Owen was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, to father Bertie, a headmaster and Dunkirk veteran, and mother Esme (née Burton), a music teacher. He attended Kingsland Grange prep school, an independent boarding school in Shrewsbury which has since been renamed Shrewsbury High Prep School, between the ages of 7 and 13, then Shrewsbury School between the ages of 13 and 18. While at Kingsland Grange, Owen borrowed a Cliff Richard record from Bob Warman, who later went on to become the longest-serving regional news presenter on ATV and Central in the Midlands. Also while there he would hand-write his own newspaper and take it to a copier to print, said to be his first experience of journalism.
Owen completed his education at the University of Leeds where he obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Classics in 1970.
Owen's first job was as a graduate trainee on the Doncaster Evening Post. After two years Owen moved to a job at the Birmingham Post, where he reported local news. He started working for the BBC's local radio station Radio Birmingham in 1973, as a news producer and later as Sports Editor. His first live broadcast was an early-morning news bulletin during the Les Ross show.
Owen joined ATV in 1978, where he worked as a sports reporter, commentator and presenter for ATV news. He covered the European Football Championships in 1980 and commentated on the World Cup in Spain in 1982. Owen also narrated the first series of Bullseye, the darts show that was presented by Jim Bowen. He appeared on the programme in 1983 throwing darts for charity when he scored 177 (the guest players at the time had a 60 point start).
When ATV became Central TV on 1 January 1982 and brought in a new dual news service for the east and west Midlands. Owen and Anne Diamond were chosen to present the new Central News East, but neither presenter was ever seen on screen due to an industrial dispute at the new studios in Nottingham.
Owen left Central in January 1982 to join TV-am as a sports presenter. After six weeks the station was in turmoil and Greg Dyke was brought in as director of programmes. Dyke moved Owen to become a main presenter of Good Morning Britain from 4 April 1983 and he was soon teamed up with Anne Diamond until 1986 when he left.
Having left TV-am, he then became a presenter for ITV Sport remaining with them until 1993, presenting Midweek Sport Special and also presenting ITV's coverage of the 1988 Olympic Games, Euro 88 and the 1990 World Cup as well as the game show Sporting Triangles. In addition to his ITV Sport job, Owen hosted a TV game show called Hitman and presented Children's ITV alongside puppet dog Scally.
From 1992 to 1996 he co-presented Good Morning with Anne and Nick on BBC One.
In 2006, he was awarded the Baird Medal by the Royal Television Society, Midlands, for lifelong achievement in television. He was also named UK Speaker of the Year in 2010 by the National Association of Speakers Clubs.
He is currently a presenter on Midlands Today, the BBC regional television news programme for the West Midlands.
A lifelong fan of Luton Town, Owen became the Chairman of the club when the Luton Town Football Club 2020 consortium purchased the club in 2008 following a period in administration. The club began the 2008–09 season with a thirty-point deficit, and were consequently relegated from the Football League to the Conference Premier on 13 April 2009. However, Luton did win the Football League Trophy that year in front of 42,000 Luton fans at Wembley, despite being the lowest-placed team in the competition for the whole season. Owen stepped down as club Chairman in August 2017.
Owen married Jill Lavery in 1977 in Birmingham. The couple had four children together: Andy, Tim, Chris and Jenny, and lived together in Birmingham until August 2009, when they separated. They divorced in 2012.
Owen was the nephew of the oldest man in Britain, Reg Dean, until Dean's death on 5 January 2013.Owen, N. In the Time of Nick (autobiography), Brewin Books, 2004 (ISBN 978-1858582573)
Talking about Luton Town