwich Weather Centre was closed down. Jim has been a guest speaker on the subject of the ‘Weather Business’ as well as giving talks on radio propagation to amateur radio clubs – he is a keen amateur radio enthusiast and still uses morse code. Jim continued as a freelance meteorology consultant and appeared occasionally as a relief weatherman on BBC TV’s Spotlight and Look East regional news programmes. He retired in 2019.
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Jim which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.
A late-1970s/early 1980s weather forecast from Jim Bacon.
PICTURED: Jim Bacon. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.