There’s no hiding away from the Dragons’ Den
Thursday: Dragons’ Den; (BBC One, 8pm)
There’s no hiding away from the fact that the past year has been one of economic misery, especially for those who work in the hospitality and retail sectors.
However, for some entrepreneurs, the pandemic has provided a jolt and a sense of hope.
With the number of new companies being created in the UK soaring in the second half of 2020, now is the perfect moment for the return of the nation’s favourite business investment series.
Hannah Wyatt, Managing Director for Factual Entertainment at BBC Studios, says: “As Covid-19 continues to present a huge challenge for the business community across the nation, there has never been a more appropriate time to showcase great British entrepreneurialism to an ever wider audience.”
Since its doors first opened in 2005, over 1,000 entrepreneurs have entered the Den and the 18 Dragons have made 276 deals, pledging over £22m in investments.
In the previous series alone, we saw a total of 27 deals made, with nearly £2million invested by the panel.
The popularity of the show with viewers also continues to hold strong, illustrated by the fact that it is moving from its home on BBC Two to BBC One tonight.
Kate Phillips, Acting Controller, BBC One says: “Dragons’ Den has always been a favourite show with viewers and is still hugely popular. As a result it feels like the time is right to move our formidable Dragons’ to BBC One, so they can entertain an even wider audience.”
Saying that, will the investors – Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Sara Davies, Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani – be willing to part with their cash tonight, as more eager entrepreneurs try to strike a life-changing deal?
First up, a pair of aspiring tea tycoons find themselves in hot water when their numbers are interrogated. Then, the Dragons discover hidden artistic talents when a mindfulness art business is pitched, and an optical inventor hopes to have investment in sight with his anti-glare eyewear.
Finally, a husband-and-wife team have the needs of NHS workers at the heart of their skin-care business. But will there be a fly in the ointment, courtesy of the formidable tycoons?
Ahead of tonight’s new series premiere, it has been announced that Tej is stepping down from the show to devote more time to his increasing business interests.
“After an incredibly enjoyable four years as a Dragon I have decided that this next series will be my last,” he says.
“My commitment to the international growth and expansion of my core business and the numerous investments over the years sadly means I will be unable to dedicate the necessary time moving forward. I would like to thank the BBC for the great opportunity along with their support and understanding. I wish everyone on the team the very best as it’s been a true pleasure working together.”
But Tej’s work in the Den isn’t quite finished yet, and he is expecting to go out on a high.
“I’m truly excited for the upcoming series of Dragons’ Den, which looks set to be one of the best,” he said.
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